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No . 2 4 

[Actual date of publication, November 23, 1904] 




Prepared under the direction of 




19 04 

North American Fauna No. 24. 

Sketch Map of the Vicinity of the Base of the Alaska Peninsula. 
konte of expedition 




No. 2 4 

[Actual date of publication, November 23, 1904] 




Prepared under the direction of 







6\\ > 



[J. S. Department of Agriculture, 

Biological Survey, 
Washington, D. C, August 15, 1904-. 
Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith for publication, as North 
American Fauna No. 24, the results of a biological reconnaissance of 
the base of Alaska Peninsula by Wilfred H. Osgood, an assistant in 
the Biological Survey who visited this part of Alaska in 1902. It 
comprises observations made in the field and subsequent S} T stematie 
studies, and is entirely the work of Mr. Osgood. 

The illustrations, consisting of two maps and five half-tone plates, 
are necessary to a clear understanding of the text. 

C. Hart Merriam, 

( 1 hief Biological Surety. 
Hon. James Wilson, 

Secretary of Agrtcult are. 





( General account - 10 

Outline of route 10 

Itiamna Bay to Lake Clark 10 

Lake Clark to Nushagak 14 

Nushagak to Cold Bay 19 

Life zones 21 

Previous work 25 

List of mammals 27 

List of birds 51 




Plate I. Sketch map of vicinity of base of the Alaska Peninsula Frontispiece. 

II. Fig. 1 . — Mountains near entrance to Iliamna Bay. Fig. 2. — Mountain 

meadow on west side of Iliamna Pass 10 

III. Fig. 1. — Lower end of Lake Clark. Fig. 2.— Mountains on LakeClark, 

opposite mouth of Tleekakeela River. Fig. 3. — Keejik Mountain, 

near Keejik, Lake Clark 12 

IV. Fig. 1. — Mixed woods along Chulitna River. Fig. 2. — Semitundra 

along upper course of Chulitna River 16 

V. Fig. 1. — Upper part of Chulitna River. Fig. 2. — Chulitna River ... 
VI. Fig. 1. — Mountains nearColdBay. Fig. 2. — Mountains near Kanatak. 20 
VII. Map showing the life zones .of the region 24 



Bv Wilfred H. Osgood. 


The present report contains an account of a hasty trip made dur- 
ing the latter part of the summer and fall of 1902 to the base of the 
Alaska Peninsula. Work was done on both coasts and in part of 
the interior. On account of the importance of the region as a meet- 
ing- ground of some of the life areas of Alaska, it was desired that 
more time be spent in the field, but the shortness of the season pre- 
vented. Since it is not feasible at present to continue work in this 
region, it has been decided to record such results as were obtained. 

Throughout the trip Alfred G. Maddren acted as my assistant and 
Walter Fleming was employed as camp hand. During the season of 
1903 Mr. Maddren spent considerable time in the Cold Bay and 
Becharof Lake region. Although for the most part occupied other- 
wise, he secured a considerable number of specimens, as well as some 
important notes for which 1 am indebted to him. M. W. Gorman, 
of Portland, Greg., who was engaged in botanical work for the Depart- 
ment, accompanied us during July on Lakes Iliamna and Clark, and his 
cheerful cooperation was greatly appreciated. 

Travel was chiefly by canoe. On account of the inclement weather, 
which prevailed most of the time, progress was slower than if the 
party had been able to start before the fall rains began. Natives were 
employed from time to time as carriers and guides, and as a rule 
proved faithful and efficient. The employees of the Trans-Alaska 
Company, which had some stores in the region, rendered considerable 
assistance, and we were particularly indebted to H. Hicks and C. T. 
Brooks. Much of the region has seldom been visited by white men, 
and such of the streams and lakes as were shown on published maps 



were indicated on little more basis than hearsay or the unreliable 
sketches of natives and prospectors. The accompanying map, made 
from rough sketches and estimates, is doubtless incorrect to a great 
degree, but will show the points to which it is necessary to make spe- 
cial reference. Until actual surveys are made in the region, it may 
prove helpful to future travelers. 


Landing at Iliamna Bay (PI. I, Frontispiece) on July 10, the party 
immediately proceeded across the mountains to Lake Iliamna and 
thence to Lake Clark, where a few days were spent. On August 
10 the journey up the Chulitna River was begun. Some short dela}\s 
were caused by the uncertainty of the native guides as to the correct 
route, but on the 18th of the month the head of the small south fork of 
the river was reached. Crossing from there to Swan Lake and start- 
ing down stream August 27, the Swan, Kakhtul, and Nushagak rivers 
were successively descended and Nushagak reached September L2. 
After considerable delay a small sailboat was secured to take us across 
Bristol Bay, and on September 26 we started for Igagik. Thence the 
Ugaguk River was ascended and Becharof Lake crossed to the head 
of its southwest arm, which was reached October 7. Continuing from 
here over the mountains to Kanatak, on Portage Bay, we skirted the 
coast to Cold Bay, which was reached October 13. A small steamer 
called on the 26th of the month and we took passage for the United 
States, very glad to flee from the exceedingly stormy weather which 
had prevailed during the last two months of the trip. 

For convenience of description the route outlined above may be 
divided into three parts: (1) Iliamna Bay to Lake Clark, including the 
Lake Iliamna and Lake Clark region; (2) Lake Clark to Nushagak, 
including the Chulitna River region and the Nushagak drainage from 
Swan Lake to Nushagak; and (3) Nushagak to Cold Bay, including 
the peninsula region in the vicinity of tin 1 Ugaguk River and Becharof 


The coast of Iliamna Bay, like nearly all the southeast side of the 
Alaska Peninsula, is extremely mountainous. The mouth of the bay 
is wide, but the upper end, for 1 or .~> miles, is quite narrow. Even in 
summer it is a very windy place. When we landed, on July 1". a 
howling gale was blowing down the funnel formed by the mountains 
on each side, and we reached shore with considerable difficulty. The 
mountains are from 3,000 to 6,000 feet in altitude, and are quite pre- 
cipitous (PI. II, fig. 1). They support notices worthy of the name, but 
there are several groves of fair-sized balsam poplars {Popvlus h<ilsttm- 
iferci) in the narrow valley at the h< r-d < f the bay and also on some low 

North American Fauna, No. 24. 

Plate II. 

Fig. 1.— Mountains near Entrance to Iliamna Bay. 
Plant in foreground dwarf birch {Bettda glandulosa rotundifolia). 

Fiq. 2.— Mountain Meadow on West Side of Iliamna Pass. 
Shrubby plant, alder ( A lints viridis). 

November, 1904.] OUTLINE OF ROUTE. 11 

ground about a small indentation on the west side called Cottonwood 
Bay. ( )n the mountain sides a few tiny spruces from one to two feel 
high proudly raise their heads above the matted mosses, lichens, and 
small shrubs. A few depauperate sprouts of the paper birch {JBetula 
papyrifera alaskana) also occur. The characteristic shrubs are the 
alder (Alnus viridis?) and the dwarf birch (Betula glandulosa rotundi- 
folia), which are found in great abundance. The portage trail leads 
up the narrow valle} 7 of a small stream flowing into the head of the 
bay, and after 3 or 4 miles crosses a low mountain pass possibly less than 
1,000 feet high. On the other side it runs down through several moun- 
tain meadows (PI. II, fig. 2), around a small lake, and along a stream 
draining toward Lake lliamna. Passing for 3 or 4 miles through a good 
growth of spruce timber, it terminates at lliamna River, opposite the 
native village of lliamna. From the head of lliamna Bay to lliamna 
village is about 12 miles. Outfits and supplies are easily taken across 1 >y 
pack horses, or natives from lliamna village may be secured to 'pack' 
them. The lliamna River is a stream of fair size flowing from the 
mountains east of lliamna Pass, and at the village is about 50 yards 
wide. Six miles farther on it enters Lake lliamna. The timber in 
this vicinity is of the characteristic type found throughout the Hud- 
sonian zone in northern Alaska. The white spruce (Picea canadensis) 
is the dominant tree, and with it are found its usual deciduous neigh- 
bors, the balsam poplar and the paper birch. Alders abound on the 
hillsides and willow thickets border the streams. Mosses, lichens, and 
small woody plants, chiefly Ericaceae, cover the ground. A few small 
ponds near the river are bordered with grasses and sedges, and, where 
conditions favor, are tilled with large yellow pond lilies {Nymphsea). 

Lake lliamna is about 00 miles long and from 15 to 25 miles wide. 
It can not be more than a few feet above the level of the sea, as the 
Kviehak River, its outlet to Bristol Bay, is navigable for small sloops. 
At its upper end it is rather shallow and contains many small islands, 
while the lower end is an uninterrupted expanse of comparatively 
deep water. The southeast shore is rather mountainous. Several 
peaks immediately southwest of the mouth of the lliamna River are at 
least 3,000 feet high and are probably continuous with the mountain 
mass which is seen so prominently on the coast near Cape Douglas. 
Fair-sized mountains are also to be seen to the northward between the 
mouths of the lliamna and Nogheling rivers, but some 10 miles east of 
the latter they dwindle to very small size. Spruce timber is found on 
the southeast shore all the way down to the Kviehak River, but on the 
other side it ceases about 10 miles beyond the Nogheling. From this 
point to the Kviehak there are no coniferous trees. Timberline is 
quite low, being only 100 to 200 feet above the lake. 

In going from Lake lliamna to Lake Clark a portage of about b' 
miles is necessary in order to avoid the Petroff Falls in the lower part 


of the Nogheling River. The carry begins a few miles east of the 
mouth of the Nogheling and crosses the triangular peninsula to the 
river al)<>\c the falls. The first half of the trail is over rather swampy 
open country and the last through open forest on comparatively 
hard ground. Above the portage there is one stretch of a third of a 
mile of swift water, easily descended by canoes hut difficult of ascent 
except at low" water when 'tracking' is practicable; otherwise the 
river is ascended without great difficulty although the current is strong. 
The entire length of the Nogheling is from 25 to 30 miles. In the 
vicinity of the portage it flows in one general direction between banks 
from 50 to 75 feet high, but toward its upper end it traverses lower 
country and its course is more devious. Near Lake Clark it expands in 
two places, the larger being about a mile wide by 3 miles long. Low 
mountains, somewhat sparingl}' covered with small spruce timber, 
rise on both sides of the river, those on the west being higher and 
reaching an approximate altitude of 1,500 feet. 

Our first view of Lake Clark from the low ground near the head of 
the Nogheling River was not an impressive one, as we were so situated 
that only the lower end (PI. Ill, tig. 1), where the shores are com- 
paratively low, could be seen. When once on the lake itself, however, 
with an unobstructed vista of the greater part of its length, the view 
was magnificent. The mountains, which are from 500 to 1,000 feet in 
height at the lower end, extend along each side of the narrow stretch 
of water, and gradually become higher and higher and more and more 
rugged (PI. Ill, fig. 2). In reality the peaks are not very high, but 
their gradual increase from the lower end of the lake to the upper, 
with the misleading vista effect, causes them to appear quite lofty. 
The higher peaks immediately surrounding the head of the lake are 
possibly of an altitude of 5,000 feet; others, farther back, which may 
be seen at a distance, are somewhat higher. 

All the mountains on the south side of the lake and most of the 
others also are of eruptive origin and evidently date from no very 
remote geological period. Those about the upper end are steep and 
but slightly eroded, being too precipitous in most places to hold large 
snow banks. On the south side near the upper end. however, several 
small, high-hanging glaciers may be seen at the head of narrow can- 
yons. On the north side for about 5 miles at the upper end. the 
mountains are slates, which are possibly exposures of similar forma- 
tions known to occur to the northward in the main part of the Alaskan 
Range. At the lower end of the lake and also on the north side of 
the Nogheling River are several terraced beach benches, the appar- 
ent evidence of former occupation by salt water at receding levels. 
Much of the valleys of the Chulitna and Nushagak rivers is of a recent 
sedimentary character, doubtless once part of an old lake or inland 
arm of the sea, The whole region is only a little above the present 

North American Fauna, No. 24. 

Plate III. 

Fig. 1.— Lower End of Lake Clark. 

