Definitions

eastern woodrat

Florida Woodrat

The Florida Woodrat, otherwise known as the Eastern Woodrat (Neotoma floridana), is found in the central and eastern United States, reaching north to the latitude of southeastern New York and south to the Gulf Coast. It has been recovered as a fossil from late Pleistocene deposits in southeastern New Mexico, several hundred miles southwest of its nearest current range.

As with most members of the genus, it feeds primarily on green vegetation, but also eats nuts, seeds, fungi, ferns, and fruits. In the southern states it often lives in holes in the ground or hollow trees, constructing large nests.

The Allegheny Woodrat was once considered a subspecies of the Florida Woodrat, but through extensive DNA evidence, it is now known to be a separate species. It grows to just over 17 inches and weighs up to 16 ounces. Predators include snakes, owls, weasels, and the Bobcat.

The Key Largo Woodrat is an endangered subspecies of the Florida Woodrat.

References

  • Harris, A. H. 1984. Neotoma in the Late Pleistocene of New Mexico and Chihuahua. Special Publications, Carnegie Museum of Natural History 8:164-178.
  • Wiley, R. W. 1980. Neotoma floridana. Mammalian Species, No. 139:1-7.

External links

  • eNature.com -

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