Fig. 2.— Mountain on Lake Clark Opposite Mouth of Tleekakeela River. 

Fig. 3.— Keejik Mountain, near Keejik, Lake Clark. 

November, 1904.] OUTLINE OF ROUTE. 13 

sea level. A very slight areal depression would allow the waters of 
Bristol Bay to occupy the basins of Lakes Iliamna and Clark and the 
greater part of the valleys of the Chulitna and Nushagak rivers. 

Several fair-sized streams empty into Lake Clark at its upper end. 
All carry more or less silt and glacial wash, which give the waters of 
the entire lake and its outlet, the Nogheling River, a brownish-gray 
color. One of these streams, called by the natives the Tleekakeela, 
which comes in on the north side near the head of the lake, has deposited 
sand and silt in such quantity that a wide delta is formed which effec- 
tually blocks this side even at high water. As a result, the water 
above the delta is virtually cut off as an individual basin. Along the 
south side of the delta there is a strong current from the upper basin 
into the main lake through a channel not more than 200 yards wide. 
The Tleekakeela is navigable for a considerable distance for canoes or 
bidarkas. At some point on its upper course there is a difficult port- 
age which is sometimes used in going to Cook Inlet in the vicinity of 
Tyonek. At the extreme head of the lake is another stream of fair 
size called the Chokotonkna. Various other streams drain to the lake 
on both sides from the upper to the lower end, the most important 
being Achteedeedung or Portage Creek, Keejik Creek, Koonthrashi- 
boona River, and Chulitna River. We estimated the entire length of 
Lake Clark to be between 50 and 60 miles. The width varies from 2 
to 8 or 10 miles, the widest part being about opposite the mouth of 
the Chulitna River. No soundings were made, but the water must be 
of a considerable depth, particularly on the south side, where the 
mountains rise abruptly from the water's edge. According to Schanz, 
one of the original discoverers, the bottom can not be reached within 
100 fathoms. On the north side the lake is comparatively shallow, 
numerous gravelly beaches occur, and small islands are scattered along 
near the shore. 

A good growth of timber surrounds the entire lake and runs up the 
mountain sides from 500 to about 1,500 feet. It is of much the same 
character as that at the head of Lake Iliamna. The black spruce 
{Plcea mariana), which was not found about Lake Iliamna, however, 
is quite abundant on Lake Clark. This is particularly the case about 
the lower end of the lake, from the head of the Nogheling River to 
Keejik, where there is more or less low, moist ground suited to the 
tree. The aspen {JPoputus tremuloides) is also found in a few places 
near the Nogheling and about Lake Clark. On the steep mountain 
sides south of the lake the white spruce is the principal tree, and in 
many places composes the entire forest. On the north side it is also 
abundant, but the deciduous poplars and birches are largely mixed 
with it. This difference in the timber of the two sides is doubtless 
due to slope exposure. Many of the small, low peninsulas projecting 
into the lake on the north side are almost entirely occupied by groves 


of poplars {Populus balsamifera), many individual trees slightly 
exceeding 12 inches in diameter. A beautiful open forest of birch 
and spruce is found in some localities, and much of the ground in such 
places produces tall grass {Agrostis) in great abundance. Devil's club 
{Echinopanax) occurs in a few dark, sheltered places near the head of 
the lake, and perhaps reaches the northwestern limit of its range there. 
Willows and alders abound in their respective relative positions, while 
smaller shrubs and boreal plants are in characteristic profusion. 


The route now most frequentty traveled between Lake Clark and 
Nushagak is by way of the Nogheling River to Lake Iliamna, and 
thence by the Kvichak River to Bristol Bay and around the coast or 
across country from Koggiung to Nushagak. Our route, which is 
more practicable for summer travel, was by the Chulitna River, across 
to the Nushagak drainage, and on down to the coast. This route was 
formerly used to a considerable extent when the region was inhabited 
by many more natives than at present. Now it is well known to the 
older natives only, and signs of travel along it are few and obscured 
by time. 

The Chulitna is the largest stream emptying into Lake Clark. It 
enters on the northwest side, about 15 miles above the outlet of the 
lake. Its waters are of the dark amber color, characteristic of north- 
ern streams which drain tundra and semitundra areas; and its mouth, 
where the current is scarcely evident, might be mistaken for an arm 
of the lake, but for the sudden change in the color of the water. 
Looking upstream from the mouth of the river, the country appears 
comparatively level, as far as can be seen. On the rightare a few low 
hills, spurs from the higher range along the lake; on the left also are 
scattered hills, outliers of the ridges which extend down the northwest 
side of the Nogheling River and Lake Iliamna. For several miles 
above the mouth of the river the country is low and swampy. At one 
place there are several channels traversing a wide, grassy swam]), the 
habitat of various waterfowl. Several days were spent here, while a 
fresh supply of provisions was brought up from a cache made on the 
Nogheling River. On August 10 we were ready to start up the 
Chulitna. Up to this time the weather had been comparatively mild 
and bright, with only an occasional squall. Now, however, there 
began a continuous rain, which for days and days did not abate for 
more than several hours at a time. Progress upstream, slow enough 
at best, was rendered more so by the disagreeable weather. 

Owing to the low, swampy nature of the country near the mouth of 
the river, the timber consists chiefly of scrubby growths of black 
spruce, with, clumps of birches and poplars On the occasional higher 
and drier spots. Some 8 or L0 miles up, however, the land, though 

November, 1904.] OUTLINE OF ROUTE. 15 

still low and comparatively level, becomes drier, and the banks of the 
stream are better defined. Alders and willows line the banks, and 40 
or 50 feet back of them is nearly continuous forest of white and black 
spruce mixed with birch and aspen (PI. IV, fig. 1). Occasionally the 
stream divides into several channels, and here the current is usually 
swift. A day and a half took us through most of the bad water, 
for, strangely, the swiftest part of the river is in its lower courses. 
On the third day there was less swift water, and good progress was 
made. Small areas of open moss} T tundra were passed (PI. IV, fig. 2). 
In the few places where the banks expose it, this mossy mat is seen to 
be from one to two feet in thickness, with gravels or clays beneath, 
apparent evidence that the region was once part of a lake or sea basin. 
Occasional small hills are seen, some with slight exposures of lava-like 
rock, but nearly all blanketed with moss. At intervals are thick 
clumps of white spruces, many of which are at least 50 feet high and 
about li feet in diameter. Another day through similar country 
brought us to Neekahweena Lake, which is a very beautiful little 
pieee of water of an extent of 10 or 15 square miles. From the middle 
of the lake small detached mountains and hills can be seen in various 
directions and at considerable distances. One of these, an elongate, 
apparently fiat-topped mountain, lying to the southwest, our native 
guide pointed out to us as his landmark, calling it the 'Portage 

Nearly all the region about this lake is low and swampy. For 5 or 
6 miles up the river the course is between dense thickets of alders and 
willows. Tall grass (Agrostis) grows very luxuriantly along the edges 
of the banks and well back into the thickets, being universally dis- 
tributed except where tundra conditions prevail. For some 15 miles 
above the lake, the stream, which is very devious throughout, becomes 
particularly tortuous and winds and turns in a continuous series of 
convolutions. The ' Portage Mountain ' alternated on all sides of us, 
and a small conical hill which in the morning appeared about half a 
mile ahead was not passed until late in the afternoon. Particularly 
fine clumps of white spruce were encountered along this part of the 
route; several trees were measured and found to be from 5 to 6 feet 
in circumference. Others noticed in passing were evidently some- 
what larger than these. Four or 5 miles farther on the river sud- 
denly narrows down to a uniform width of 40 to 60 feet (PI. V, fig. 1), 
and flows canal-like, with a steady, even current, against which we 
were able to row with ease our heavily loaded canoe. The banks are 
covered with characteristic tundra vegetation nearly to the water's 
edge, but a thin line of spruce timber still persists near the border of 
the stream. 

The mouth of the south branch of the river was reached after five 
days of travel from Lake Clark. With a light canoe and good weather 


the trip might be made in three or three and a halt' days. The so-called 
South Fork of the river is much smaller than the main stream, and 
averages only about 15 feet in width. It is of nearly uniform depth, 
however, without shallow bars — a typical tundra stream. It was from 
3 to 6 feet deep when we ascended, but several days later, when we 
last saw it, the continued rains had caused a rise of water of about ?> 
feet. It is bordered on each side by a thin line of spruce timber, 
behind which is practically open tundra with man} 7 small scattered 

An entire day was occupied in ascending the south branch for about 
9 miles to a big bend which lies about northwest of the 'Portage 
Mountain.' In many places the stream was so narrow that the canoe 
could barely be eased around the turns, and in others large trees had 
fallen across, blocking the way, so that the axe was in use almost as 
much as the paddles. Camp was made at the bend, and after several 
days' search Swan Lake was found and a portage route selected. 
During this time a trip was made to the top of the ' Portage Moun- 
tain,' from which an extensive view of the country was obtained. 
The mountain is about 1,400 feet above sea level and stands somewhat 
alone, being connected only by a low ridge with the mountains about 
the head of the Kakhtul River. From the summit one views to the 
eastward the broad, comparatively level region drained by the Chu- 
litna, and to the westward a similar region along the Swan River. To 
the southward the course of the Kakhtul is easily followed from its 
source in the bare-looking mountains between it and Lake Iliamna to 
the vicinity of its junction with the Swan. From this elevated view- 
point one fully appreciates how closely the heavier growth of conifer- 
ous trees is confined to the banks of the streams. Although the water 
itself is only occasionally seen, both the Chulitna and the Kakhtul can 
be traced as far as the eye can distinguish by the lines of dark green 
spruce along their banks. The Swan is less easily followed on 
account of the small lakes which comprise most of its upper course. 
The whole region, in fact, presents a panorama of small lakes. It is 
reasonably safe to state that a thousand bodies of water of varying 
size and conformation can be seen from a single point on the top of 
the 'Portage Mountain.' 

The land is largely swampy and is covered with typical tundra vege- 
tation. Beneath the tundra throughout the region are waterworn 
rocks and coarse gravels, and along some of the hills are well-marked 
terraces of former lake or sea shore. The lakes or ponds are usually 
sunken a few feet below the general level. Around their banks is a 
somewhat better growth of dwarf birch and willow than elsewhere. 
In the occasional areas of higher and drier ground and on the low 
slopes and detached mound-like hills about the base of the mountai 
there is considerable spruce, which in protected 'draws' on the sout 


North American Fauna, No. 24. 

Plate IV. 

Fig. 1.— Mixed Woods Along Chulitna River. 
Trees: Picea canadensis, Populus tremuloides, Betula papyrifera. 

Fig. 2.— Semitundra Along Upper Course of Chulitna River. 
Trees in middle distance Picea mariana. 

North American Fauna, No. 24. 

Plate V. 

Fig. 1.— Upper Part Chulitna River. 

Fig. 2.— Chulitna River. 
Pirtti canadensis being undermined by current. 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] 


side ascends to an altitude of perhaps TOO feet. A few cold streams 
course down the mountain, their narrow gulches crowded thickly with 
alders and the ground beneath luxuriantly clothed with grass. The 
open mountain sides, except in the rockier parts, are blanketed with 
reindeer moss and semi-procumbent shrubs, chiefly Vaccmvum, Arctos, 
( 'hamaecistus, and Salise. Among the foothills poplars (Fbpufrus trt m- 
uloides and P. lahamifera) and birches (Betula papyri/era alashemd) 
are fairly common. 

The route selected for the carry from the camp on the Chulitna to 
Swan Lake covered a distance of about 5 miles, half of it being over 
wet, boggy tundra and the remainder over comparatively hard ground. 
The divide between the drainages is scarcely more than 50 feet high. 
Swan Lake is clear and cold, and is about three-fourths of a mile long 
by one-third as wide; its depth is not more than 2 or 3 feet, except in 
a few holes. The bottom is diatomaceous ooze. 

Leaving Swan Lake on August 27, we passed successively through 
six similar lakes and the short streams connecting them. The first ten 
hours of travel were disagreeable, as the shallow and tortuous streams 
made it necessary to wade and drag the heavily loaded canoe over a 
long series of gravel bars. Below the lakes the water of the Swan 
becomes deeper and flows in one general direction to the Kakhtul. It 
is a rather sluggish stream, however, as the much larger and swifter 
Kakhtul apparently backs up the water to some extent. At the junc- 
tion of the Swan and Kakhtul we left temporarily the level country 
and passed between low ranges of hills, the one on the right being 
immediately adjacent to the river and that on the left lying about two 
miles distant and parallel. Near the mouth of the Kakhtul, that is, 
its junction with the Malchatna River, we camped for several days, 
being favored with definitely clear weather for the first time since 
leaving Lake Clark. The hills on each side of the Kakhtul are very 
similar to the 'Portage Mountain' near Swan Lake. Spruce timber 
of fair size is found along the immediate banks of the river and for 
considerable distances on the small tributaries, but the intervening 
country is open tundra. From the tops of the low hills on the right 
side of the river the view extends across to the valley of the Malchatna, 
which is much like that of the Kakhtul, but wider. To the southward 
toward Nushagak the view is unobstructed. As far as the eye can 
see, the country appears to be low and nearly level. Somewhat to the 
westward one lone but conspicuous hill of peculiar contour rises out 
of this low country. This is the so-called Tikchik Mountain, a well- 
known landmark for the natives and other travelers in the region. 

Breaking camp on the Kakhtul September 3, we soon entered the flat 
country where the river, now considerably larger, begins to divide its 
channel as it passes around many small wooded islands. The current 
6389— No. 24—04 2 


[NO. 2-1. 

is swift and the banks show many evidences of rapid dissolution and 
change. Early on the morningof September 4 the mouth of the Tikchik 
River was l cached, and some much-needed provisions obtained at the 
cabin where remnants of the supplies of the defunct Trans-Alaska 
Company were for sale. Below the Tikchik the volume of water is 
much increased. Although there are many islands and long sand bars, 
the water seems to be of a depth sufficient for a small, light-draft 
steamboat, if carefully piloted, to navigate the stream. Although the 
country is for the most part low, the banks of the river, particularly 
on the northwest side, are frequently from 50 to 100 feet high. At 
the village of Kakwok about 25 natives were found, and nearly as 
many more were seen going upstream on hunting trips. They were 
in a very destitute condition, and many were much enfeebled or dis- 
eased. Ikwok, a small collection of igloos and caches a few miles 
above Kakwok, was found deserted, but with evidences of recent 
occupation, probably only temporary, by Kakwok natives. These 
were the only native habitations seen on the river. About 10 miles 
below Kakwok we began to observe indications of tidal influence, 
which, as we proceeded, rapidly became more marked. The lower part 
of the river is not peculiar. Along the banks considerable spruce 
timber is found all the way to Nushagak, though for the last 20 miles 
it is rather small and scattered. Within 30 miles of Nushagak, how- 
ever, there are many good-sized clumps of white spruce, the trees 
averaging about 10 inches in diameter. Similar timber is said to be 
found along Wood River somewhat nearer to Nushagak. Birch and 
poplar are in great abundance, as well as alders and other charac- 
teristic Hudsonian shrubs, wherever conditions meet their various 
individual preferences. 

The estuary of the Nushagak River is a wide bay traversed by swift 
tidal currents. At low water broad mud Hats and long bars are 
exposed, particularly on the east side. Although good-sized vessels 
are able to enter the bay, navigation is difficult. A sandy bluff about 
50 feet high begins a short distance above Nushagak and extends along 
the bay nearly to Point Etolin. Behind this bluff is a rolling country 
of the same general level, largely tundra, but with here and there 
clumps of small spruces. On the opposite shore of the bay consider- 
able timber is seen scattered over low benches and irregular hills, [n 
the distance appears a range of sharp-peaked mountains running about 
north and south, evidently the feeder of the Wood, Snake, and Igushik 
rivers. Late in September this range was covered with snow. Nusha- 
gak, or Fort Alexander, as it was formerly called, is the oldest of some 
eight or nine settlements which are clustered about various salmon 
canneries on the bay. From July to September, while fishing is in 
progress, it is a populous place; but during the remainder of the year 
it is practically a closed port, inhabited only by a half dozen watch- 

hovembee, 1904.] OUTLINE <>K ROUTE. 19 

ben and traders, with the usual parasitic settlement of natives. It 
was formerly one of the best fur-trading stations in Alaska, and, 
indeed, still is, as the business can hardly be said to have decreased 
there more than elsewhere. 


When Nushagak was reached, September 12, all the larger fishing 
boats were found beached and housed in for the winter. No suitable 
sailboats were to be had for the trip across Bristol Bay, and we 
finally decided upon the hazardous undertaking of coasting around 
to Koggiung in our own canoe. By great good fortune, however, a 
small schooner, which had been reported lost, suddenly appeared, and 
passage was engaged to Igagik. Start was made on September 26, 
and the next evening Igagik was reached. Here a salmon cannery is 
situated just inside the mouth of Ugaguk River and surrounded by a 
half dozen rude dwelling houses for the watchmen and a small collection 
of igloos or native huts. The region is low and treeless. 

The Ugaguk River offered no great difficulties, as it is only a little 
more than 40 miles in length, and all but the upper 5 miles is affected by 
the tide. Starting at <3.3<> a. m. on September 29, and stopping a half- 
hour for luncheon, we were still able to make camp only one mile below 
Becharof Lake at 2 p. m. of the same day. The lower partof the Ugaguk 
at flood tide has the appearance of any ordinary tidal slew. It begins 
to look more like a stream about 10 miles above its mouth, where 
there are a few low bluffs, which, however, are not continuous. The 
river is wide and contains many shallow stretches, where long sand- 
bars are doubtless exposed at ebb tide. The banks are lined with low. 
scrubby willows, with now and then a clump of small alders on an 
occasional higher and more protected bank. Often the banks are 
mere swamps only inches or a foot above high-water mark. The 
stream cuts through a ledge of granite just as it issues from Becharof 
Lake. For about three-quarters of a mile the current is very swift, 
and many granite bowlders project above the water. This stretch of 
swift water is called the Ugaguk Rapids. Several days were spent at 
the foot of the rapids, as high winds caused a strong surf to break 
along the beaches at the lower end of Becharof Lake, making it 
impossible to put off in a canoe. The country around the lower end of 
the lake is very desolate. A stretch nearly a mile in width immedi- 
ately bordering the shore consists of sandy, wind-swept dunes almost 
devoid of vegetation except for thin irregular mats here and there on 
protected slopes. Farther back plant growth is more continuous, but 
very depauperate. The chief woody plants are Emju trum and several 
small species of SaMx. 

On October 4, during a temporary lull of the wind, the canoe was 
lined up the rapids and the journey continued around the end of the 


lake to the south shore. After a long* clay of rowing, camp was made 
in a little bay near the northeast base of the volcano called by the 
natives Smoky Mountain. The lake is bordered by an almost con- 
tinuous gravel beach, back of which are bluff-like hills clothed with 
tundra vegetation. Small willows are excessively abundant, and rein- 
deer moss, Labrador tea, and crowberry are in great profusion. The 
alders at this time had shed their leaves, and at a short distance the 
scattered patches had the appearance of burnt ground. The willow 
leaves were turning yellowish, and some of the smaller plants reddish, 
and the whole effect was attractive. Continuing on the second clay 
around the base of the mountain, we passed several stretches of high 
bluffs and rounded two or three rocky points and made camp on a nar- 
row peninsula on the west side of the mouth of the long southern 
arm of the lake. On the following day, having threaded the small 
islands of the south arm, we continued on to the head of the arm 
and up a stream about one mile to a small subcircular lake at the 
base of the coast mountains. The course up Becharof Lake was along 
the south shore, and at no time was it more than a half mile from the 
beach. Along this route the water is seldom more than 15 feet in 
depth. It is very clear and cold, and the bowlder-strewn bottom is 
easiby visible all the way. The region about the head of the arm is 
rather swampy and is characterized by a luxuriant growth of grass 
(A</rostis), which in many cases reaches to a man's shoulders. A small 
collection of native igloos or barabaras is located near the mouth of 
the stream. There is another on the little lake where we camped and 
made ready for the portage across the mountains. These mountains 
form an irregular semicircle about the small lake. They are from 
2,000 to 3,000 feet in height, and are rough and rocky except for the 
first 500 feet, where the rolling slopes are more or less covered with 
grass and dwarf shrubs. 

The portage trail runs from the east side of the small lake across a 
half mile of swamp, and thence up about 1,000 feet, traversing a 
rocky pass and continuing on down over more rocks to the native vil- 
lage of Kanatak, situated just above high-water mark on the bay of 
the same name. This bay is frequently called Portage Bay, which 
seems ill-advised on account of the existence of a better known Port- 
age Bay farther west on the same coast. Two days of hard work in 
stormy weather sufficed to transport impedimenta to Kanatak. A 
small rowboat was immediately loaded, and we coasted around the 
rocky shore of Shelikof Strait to Cold Bay, as this was the only 
hope of securing passage on the southbound mail steamer. Cold Bay 
was reached on October 13 after a hard passage and a very narrow escape 
in a sudden storm off Cape Kanatak. Here we waited until October 26, 
when the steamer arrived, being hospitably entertained meanwhile by 

North American Fauna, No. 24. 

Plate VI. 

Fig. 1 .—Mountains near Cold Bay. 

Fig. 2.— Mountains near Kanatak. 


Mr. J. H. Lee, who had charge of a small camp engaged in Locating 
petroleum lands. Cold Bay is surrounded by bleak-looking mountains, 
in many places stoop and bare, exposing sandstones and conglomerates 
(PL VI, tig - . 1). A scanty growth of alder and willow is found along 
some of the streams, which arc short, swift, and shallow. At the head 
of the bay there is a small area of lev T el ground of a swampy nature. 
The hillside blanket of tundra vegetation is very thin, and the gravel 
or shingle beneath shows through in many places. Several low pas-< ■- 
exist near Cold Bay, from which one looks down over a gently undu- 
lating descent to Becharof Lake, beyond which looms the snowy cap 
of the Smoky Mountain. 


Practically all the region under consideration in the present paper 
lies along the border of the Hudsonian and Arctic zones. By using 
the actual limits of coniferous trees as a guide, the Arctic and Hud- 
sonian may be sharply dehned. The Arctic occupies the main part 
of the Alaska Peninsula southwest of the vicinity of Naknek Lake, 
together with a narrow strip northward along the coast of Bristol Bay 
and Bering Sea^' the Hudsonian, stretches over the region to the 
northward on the mainland. Throughout most of the part which may 
be assigned to the Hudsonian there are frequent occurrences of appar- 
ent Arctic intrusions in so-called faunal islands. Tundra conditions, 
in more or less insular form, occur throughout the Hudsonian zone, 
and in this border country are merely more numerous and extensive 
than farther south. By tundra is meant absolutely treeless country, 
where vegetation forms a thick mat consisting largely of mosses, 
lichens, saxifrages, dwarf willows, and such small plants as Empe- 
trum, Ledum, Andromeda, Chamaeeistits, Vaccini/wm, Arctos, and 
Dryas. Throughout the Hudsonian of this region such tundra is 
found in patches varying in size from a few acres to several square 
miles. About the upper end of Lake Iliamna, which may be regarded 
as a timbered region, there is considerable tundra, and the lower end 
of Lake Clark presents similar conditions. The valley of the Chulitna 
River, though containing much timber, some of it of fair size, is 
largeh r a tundra region, except along the immediate border of the 
stream and its more important affluents. Along the Nushagak drain- 
age the .subordination of the forest is still more pronounced, and the 
coniferous trees are strung out in thin lines confined to the very banks 
of the water courses. The accompanying map (PL VII), intended to 
indicate the limits of the coniferous forest, obviously fails, in the 
nature of the case, to show this mixture of forest and tundra, and pre- 

«The extension of the Arctic zone to Bristol Bay was recognized by Nelson in 
1887, when an 'Alaskan-Arctic' was defined to include the 'treeless coast belt.' 
(See Natural History Collections in Alaska, U. S. War Dept, pp. 27-32, 1887.) 


scuts only a somewhat generalized boundary along the front of the 
region in which timber grows." 

The Arctic and Iludsoniun faunas appear to coincide reasonably well 
with the limits of the treeless and timbered regions. This delimita- 
tion of the coniferous trees, therefore, may fairly be used to mark the 
boundary between the Arctic and Hudsonian zones. Of the mammals 
found in the treeless region about Bristol Bay and the base of the 
Alaska Peninsula, the most characteristic Arctic species are the pied 
lemming (Dicrostonyor), the Arctic hare (Lepus othui), and the Arctic 
fox ( Vulpes lagopus subsp.). Besides these, the following marine 
Arctic mammals which occur along the coast should be mentioned: 
Delphinapterus, Balsena, Erignathm, and Odob&nus. Among Arctic 
birds known to breed as far south as Nushagak are: Stercora/rvus para- 
siticus, Poly sticta stelleri, Somateria v-nigra, S. speetabilis, Charad/rius 
d. fnhms, Sqwitarola squatarola, Crymophilus fulicarius, Lagopus 
lagopus, Acanthis h. exilipes, A. I. holbazlli, Calcarim I. alascenxls, 
Passerhta nivalis, and Budytesf. alascensis. 

The Hudsonian division of the region of the base of the peninsula 
has in general the same fauna found throughout this zone in Alaska. 
Practically the entire fauna reaches to the very edge 'of the zone — that 
is, to the limit of coniferous trees. Some genera, and doubtless also 
some species, extend into the Arctic for considerable distances or 
throughout. Among these genera are Citellus, Evotomys, JHficrotus, 
Rangifer, Gulo, Lutra, Putorius, and Sorex. Such forms are very 
wide-ranging, for, as has been stated in a previous paper, 6 the fauna 
of the Hudsonian zone in Alaska is not characterized by peculiar 
forms, but consists largely of genera, and in many cases of species, 
which continue on from the Canadian. Those common to the Arctic 
and Hudsonian, therefore, also occur in the Canadian and are common 
to all three. Among Hudsonian genera of mammals which do not 
enter the Arctic in this region are Sciurus, Synaptomys, Mustela, and 
Ursus (subgenus Euarctos). 

The distribution of the races of native people in this region shows 
an interesting agreement with that of the plants and lower animals. 
The true Eskimos extend down the coast of Bering Sea to the vicinity 
of Nushagak, and are represented on the peninsula by the Aleuts, who 
are generally regarded as modified Eskimos. The Indians of undoubt ed 
derivation from pure Athabascan stock occupy the greater part of the 
region here assigned to the Hudsonian. At present Eskimos, Aleuts, 
and Indians arc much mixed in the vicinity of the base of the penin- 
sula. Under more primitive conditions the Eskimo tribes undoubt- 

«For information as to forest conditions in various parts of the region not visited 
by our party in 1902, T am indebted to L. L. Bales, of Seattle, Wash., and to A. (i. 

B North American Fauna, No. 21. p. 59, 1901. 


edly occupied the Arctic zone almost exclusively, while the Indians 
remained in the timbered Hudsonian region." 

"The boundaries of the several zones rarely coincide with absolute 
mechanical barriers, being- fixed in the main by temperature." h In the 
case of the Hudsonian and the Arctic, the line between the timbered 
and the treeless regions offers a sharp boundary which, with regard to 
the respective faunas, seems to be effective to a considerable degree. 
So far as the region immediately adjacent on either side of this 
boundary is concerned, it seems probable that temperature is not so 
effective in restricting the faunas as the local environment, That is, 
the animals peculiar to the treeless Arctic and those characteristic of 
the timbered Hudsonian, while doubtless restricted to their general 
ranges by temperature, are confined in the vicinity of the boundar}^ 
respectively, to the Arctic because it is treeless, and to the Hudsonian 
because it is timbered, rather than as the result of any appreciable 
difference in temperature on either side of the dividing line. Along 
the boundary line between two zones where there are no important 
controlling factors except temperature, there is usually a belt in which 
occurs an overlapping of animal forms. This overlapping between 
the Hudsonian and Arctic zones is minimized by the difference in 
external conditions other than temperature. For the general areas of 
the two zones, temperature is of course the chief controlling factor. 
Points on the Yukon River in the heart of the Alaska Hudsonian, for 
example, are known to be decidedly different from points in the 
Arctic like St. Michael, both in respect to the hottest part of the year 
and to the total quantity of effective heat. Although there are no 
records in confirmation, it hardly seems possible that there is a cor- 
responding or even an appreciable difference of this sort between the 
timbered Hudsonian around Lake Clark, for example, and the treeless 
Arctic region around Becharof Lake/ 

The coniferous trees themselves are doubtless in the same manner 
restricted in their general range by temperature, but along their 
extreme limits other factors must have considerable effect upon them. 
This is particularly true in the Alaska Peninsula region where the 
limit is a southern rather than a northern one. Just what are all the 
causes determining the nonexistence of coniferous trees on the greater 

" See Nelson, The Eskimo About Bering Strait, 18th Ann. Rept. Eur. Am. Ethnology, 
p. 23, 1900, in which it is stated that "the western Eskimo described in the present 
work is found mainly within the limits of the area which I have designated else- 
where as the Alaskan-Arctic district." 

'' Merriam, Laws of Temperature Control of the Geographic Distribution of Ter- 
restrial Animals and Plants. < Nat. Geog. Mag., VI, p. 230, 1S94. 

c St. Michael and Holy Cross Mission, for which there are some temperature rec- 
ords, occupy nearly the same relative positions, one being on the treeless coast anil 
the other just within the timber limits. The difference in their effective tempera- 
tures is practically nil. 


part of the peninsula can hardly be ascertained until more work is done. 
Possibly one of the most effective checks to the extension of timber 
southward is the prevalence of wind and storm regardless of tempera- 
ture. The topography and situation of the peninsula are most favor- 
able for stormy weather. Being long and narrow, with a ridge of 
high mountains extending throughout its length, and situated as it is 
between Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, it must necessarily 
receive at nearly all seasons the force of many atmospheric disturb- 
ances. In the fall it is swept by fierce winds, whether the temperature 
be moderate or not. Such conditions would restrict arborescent vege- 
tation in almost any latitude. It is possible that, in spite of these 
adverse circumstances, the timber may be advancing along the penin- 
sula and that it may ultimately extend much farther than now. There 
are, of course, no data on this subject; and any such would be difficult 
to obtain, for the growth of individual trees is extremely slow and any 
general movement could scarcely be detected except by observations 
at great intervals. 

A more extended study of the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian 
Islands southwest of it may show that the region as a whole merits 
recognition as a separate faunal district, but if so it will certainly be 
as a subdivision of the Arctic. Such a district was recognized by 
Nelson, a but the animals noted as characteristic are merely geographic 
forms of well-distributed mainland genera and species, chiefly pro- 
duced by isolation, and not such as could be used safely to characterize 
anything more than a district of subordinate rank. 

Although the mean annual temperature of the peninsula and Aleu- 
tian region is much higher than that of the more northern treeless 
region, the effective temperatures do not differ to any degree. For- 
tunately there are observations enough to make this reasonably cer- 
tain. Unalaska may be taken to represent the peninsula and Aleutian 
region, and St. Michael the undoubted Arctic farther north. The 
means for the four hottest months (June, July, August, and Septem- 
ber) at St. Michael are as follows: 46.3 J , 53.6°, 51.9°, and 43.9° F. 
For the same months at Unalaska: 46.3°, 50.6°, 51.1) , and 45.5° F. 
These records were based on eleven years' observations at St. Michael 
and six years at Unalaska. 6 From this it appears that the tempera- 
ture of the hottest part of the year is practically the same at the two 
places. Moreover, these four months are the only ones at either 
locality in which the mean temperature exceeds the minimum of 6° C. 
(= 42.8° F.).' Therefore the total quantity of effective heat is essen- 
tially the same.'' 

« Natural History Collections in Alaska. U. S. War Dept., p. 27, 1887. 
b Henry, Climate of Alaska, Bui. No. 62, Office Exp. Stations, U. S. Dept. Agri- 
culture, p. 51, 1899. 

c See Merriain, Laws of Temperature Control, loc. cit., p. 231. 

<^It would be slightly different if the minimum were reduced from 6° C. to 0° C. 

Fauna No. 24. 

Dotted area represents Arctic zone beyond limit of conifers. Undotted area represents Hudsonian zone characterized by coniferous trees. 

NOVEMBER, 1901. 


In consideration of this agreement of effective temperatures and the 
occurrence of numerous, distinctly arctic mammals and birds, it seems 
safe to include the Alaska Peninsula, particularly the northeastern 
part of it, in the unqualified Arctic Zone. 


Nushagak, or Fort Alexander, as it was known formerly, was one of 
the early stations of the Signal Service of the United States Army in 
Alaska. Through the well-directed efforts of Prof. Spencer F. Baird, 
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the observers selected for 
these stations were young men interested in natural history and quali- 
fied to make 'good use of valuable opportunities during the time not 
devoted to meteorological work. Under orders issued April 11, 188 1 . 
C. L. McKay was sent to establish the station at Fort Alexander. 
For the two years following he spent considerable time in natural his- 
tory work, and made valuable collections in several branches. On April 
19, 1883, he went out on the bay with some natives in a small boat, 
and in some mysterious manner the craft was capsized and the unfor- 
tunate naturalist drowned." His collection of birds and mammals, 
numbering about 100 specimens, was transmitted to the National 
Museum, where many of them are still preserved, while others 
have been distributed or sent in exchange to other institutions. The 
mammals numbered 59 specimens belonging to 23 species as recog- 
nized by F. W. True, who published a briefly annotated list of them in 
1886. 6 Those of importance have been referred to again in the present 
paper. No account of the collection of birds as a whole has been pub- 
lished, but scattered references to various species have appeared from 
time to time, usually in lists of specimens. The entire collection was 
recorded in the National Museum catalogues, however, and so far as 
there are specimens for confirmation, the specific names entered are 
nearly all correct. 

Since it relates to the same region in which McKay worked, this 
paper contains frequent references to his specimens, particularly in 
the cases in which his work supplemented my own. Such instances 
are quite numerous in the case of birds, owing to McKay's oppor- 
tunities for collecting at all seasons. Among many interesting spe- 
cies in his collection was the beautiful snowtlake {Passerina hyper- 
borea), which is now called the McKay snowtlake. His botanical 
specimens also went to the National Museum, and formed the basis of 
a list of 123 species published in 1885 by Dr. F. H. Knowlton.'' 
McKay was unquestionably a careful and enthusiastic collector, and his 

« Rumor at Nushagak still persists to the effect that the drowning of .McKay was 
brought about by foul means. 

&Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., IX, pp. 221-224, October/ 1886. 
fProc. U. 8. Nat. Mus., VIII, pp. 213-221, L885. 


accidental death at an early age was a distinct loss to science. He evi- 
dently made numerous short excursions from Nushagak, and among 
the localities thus visited were Lake Aleknagik and Ugasbik. He also 
made a trip over a considerable part of the route traveled by our party. 
He visited Lake Iliamna and Iliamna Village, and, according to an 
account received from a native, crossed the Chulitna portage. By a 
strange coincidence, the same native who, as a young man, accom- 
panied McKay on this trip, went with us from Lake Clark to Swan 
Lake, and related to us various incidents of the trip made twenty 
years before. By another coincidence, while at Nushagak we lodged 
in the old log house which was the home of McKay. On some shelves 
in one of the rooms we found, still untouched, several pounds of his 
arsenic and some of the old station records of his meteorological work. 

McKay was succeeded by J. W. Johnson, who was ordered from 
Washington, D. C, to Fort Alexander, on April 21, 1884, and directed 
to return from there April 12, 1880. Johnson made natural history 
collections, including 125 specimens of birds, which were sent to the 
National Museum. In all important cases these have been recorded 
in the present list. 

Aside from the natural history work of McKay and Johnson, noth- 
ing of importance, previous to 11)02, was done anywhere in the region 
of the base of the Alaska Peninsula. 


?Balsena sieboldi (Gray). Pacific Right Whale. 

The carcass of some species of baleen whale was washed ashore 
early in September, 1902, between Kanatak and Wide Bay. When 
we arrived at Kanatak the natives had secured great quantities of the 
blubber. This they had cut in strips and chunks and hung up in most 
of the available places about the village. Our natives, who came with 
us from Igagik, were much elated at the chance of securing some of 
the blubber. They lost no time in bargaining for a small quantity, 
which they carried back with them, intending to use the oil to grease 
their bidarkas. For this purpose they say it is far superior to the 
seal oil, which they ordinarily use. Two white men from Cold Bay 
visited the carcass and secured the baleen from one side of the jaw, 
the other half having been washed awa}^. The}^ estimated by pacing 
that the animal was about 63 feet in length. The baleen was rather 
coarse and short, the largest pieces being not more than 2 feet in 
length. The amount secured weighed approximately 250 pounds. 

Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas). White Whale. 

White whales or belugas often come into the mouth of the Nushagak 
River or the neighboring small bays in pursuit of salmon, on which it 
is said they feed quite extensively. When a school appears, the 
natives become much excited and make every effort .to secure as many 
as possible. The skins of the belugas are highly valued, particularly 
for covering kyaks and bidarkas. Belugas are said to occur also on 
the south side of the peninsula, about the mouth of Cook Inlet. 

Phocsena phocaena (Linn). Harbor Porpoise. 

Two skulls of the common harbor porpoise, secured from the natives 
of Kanatak, were added to our collection by A. G. Maddren in the fall 
of 1903. So far as I can learn, this is the most northerly record of 
this species on the Pacific coast. 

Rangifer granti Allen. Peninsula Caribou. 

Signs of caribou were seen at the upper end of Lake Clark, along 
the Chulitna and Kakhtul rivers, and near Becharof Lake. The 
animals were formerly very abundant in all this region, but are now 
much reduced in numbers. Their distribution, however, is undoubtedly 
continuous from the peninsula to the mainland of Alaska by way of 



the region of hikes Iliamna and Clark, and the idea that the supposed 
species granti is entirely isolated from the other caribou of Alaska is 
unquestionably erroneous." The few tracks of caribou seen were those 
of solitary individuals or of very small bands of five or six. Several 
caribou were killed by natives in July, 1902, some 20 miles northwest 
of Keejik, Lake Clark. One was also killed in July by a prospector 
about 15 miles northeast of Cold Bay. During- the winter of 1901 a 
herd of 20 was seen by natives between Becharof and Ugashik lakes, 
and several were killed, and in the winter of 1902-3, 7 were killed 
on Becharof Lake near Smoky Mountain. Two skulls, labeled ' Nush- 
agak,' secured by McKay in 1882, are in the National Museum. They 
were doubtless procured b}^ natives at some distance from Nushagak. 
A party of natives, encamped near us at the mouth of Becharof Lake, 
were engaged, in the latter part of September, in a caribou hunt. Dur- 
ing two weeks of steady work six hunters succeeded in killing a total 
of 6 animals. Their method is a lazy one, but with unlimited time 
gives a fair degree of success. They built a small, innocent-looking 
cairn of rocks on the summit of a hill a few hundred yards from their 
camp, to which one of them would go every hour or two and scan the 
surrounding country. In case a caribou was sighted, the whole party 
would then go out to stalk it. The animals are very light-colored at 
this season and are easily seen at a long distance. 

The large herds which occur farther west on the peninsula do not, 
as a rule, come as far east as Becharof Lake, although small herds are 
scattered all along. These herds are being rapidly killed off both by 
white men and natives, au-d at the present rate the caribou of the 
Alaska Peninsula bid fair to be exterminated in a comparatively short 
time. Nearly the year round they are brought in regularly to all the 
mining and fishing camps along the peninsula, being hunted not only 
for their flesh but also for their skins, which are in great demand. 
The mail steamer which runs along the south side of the peninsula 
takes on a supply of caribou meat on nearly every trip. The animals 
are usually killed in the Port Moller region, and the carcasses taken 
to the mining village of Unga, where the steamer makes regular stops. 
On the October run. when I was a passenger, caribou chops, roasts, 
and stews were a feature of the bill of fare. On each trip since then 
a good supply has been on board. On the December run 9 carcasses 
were secured at Unga for consumption on the vessel, and in January 
about the same number were consumed, as I am informed from reliable 
sources. In September, 1902, a trading post was established atUnan- 
gashik, east of Port Moller, on the north side of the peninsula, for the 
express purpose of trading for caribou skins. A stock of goods rep- 
resenting an investment of about $1,000 was put in, and a man placed 

«See Allen, Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XVI, p. L27, March 31, 1902, and Grant, 
7th Ann. Rep. X. V. Zool. Soc, ]». 15, 1902. 

NOVEMBER, 1904. 


in charge. One of the employees of the proprietor of this station 
informed me that the receipt of about 1,000 caribou skins was confi- 
dently expected during- the following year. Since then I have learned 
that approximately 500 caribou were killed by the natives of Unanga- 
shik between October 1, 1902, and May 1, 1903, and the skins disposed 
of to the trader. These skins are not shipped out of the country, so 
the traffic in them is only locally known. The trader pays about $1 in 
trade fer a skin, which is worth to him from $2 to $5. The skin of 
the body is widely used for clothing and bedding material. The short- 
haired skin of the legs is especially desired for making the tops of the 
skin boots which are very extensively used by natives and whites alike. 
This traffic is carried on openly. The occasional killing of caribou 
out of season by natives and prospecting parties can not be stopped, 
nor does it seem necessary that it should be. If the wholesale traffic 
in meat and hides, however, is not checked, the animals are surely 
doomed to speedy extinction. 

The Aleut name for the caribou is Toontoo; the Indians call it Budga. 

Alee americanus gigas (Miller). Alaska Moose. 

Moose arc found in comparatively small numbers in the region of 
Lakes Iliamna and Clark. Near the head of Lake Clark two weather- 
beaten shed antlers were found on a wooded flat, and old tracks of one 
animal were seen near there. The natives say that moose are not 
often killed in this vicinity and were 1 not abundant in times past. We 
saw more signs of them on the upper Chulitna River, where in several 
places near the portage to Swan Lake fresh tracks were found in the 
soft mud on the banks of small streams. A few signs were also seen 
on the Kakhtul River. The natives of Nushagak frequently go up 
the Nushagak River on hunting trips, but do not often bring back 
moose, as caribou and smaller game are much more abundant. Moose 
are scatteringly distributed on the Alaska Peninsula and extend farther 
west than has been generally supposed. In a native's camp on the 
Igaguk River I saw fresh meat and pieces of the skin of a moose 
which was killed about October 1 on the upper waters of the King 
Salmon River, a northeastern tributary of the Ugaguk. One of our 
guides, an intelligent half-breed from Igagik, said that he killed two 
small moose near the Ugashik lakes in the fall of 1901. During the 
spring of 1903 A. G. Maddren received reports that nearly 20 moose 
were killed by natives in the vicinity of the Naknek River. A moose 
was said to have been killed several years before as far west as Port 
Moller, but no confirmation of the report could be obtained. There 
is no spruce timber near any of these localities except the Naknek 
River, and very little there. Along the King Salmon River and 
about the Ugashik lakes, however, there is a considerable growth of 
poplar and willow and possibly some birch, and the moose are found 


there regularly. It" they ever do occur as far west as Port Moller, 
it must be only as stragglers. As to the westward distribution of 
the moose, Mr. Maddren, from his experience in 1903, writes as 

In regard to the moose extending down the peninsula beyond the limit of spruce, 
it seems to me their range is governed by the limits of the birch which they eat. 
Birch extends beyond the limits of the spruce, growing thickly on the Naknek 
River and over into the valley of the King Salmon. This is practically the limit of 
moose range, though a few may wander down south of Becharof as stragglers, but 
no quantity of birch grows south of Becharof Lake. 

The Indians of Iliamna call the moose Kochtai, and the Aleuts at 
Igagik have it Toondookbuk. 

Ovis dalli kenaiensis Allen. Kenai Sheep. 

White sheep are found in small numbers in the mountains between 
Lake Clark and Cook Inlet, and are probably more or less continuously 
distributed from there northward along the Alaskan Range. They 
are not reported from the mountains near Iliamna Bay, so it is prob- 
able that they do not occur farther west than the vicinity of Lake 
Clark. In winter they are said to come to the mountains immediately 
bordering Lake Clark, but at the time of our visit, in July, they had 
crossed to the next range to the eastward. I found one old weather- 
beaten skull in the mountains near the head of the lake. Two speci- 
mens are in the National Museuin, collected by McKay in the 'Chig- 
mit Mts.' This locality perhaps refers to the mountains near Iliamna 
Village, where it is probable McKay obtained the specimens from 
the natives. I have examined one of these specimens and tind it refer- 
able to the subspecies kenaiensis rather than to true dalU. 0. d. 
h nan mis appears to possess other characters besides the slight cranial 
peculiarities noted in the original description." Most noticeable of 
these is the color of the upper side of the tail, which is dusky or 
brownish in true dalli and pure white in kenaiensis. The horns of 
kenait nsis average thicker at the base, particularly on the lower side, 
and less divergent at the tips than in dalli. I have not examined 
specimens of kenaiensis in all pelages, but in those seen there is no 
mixture of dusky hairs on the back and sides as in dalU, the pelage 
being entirely pure white except for extraneous stains. 

The Indians of Lake Clark call the white sheep Nootyee. 

Sciurus hudsonicus Erxleben. Hudson Bay Red Squirrel. 

Red squirrels were found sparingly in the timbered regions. Their 
characteristic nests were seen only occasionally, and their chattering 
calls, usually such a feature of travel in the northern woods, were not 
often heard. This scarcity of red squirrels is doubtless because they 
reach the extreme western limit of their range in this region. Speci- 

a Allen, Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XVI, p. 145, April 23, 1902. 

November, 1904.] MAMMALS. 31 

mens were taken at the following localities: Nogheling Portage, Lake 
Clark (near head), mouth of Chulitna River, Neekahweena Lake south 
fork Chulitna River, Kakhtul River (near Malchatna junction). These 
are all referable without hesitation to true Scivms hudsonicus. 
The Indians of Lake Clark call the red squirrel Tsilkar. 

Citellus plesius ablusus Osgood. Nushagak Ground Squirrel. 

Otellus plesius ablusw Osgood, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XVI, pp. 25-26, Mar. 19, 

Spermophiles were found on the higher ground all along our route. 
The Hist seen were on the hillsides on the north side of Iliamna Pass, 
some in comparatively bare rocky places and others in little swales 
where the tall grass partly sheltered them from view. They were not 
found in the low country in the immediate vicinity of Iliamna Village, 
nor between there and the upper part of Lake Clark. Scattering indi- 
viduals were found on the mountains about the head of Lake Clark, 
and a few specimens were taken there. A few pairs were found occu- 
pying a short stretch of beach on Lake Clark, where their burrows 
were made in sandy sediment so soft and tine as to seem almost imprac- 
ticable for the purpose. They also occur on the hills back of Keejik, 
whence one specimen was brought by an Indian boy who had been 
keeping it as a pet. Spermophiles were not seen along the Chulitna 
River, which Hows through low. swampy country, but the natives 
report their occurrence on most of the higher ground in the vicinity. 

Several small mountains, visible from Neekahweena Lake, are said 
to be inhabited by spermophiles of a larger size than those ordinarily 
found in the region, and therefore particularly sought by the natives. 
A more or less continuous colony of several hundred individuals was 
found about the Chulitna-Swan portage, extending from the north 
slopes of the ' Portage Mountain ' around the upper end of Swan Lake. 
Several specimens were taken there. Others were taken on low hills 
near the Kakhtul River, and again at Nushagak and Cold Bay. In 
1903, A. G. Maddren secured others in the Becharof Lake region. At 
Nushagak spermophiles were found on sandy bluffs along the river. 
Their burrows frequently opened on the side of the bank, 2 or 3 feet 
below- the top. and trails from them led to the top and down the bank 
to the narrow beach. Sometimes the animals were seen sitting in front 
of such burrows, where they commanded a wide view over the water, 
and barked vigorously at passing boats. At other times they were 
startled on the beach, or even on the tidal mud flats, when they would 
scurry in great alarm up the side of the bluff to their burrows. Sev- 
eral living specimens from this colony at Nushagak were taken to 
Unalaskaand liberated some years ago by Mr. Samuel Applegate, of 
the United States Signal Service. The colony has since prospered, 
and numerous specimens have been secured for the United States 


National Museum by various Government parties. Specimens taken 
on Lake Clark in July are in a fresh but short-haired pelage; those 
taken in late August and early September are changing 1 to a much 
longer, fuller pelage, in which the buffy colors are reduced in intensity 
or replaced b} T grays. October specimens from Cold Bay are entirely 
changed and the buffy under color of the preceding pelage has been 
entirely replaced by grayish white. The Cold Bay specimens are not 
typical ablusus, but at present can be referred to no other form. The 
animals were more or less active at Cold Bay as late as October 18, 
although comparatively cold weather was prevailing. Six adults were 
weighed before skinning, with the following results: Males, 1^ pounds, 
li pounds, li pounds; females, 1£ pounds, 14 ounces, 14 ounces/' 

In the Aleut dialect, sometimes used by the natives at Iliamna vil- 
lage, the spermophile is called Ananuchgh; in the Kenai Indian of the 
same place, Koonschar; and in the dialect spoken at Igagik, Kananuk. 

Marmota caligata (Eschscholtz). Hoary Marmot. 

The 'whistler' is said to occur on the mountains about Iliamna Bay 
and is also reported from the hills back of Keejik on Lake Clark. 
We failed, however, to find it on the mountains around the head of 
the lake. It lives in small colonies, and may be abundant on one par- 
ticular mountain and entirely absent from all the others in the vicin- 
ity. A solitary mountain visible from Neekahweena Lake is said to 
support such a colon}^, and others are said to occur similarly on indi- 
vidual mountains near Kanatak and Cold Bay. One specimen, a skull 
from Kanatak procured by W. J. Fisher of Kodiak, is in the Bio- 
logical Survey collection, and 16 others from the same locality are 
among the specimens received from the Kanatak natives by A. G. 
Maddren. McKay's collection contained two specimens from Aleknagik 

The Indian name for this species is Skootlah, and the Aleuts call it 
Chigighbuk and Kanganughbuk. 

Castor canadensis Kuhl. Beaver. 

Three beaver lodges, evidently being used, were seen on the Chu- 
litna River, two on the lower river below Neekahweena Lake, and one 
on the south fork near the Swan portage. Tracks in soft mud banks 
and fresh cuttings of alder and willow bushes were seen quite fre- 
quently. We had no large traps, and time was very valuable, so no 
attempt was made to trap the animals, although several unsuccessful 
nocturnal expeditions were made in (he hope of obtaining a shot at one. 
The lodges were small and perhaps occupied temporarily, each by only 
one animal. They were roughly dome-shaped, about <'> feet in diame- 
ter and 3 to 1 feet high, having been excavated on the inside some- 

° These weights, as well as those of other species, \ eresecured with spring scales, 
which have been carefully tested and found to lie reasonably accurate. 

November, 1904.] MAMMALS. 33 

what below the level of the top of the bank. The mud floor sloped 
toward the exit, which seemed barely large enough to admit a medium- 
sized beaver. There was no air of coziness about the interior, as all 
was cold, dark, and wet. The extensive region of low land about the 
sources of the Chulitna River is covered with hundreds of small lakes 
and ponds connected in most cases by small, sluggish streams emi- 
nently suitable for beavers, and no doubt a great many are still scattered 
throughout this area. Our natives noted the location of the lodges 
with a look in their eyes that meant a return when the season was 
more favorable for trapping, and no doubt a few weeks later they were 
doing their best to thin out the remaining animals. No signs of 
beaver were seen on the Swan and Kakhtul rivers, but the animals 
are said to occur on some of the smaller streams in the vicinity. A 
small isolated colon}" still exists high up on the side of the Smoky 
Mountain or Mount Peulik, near Becharof Lake. Specimens of skulls 
from this mountain were secured from natives. A small number of 
skins are brought annually to the trader at Nushagak. 

The Aleut name for beaver is Parluktuk; the Indians call it simply 

[Mus norvegicus Erxleben. Norway Rat. 

Although large sailing vessels have been visiting Nushagak for a 
number of years, rats have seldom escaped from them, since there are 
no wharves, and anchorage is at some distance from shore. A few, 
however, have sometimes been found about the warehouses and lum- 
ber piles, but thev have never become established.] 

Evotomys dawsoni Merriam. Dawson Red-backed Mouse. 

Red- backed mice were found in abundance at all points visited, and 
a large series of specimens was collected. They seem to be the most 
universally distributed of any of the mice of the North, not only rang- 
ing over a great area, but occupying every variety of local habitat 
within this range. Thus they replace in the North the ubiquitous 
white-footed mice of more southern distribution. In a good-sized 
series, mainly from Iliamna Village, Kakhtul River, and Nushagak, 
there are some slight and inconstant variations in cranial characters, 
but taken collectively specimens from this region do not materially 
differ from supposed typical dawsoni f rom the upper Yukon River. 
Nushagak specimens, as a rule, have slightly shorter and broader 
nasals than Yukon specimens, but individual variation in this respect 
is considerable. A small series from the Ugaguk River near the out- 
let of Becharof Lake are uniformly of small size, indicating the pos- 
sible existence of a peninsular form, the validity of which may be 
established by future collections from more western parts of the 
Alaska Peninsula. .In connection with the identification of the Nusha- 
6389— No. 24—04 3 


gak series, all the immediately available specimens from northern 
Alaska were examined, several hundred in number. From a study of 
these it appears that the slight cranial peculiarities supposed to char- 
acterize specimens from St. Michael, which have been called alascensis, 
are covered by individual variation. Indeed, this variation, upon 
reexamination, is found to exist in the St. Michael series itself, so that 
alascensis should be considered a s}^nonym of dawsoni. The reference 
of Nushagak specimens to dawsoni, therefore, is not unwarranted by 
geographical considerations. Throughout the series examined there 
is extremely little variation in color. The winter pelage is shown by 
October specimens from the Ugaguk River, Becharof Lake, and Cold 
Bay. It is brighter and clearer reddish on the back and paler on the 
sides than the preceding pelage. 

Microtus operarius kadiacensis (Merriam). Kodiak Vole. 

Voles of the ''operarius group' were found all along our route, but 
were rather uncommon except at Nushagak and the region immediately 
surrounding the mouth of the Nushagak River. Specimens were 
taken at the following localities: lliamna Bay, Iliamna Village, Lake 
Ilianma at Nogheling Portage, head of Nogheling River, mouth of 
Chulitna River, head of Chulitna River, Kakhtul River, Kakwok, 
Nushagak, Becharof Lake, and Cold Bay. At Nushagak they were 
exceedingly abundant and fairly swarmed about the houses in the 
village as well as in much of the surrounding country. They invade 
the vegetable gardens and do considerable damage, particularly to 
potatoes, which the} 7 dig out and carry to underground storehouses. 
The Indian boys at Kanulik, near Nushagak, found several of these 
places well filled with small potatoes. The trails of the voles and the 
small mounds of earth in front of their burrows were found from the 
hillsides to within a few feet of high-water mark on the beach. It 
was scarcely possible to walk 50 yards anywhere in the vicinity of the 
village without encountering signs of them. Evidently they continue 
to breed until the beginning of winter weather, as small young were 
taken in September. One very tiny little fellow was found one cold, 
raiiry evening, doubtless having wandered so far from the nest that he 
was unable to find his wav back. He was so small that his weight was 
easily supported by the blade of coarse grass on which he was perched. 
A large series of specimens was taken at Nushagak, and scattering 
individuals at other points along the route. All of these seem to be 
more similar to kadiacensis than to typical operarius, though to a slight 
extent they partake of the characters of each. From the examination 
of a very large series of both it appears that in color operarius and 
kadiacensis are absolutely alike, and that in cranial characters they are 
very closely related. The cranial characters are not invariable, but 
seem to hold true in the majority of cases. In kadiacensis the skull 


is larger, slightly wider, the audital bullae are a trifle larger, and the 
teeth are larger. The Nushagak specimens are fully equal in size to 
those from Kodiak, and have large teeth as well. The audital bulhe 
average slightly smaller than in Kodiak specimens, possibly on account 
of a tendency toward typical operarius. 

Microtus pennsylvanicus drummondi (Aud. & Bach.). Drummond Vole. 
The Drummond vole was found to be rather rare in the region we 
worked. One specimen was taken on Lake Clark, near Keejik, 5 near 
the mouth of the Chulitna River, and one on the Kakhtul River, near 
its junction with the Malchatna. These localities doubtless represent 
the extreme western limit of the range of the species, from which it 
m&y safely be assumed that it is found over the large area between 
Lake Clark and the Yukon, along the drainage systems of the Kus- 
kokwim andTanana. The western specimens are typical druinmondi, 
and agree perfectly with others from the Yukon River previously 
referred to this species. 

Fiber spatulatus Osgood. Northwest Muskrat. 

Muskrats are common in suitable localities throughout the region. 
Conditions are particularly favorable for them in the wide expanse of 
grassy swamp just above the mouth of the Chulitna River. Several 
were seen swimming along the bank in this vicinity, and also at other 
points on the river. Specimens were taken near the head of Lake 
Clark, at the mouth of the Chulitna River, and near the head of Becharof 
Lake. They are said to be very abundant at some points not far from 
Nushagak and on one or two of the smaller tributaries of the Ugaguk 
River. Specimens were taken by McKay at Nushagak and Ugashik, 
and 11 complete specimens from Becharof Lake were secured in 1903 
b} T A. G. Maddren. The measurements of an adult male from Lake 
Clark are as follows: Total length, 512; tail vertebrae, 225; hind foot, 
69. The weights of 2 females are If pounds and 2f pounds, 

In Aleut, as spoken at Iliamna Village, the muskrat is called Elig- 
wagh; as spoken at Igagik, it is Kughwa'luk, and in the Kenai of the 
Lake Clark Indians it is Toochoodah. 

Synaptomys dalli Merriam. Dall Lemming Mouse. 

Our first night's trapping at Iliamna village yielded several lem- 
ming mice and later more were taken at the same place. They were 
again found near the mouth of the Chulitna River, near the head of 
the south branch of the Chulitna River and on the Nushagak River 
near Kakwok. They were usually found in small colonies in very wet 
swampy places, preferably in wet moss. They undoubtedly make 
their own runways, but share them to some extent with Microtus and 
Evotomys. It was generally possible to distinguish their runways 


from those of Microfrm by their slightly smaller diameter and lr\ r their 
situation in moss rather than grass and weeds. In one place near the 
mouth of the Chulitna River they occupied a small boggy place which 
had become partially filled with decaying logs and dead branches over- 
grown with moss. Their runways perforated the entire mass in all 
directions, taking advantage of the situation at every possible point. 

In our entire series of 21 specimens nearly all ages are represented, 
from young just out of the nest to very old, battle-scarred males. 
They show but little variation in color. Some of the slightly imma- 
ture ones have a uniform brownish cast to the whole pelage, but the 
majority have the coloration so characteristic of all the species of the 
subgenus Mictomys and do not differ from specimens from other parts 
of Alaska. There is considerable variation in cranial characters, most 
of which is due to differences in age. These variations are particu- 
larly in respect to the shape of the nasals and the size of the audital 
bullae, indicating that some of the characters supposed to distinguish 
S. dalli from S. wrangeli may not prove constant when good series 
of both are compared. The average measurements of 10 specimens, 
males and females, are as follows: Total length, 127; tail vertebra?, 
19.2; hind foot, 18.7. 

The natives of Lake Clark call the lemming mouse Kunjoonee, the 
same name also being used for the genus Lemmus. 

Lemmiis minusculus sp. nov. 

Type from Kakhtul River near its junction with the Malchatna River, 
Alaska. No. 119612 U. S. National Museum, Biological Survey Col- 
lection. $ ad. September 1, 1902. W. H. Osgood and A. G. Maddren. 
Original number 1903. 

General characters. — Similar in general to L. alascensis but much 
smaller; color of anterior parts less contrasted with that of rest of 
bod} r ; skull slightly characterized. 

Color.— Undev parts and lower sides nearly clear ochraceous or 
tawn3 r ochraceous; pervading color of upper parts also ochraceous but 
accompanied with considerable mixture of black and blackish, which is 
usually somewhat concentrated medially to form an indistinct line from 
the nose to the shoulders; rump patch hazel or light chestnut, less 
extensive and less contrasted than in alascensis and trvmucronatiisj 
ears dusky or occasionally with a tew ochraceous hairs; base of whisk- 
ers dusky; feet seal brown; tail variable, sometimes dusky or blackish 
above and light buff below, and sometimes nearly uniform pale buff 
above and below. 

Skull. — Similar to that of alascensis but very much smaller; zygo- 
mata less angular and bowed out; audital bullae more nearly parallel, 
usually more inflated and less inclined to be compressed anteriorly; 
basioccipital and basisphenoid correspondingly slender; naso-frontal 
region decidedly elevated and rostrum depressed. 


Measurements. — Average of 10 males from the type locality — total 
length, 131; tail vertebra 1 , 12; hind foot, 19; of 5 females — 122, 12, 
18.5. Skull: Greatest length, 28.5; basilar length of Ilensel, 25.4; 
zygomatic width, 19; mastoid width, 15; nasals, 8.9; diastema, 8.8; 
postpalatal length, 12.2; upper molars, 8. 

Remarks. — Lemmings were first met with at the upper forks of the 
Chulitna River, where two specimens were taken August 17. They 
were again found on the south fork of the river at the Swan Lake 
portage, and again on the Kakhtul River near its junction with the 
Malchatna, and on the Nushagak River near Kakwok. Signs of them 
were seen at various places between these points. They were found 
for the most part in the tundra-like openings in the forest in both 
moist and comparatively dry situations. The low, sloping banks of 
small ponds where there is particularly rank vegetation seem to be 
especially chosen by them. In these places their runways were found 
in labyrinths weaving through the moss and in and out among the 
roots of the shrubby plants, particularly those of the dwarf birch 
(Betula glandulosd). The runways were very well beaten and evi- 
dently much used. Many very small young were taken, but breeding 
was evidently about over. One pregnant female containing 4 embryos 
was taken on the Kakhtul River August 29, and another containing 6 
on September 1. A series of 58 specimens was secured, representing 
various ages from very small young to adults. In color they show 
little variation, some few being more suffused with ochraceous than 
others. Many of the adults are in bright, fresh-looking pelage, but 
the hair is rather short and in some the pelage is quite worn. None 
of them approach L. alascensls in size, and the slight differences in 
color and cranial characters which distinguish them are quite constant. 

Dicrostonyx nelsoni Merriam. Nelson Pied Lemming. 

The catalogues of the National Museum record 4 specimens of 
this lemming collected by McKay at Nushagak. All were taken in mid- 
winter — one in 1881, two in 1882, and one in 1883. True, in recording 
them, quotes McKay's notes as follows: "Not very common. Found 
in the tundras, etc." Careful search for signs of these mice was with- 
out success. A few small burrows, possibly of Dicrostonyx, were 
found in some sandy banks near the lower end of Becharof Lake, but 
excavation proved them deserted. 

Zapus hudsonius (Zimmermann). Hudson Bay Jumping Mouse. 

Jumping mice occurred sparingly throughout the wooded region. 
They were also found beyond the limits of coniferous trees at Iliamna 
Bay and Cold Bay. Apparently favorable conditions for them exist 
in much of the tundra region, and it is possible that they may range 
a short distance into it. A badly mutilated specimen, killed by dogs, 
was seen at the head of Iliamna Bay; another, in similar condition, was 


seen at Cold Bay by Maddren. Several were taken in the sedges 
about small ponds near Iliamna village, and in similar places along- the 
Nogheling River, and near Keejik on Lake Clark. Others were 
secured near the head of the south branch of the Chulitna River, near 
Kakwok on the Nushagak River, and at Nushagak. In all cases the}?" 
wore taken in tall grass or sedge, in moist situations. They were seen, 
however, in several instances in the daytime in tall grass on compara- 
tively high, dry ground. 

Our specimens are much smaller than typical Zapus />. alascensis and 
plainly referable to true hudsonius. The hind foot in adults measures 
:>L mm., which is about the extreme in hudsoniux, indicating a possible 
slight difference in size. The skulls are indistinguishable from those 
from Hudson Bay. 

Two specimens of Zapus taken by McKay at Nushagak and recorded 
by True were the first jumping mice to be reported from Alaska. 

The natives of Lake Clark call the jumping mouse Un-giry-ah. 

Erethizon epixanthus my ops Merriam. Alaska Porcupine. 

Alaska porcupines are found sparingty throughout the region. In a 
general way their range corresponds to that of the coniferous forest, 
but they have a great fondness for the aments and j^oung leaves of the 
alder, which probably accounts for their occasional or possibly regular 
occurrence in the tundra region. Two skulls, secured by Maddren in 
1903 from the Kanatak natives and said to have been taken near the 
head of Becharof Lake, attest the occurrence of the porcupine con- 
siderably beyond the conifers on the peninsula. We found them 
only along the Kakhtul River, where two specimens were taken. 
The natives of Lake Clark say that porcupines are quite common in 
that vicinity. An adult male taken on the Kakhtul River September 1 
weighed 26 pounds. McKay's collection contained four specimens 
from Kakwok and Nushagak. 

The native name for porcupine is Nainee. The Aleuts call them 
Ochotona collaris (Nelson). Collared Pika. 

Pikas were not found on any of the mountains visited, although 
conditions seemed to be favorable for them in nearly all cases. The 
Indian guide insisted that they were to be found on a small mountain 
which he called Keejik Mountain, near Keejik Village, on Lake Clark. 
As he described them fairly well and imitated their bark, it seems prob- 
able that they are there. Two specimens are in the National Museum, 
collected by McKay in the Chigmit Mountains, which, in this case. 
probably refers to the mountains northeast of Lake Iliamna. True, 
in his list of McKay's mammals, quotes from McKay's notebook in 
regard to these .specimens as follows: "Said to be very plentiful in 
the mountains. The Indians in their vicinity have a superstitious 
dread about killing them, and can not be hired to do so." 


Lepus othus Merriam. Alaskan Arctic Hare. 

Arctic hares inhabit the treeless region around Bristol Bay and out 
on the Alaska Peninsula probably for its entire length. They occur 
very sparingly, however, and, although we spent considerable time 
within their range, we failed to see any or any fresh signs of them. 
During 1903, A. G. Maddren secured a small series of skulls from 
Cold Bay, Kanatak, and the Becharof Lake region. These agree in all 
important respects with topotypes of othus from St. Michael, and fail 
to show the narrow rostrum of poadromus from the western part of 
the Alaska Peninsula. Two specimens taken by McKay at Nushagak 
are recorded by True. 

The Aleut name for the Arctic hare is Ushkanuk. 

Lepus amerieanus dalli Merriam. Dall Varying Hare. 

Common throughout the timbered region. Hares were especially 
abundant about Lake Clark and along the Chulitna River, where their 
conspicuous runways were encountered nearly every time we went 
ashore. These runways are usually most numerous in low ground, 
not too wet, but thickly carpeted with moss, although this preference 
is not very decided. In following them one is led uphill and down, 
through moss, grass, or brush, across open flats or through dense for- 
ests, and over rocky knolls or through wet swamps where water often 
stands several inches deep in the runways themselves. In summer the 
hares feed largely on the tops of the dwarf birch which abounds. 
About Lake Clark we seldom saw a clump of it that had not been 
nipped. They also eat twigs of other small shrubs and occasionally 
try green grass stems, long cuttings of which we sometimes found in 
their runways. Specimens were easily secured, and a small series, 
chiefly from Lake Clark, was preserved. These are very similar to 
specimens of true amerieanus from Hudson Bay, and there is consid- 
erable variation among them, nearly sufficient to cover the characters 
of dalli. There is, however, a slight average difference. 

Lynx canadensis (Kerr). Canada Lynx. 

We saw no signs of the Canada Lynx, and were informed by the 
natives that it is of rather rare occurrence in the region. 

The Kenai name for it is Kashznah; the Aleut is Etochtoolik. 

Canis albus (Sabine)/' Northern Wolf. 

Wolf tracks were seen on a few of the beaches of Lake Clark and 
also about the portage from the Chulitna River to Swan Lake. We 
saw a skin of one that had been killed by prospectors in the winter of 

"Possibly the Alaska wolf is separable from other northern forms, but until this 
is determined the name albus Sabine, 1823, may be used. The only name prior to 
albus is mexicanus Linn., 1766, which unquestionably applies to another form. 
Say's name, nubilus, which is of even date with albus, may be disregarded on the same 


1901 near the Malchatna River. Wolves are said to be common on 
the Alaska Peninsula, but we failed to see or hear them, or even to 
find their tracks. 

Vulpes alascensis Merriam. Alaska Red Fox. 

Foxes are very abundant on the Alaska Peninsula, and fairly com- 
mon in the adjacent regions to the northeast through which we traveled. 
Their tracks were frequently seen about Lake Clark and along the 
Chulitna River. On August 24, near Swan Lake, W. L. Fleming saw a 
bright-colored red fox running rapidly along a ridge. The following 
day, while crossing the portage, I surprised one that was calmly brows- 
ing on huckleberries on the side of a little gully. Later, members of 
the party saw foxes on several occasions on Becharof Lake and at 
Cold Bay, where several specimens were taken. During the winter 
of 1902-3 the natives of Kanatak trapped over 100 red foxes, chiefly 
about the head of Becharof Lake. Twelve perfect specimens were 
secured from them by Maddren, besides a splendid series of 50 
skulls. A few skulls were obtained from natives at Kakwok and 
Ikhok on the Nushagak River. Fox tracks were seen in great num- 
bers on all the sandy beaches about Becharof Lake. According to 
the natives the} 7 are to be found in similar numbers all along the 
peninsula. Specimens from Becharof Lake and Cold Bay are 
decidedly more richly colored than V. fulvus. The pervading color 
is deep hazel, except where diluted by creamy white; it is most con- 
centrated on the middle of the shoulders and on the upper side of the 
tail. The face, nose, and forehead have considerable admixture of 
white hairs, but the predominating rufous effect is much deeper than 
in V. fulvus. The flesh measurements of two young adults from Cold 
Bay are as follows : Male — total length, 1,115; tail vertebra?, 440; hind 
foot, 188. Female — total length, 1,040; tail vertebra?, 375; hind foot, 
175. The skulls of the Cold Bay specimens differ from the type only 
in having slightly more slender z} 7 gomata and longer and narrower 
nasals. In these respects they approach abietorum. The type, which 
is a male, agrees in size of teeth with females from Cold Bay, and is 
slightly smaller than the males from the same place. 

McKay's collection contained "two very fine male specimens (13618, 
13619) from Nushagak, captured on February 20 and 15, 1882, 
respectively." (True, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., IX, p. 221, 1886). 

Vulpes lagopus innuitus Merriam. Continental Arctic Fox. 

Straggling individuals of the Arctic fox are not infrequently found 
as far south as the north shore of the Alaska Peninsula, doubtless 
having followed the pack ice in winter. One was killed by fishermen 
near Igagik in the spring of 1902. They are also said to be found in 
the Togiak district and very rarely at Nushagak. 

nov kmber, 1904.] MAMMALS. 41 

Ursus americanus Pallas. Black Bear. 

The Indians of Uiamna Village say that according to tradition a few 
black bears were formerly found in the mountains northeast from 
there, but that in recent years none have been seen. As far as we 
could learn they do not occur elsewhere in the region. Their west- 
ward limit on the Pacific side of the peninsula is about coincident with 
that of the coniferous trees, which cease a short distance east of 
Iliamna Ba} r . The westernmost records of the black bear known to 
the writer are those of two killed at Chinitna Bay in 1901 by the party 
of J. H. Kidder, of Boston, Mass/' Two specimens of small cubs 
secured by McKay from the Kakwok Indians in 1882 were question- 
ably referred to Ursus americanus by True. These may, however, 
have been the } T oung of the large brown bear. 

The Kenai Indians call the black bear Yerdeeshlah. 

TJrsus kidderi Merriam. Kidder Bear. 

Ursus dalli gyas Merriam. Peninsula Brown Bear. 

Brown bears were formerly abundant in much of the country 
through which we passed, but the persistent hunting by the natives 
since the introduction of modern repeating rifles has reduced their 
numbers greatly. They still occur in many localities, but have 
become extremely sh} r and are seldom obtained unless a special cam- 
paign for them is conducted. In the course of our entire trip we 
saw remarkably few signs of bears. In fact, the only really fresh 
tracks seen were those of a medium-sized one which had been fishing 
along a small stream emptying into Lake Iliamna near the Nogheling 
portage. This region about Lake Iliamna was formerly a favorite 
hunting ground for the natives. Chief Michaluf, of the small remain- 
ing village known as Iliamna Village, enjoys the reputation of being 
the greatest bear hunter of his generation, having, according to local 
report, scores of bears to his credit. There are yet a good many bears 
in the vicinity of this big lake, and a few have been killed each season 
in recent years. Several old bear trails were found on the mountains 
near the head of Lake Clark. In following them we noticed a few 
' bear trees ' with the bark torn off and the trunks scored with claw 
marks. The highest scratches were found to be only 7 feet and 9 
inches from the nearest place where a bear might stand, indicating 
that no very huge individuals had passed that way. In all cases the 
trees marked in this manner were white spruce. Considerable old 
'sign 1 of bears was seen along the Kakhtul and Nushagak rivers, but 
the fishing season was over and the big fellows had presumably retired 
to the mountains, though no traces of them were found during the 
limited trips we made away from the water courses. We saw very 

« Outing Magazine, Jan., 1903, p. 474. 


little 'sign' along the Ugaguk River and Becharof Lake. The natives 
say that this is not a good place for bears, though they are quite 
common about the Ugashik lakes near there. 

The following notes on the habits of the brown bears of the Alaska 
Peninsula are largely such as have been derived from old native 
hunters. Most of the statements have been corroborated to a certain 
degree by independent discussion of the same subjects at different 
times with different individuals. As to the former great abundance 
of these bears there can be no doubt. The records of the fur traders 
do not fairly indicate this, for bearskins have usually been compara- 
tively low priced and the natives have been urged to secure the smaller, 
more valuable, and more easily handled furs. Not more than fifteen 
years ago it was not uncommon to see from eight to fifteen bears scat- 
tered about on one mountain side. Those natives who have had an 
opportunity to see cattle feeding on the hills of Kodiak Island invari- 
ably compare them to the bears they saw in their younger days. Pio- 
neer white men also say the same of the great abundance of the ani- 
mal in the not very distant past. The season of activity of the bears 
varies, but is usually from the latter part of March or earty April to 
the earl} T part of November. They are not particularly averse to snow, 
and their tracks are often seen in it, but the date of their retirement in 
fall and of their reappearance in spring depends upon the severity of 
the season, so that sometimes they may go in as early as October and 
not come out until April. Sometimes, when disturbed, they come out 
for a short while in midwinter. Their dens are chosen in rocky, 
remote places in the mountains, to which they are sometimes tracked 
by the natives, both with and without the aid of dogs. The } 7 oung are 
always born before the female comes out of her winter quarters. The 
date of birth is ordinarily sometime in January, doubtless varying 
considerably in individual cases, for during the summer cubs of differ- 
ent sizes may be seen on the same date. At birth the young are blind, 
naked, and helpless; they vary in number from one to four. Two 
is the usual number, three is not very uncommon, while four is quite 
rare. They follow the mother until the end of their second summer, 
when they are often nearly as large as she is. 

Although numbers of the adults frequent some localities, it is gen- 
erally safe to assume that -three or four bears found together constitute 
one family. The cubs are mischievous and playful and receive many 
a stern reproving cuff from their mother. The brown bears avail 
themselves of everything the country affords in the way of food, 
including fish, flesh, fruit, roots, and grass, a variety that was scarcely 
exceeded by the natives when under aboriginal conditions. When 
the}' first come out in the spring, they eat young grass, herbage, and 
roots, and if they are near the coast, take a little kelp. In secur- 
ing and handling these as well as their other food they display much 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] MAMMALS. . 43 

deftness and a control of their foreclaws seldom accredited to their 
kind. In the spring- they also enjoy, now and then, a meal on a ground 
squirrel (Oitelltts). Hunting these squirrels and digging them out 
seems to be a combination of business and pleasure for the bears, and 
the antics they go through are very interesting to the onlooker. 
The bear is usually so intent on the game that he himself is easily 
approached. Sometimes he slips along a hillside and tries to catch the 
squirrel by a sudden pounce, but this usually fails. When the squir- 
rel dodges into its near-by burrow, new tactics are adopted. The bear 
immediately begins to dig, throwing out big turfs and clods at each 
stroke, using the left hand chiefly and watching the hole intently all 
the time. While this is going on, the squirrel sometimes runs out 
between the legs of the bear and makes for another hole. Possibly 
he is caught by a quick pounce. If he escapes, excavations begin 
immediately at the new hole. The bear digs for a few strokes, and 
then stops to poke his nose into the hole and sniff. Finally his efforts 
are successful and the luckless squirrel is devoured. 

As soon as the salmon begin to enter the streams, bruin makes fish- 
ing his chief business. He varies his diet somewhat, however, and 
occasionally leaves the streams for the mountain sides, but in a short 
time returns again to the fish. The fish in large numbers usually 
ascend the streams for the entire summer, and the supply is practically 
unlimited. In fishing the bears do not get all their prey in shallow 
water or on bars and riffles in small streams, as is generally supposed, 
but often go into comparatively deep water in large streams. Practi- 
cally all the fishing is done at night or very early in the morning; 
though their habits in this respect have doubtless changed in recent 
decades, since they have been hunted so much. It is most interesting 
to watch an old she bear with cubs. The cubs do not attempt to fish, 
but stay on the bank and receive contributions. The old she bear 
stands upright and wades in water even up to her neck, going very 
slowly with the current, watching the water and scarcely making a 
ripple in it. She holds her arms down at her sides with her hands 
spread, and when she feels a salmon coming up against her, clutches 
it with her claws and throws it out on the bank to the expectant 
cubs. Often she stands perfectly motionless for a considerable time, 
and when she moves, it is with extreme deliberation and caution. 
After supplying the cubs she puts the next fish in her mouth and goes 
ashore to eat it. If salmon are plentiful or easily obtained, the two 
sides of a fish are all that she will eat; sometimes she even scorns 
these and fastidiously crunches the head and leaves the rest. The gills 
are never eaten. The cubs are not so particular, but chew their por- 
tions haphazard. In case they have any difficulties among themselves 
in apportioning the tidbits, they are promptly cuffed by the parent. 

When fishing in shallow water, the bear walks slowly on all fours as 


silently as possible, and when a fish appears in a riffle deals it a sharp 
blow on the head. During 1 the fishing season the bears make deep 
trails in the grass along the bank, where at short intervals bones and 
other remnants of salmon in large quantities testify to bruin's ability 
as a piscatorial sportsman. Occasionally by following some of the 
branches of these trails one may discover the midday resting place of 
the nocturnal fishers. One that I saw on the Kakhtul River was an ideal 
retreat. A soft bed was made in the grass and moss under the thick 
shelving branches of a small spruce. Around this small alders and 
willows formed a sort of inclosure which opened on one side and gave an 
outlook upon the river. The whole place had an air of coziness which 
would appeal to anyone accustomed to selecting camping sites. In the 
fall, toward the end of the salmon run, when fishing becomes unprofit- 
able, most of the bears retire to the hills, where they feed on berries 
and put on fat during the last few weeks preceding hibernation. The 
black crowberry {Empetrwn nigrum) is eaten in great quantities, and 
various species of Yaccinium which abound are also taken. In mov- 
ing up and down the mountains the bears usually follow the ridges, 
as shown by their trails, which often indicate years of use. These old 
trails do not resemble ordinary game trails, which are merely paths, but 
each consists of a succession of distinct, irregularly oblong indentations 
in the turf, alternating from side to side, a sort of composite of the 
prints that have been made by many feet during many seasons. These 
depressions become nearly 18 inches in length by 10 inches in width and 
from two to four inches in depth. They are often quite conspicuous 
and can be seen for a considerable distance. 

The two types of coloration commonly shown by these species of 
bears, the dark brown and the light brown or even creamy, do not 
seem to be anything more than color phases or individual variations. 
I have examined numbers of skins, and, in all lots exceeding a half 
dozen, both phases, or modifications of both, were represented. More- 
over, the natives tell me that the} T have often seen a light and a dark 
cub following the same mother. A certain amount of this difference 
in color among the adults ma} r be seasonal, but it does not seem 
probable that it is entirely so, for skins of both general types are 
frequently seen in the same apparent condition, and are alleged to 
have been secured at the same season. 

The geographic distribution of the various forms of the Alaska 
brown bears is still imperfectly known. Even the range of the group 
as a whole is not thoroughly understood owing to the impossibility of 
distinguishing them from grizzlies in reports which come from locali- 
ties not represented by specimens. JJ. dull! gyas extends westward 
at least from Cook Inlet to and including Unimak Island; large bears 
are found also on Nunivak Island and on the coast of Bering Sea from 
Bristol Bay northward, and probably range over much of the north- 



era and western part of Alaska. To what extent the group ranges 
into the interior of the Territory is not known, and specimens with 
good skulls and reliable data from any point in the interior are greatly 

Lutra canadensis (Schreber). Land Otter. 

Land otters were formerly quite common on the Iliamna River, 
and a few are still obtained there every year. The} r are also found 
along the shores of Iliamna Lake and on some of the small islands in 
the lake, as well as on Lake Clark. Considerable ' sign ' of otters was 
seen on the Swan River, and one evening three of the animals were 
startled from the bank as we were floating downstream near the junc- 
tion of the Swan and the Kakhtul. On sighting the canoe they plunged 
into the water and swam frantically downstream at about 10 yards 
from the shore, evidently making for refuge in holes in the bank. 
We were on the other side of the river and crossed the current with 
some difficulty, being so much interested in watching the evolutions 
of the otters that we did not get within shotgun range of them until 
they hauled out on the bank about 100 yards below the point from 
which they started. A charge of buckshot was tired at the last one as 
he was leaving the water, but, though wounded, he managed to escape. 
The animals swam with great rapidity, proceeding by a succession of 
leaps and dives and coming clear out of the water like porpoises. 

Otters are quite common in the vicinity of Becharof Lake, and are 
said to be found in considerable numbers all along the Alaska Penin- 
sula. Their trails were frequently found along small streams empt} r - 
ing into the lake, and generally ran through tall grass, up and down 
and along the banks. Several skins taken in the vicinity of the lake 
were brought in October by natives to be traded at Cold Bay. An 
immature specimen from the Nushagak River was contained in McKay's 
collection as recorded by True. One complete specimen and several 
skulls from Becharof Lake were secured in 1903 by Maddren. 

The Aleut name for the land otter is Ah'kweeah; the Kenai Indian 
is Chweeneelingoch. 

Lutreola vison melampeplus Elliot. Kenai Mink. 

In spite of continued trapping by natives for furs, the mink is still 
fairly common in much of the region of the base of the Alaska Penin- 
sula. It is said to be found in small numbers along the Iliamna River. 
More or less 'sign' of it was found along the Nogheling, Chulitna, 
Kakhtul, Nushagak, and Ugaguk rivers, but usually at such times 
and under such circumstances that an}^ attempt to secure specimens 
was impossible. Tracks were frequently seen in soft mud along the 
narrow course of the south branch of the Chulitna. While gliding 
down the stream one dark night with a native in a bidarka, I startled 
a mink at a sudden bend in the stream. It did not perceive us until 


we, also unaware, were within a few feet, and then, instead of diving 
as might have been expected, it dashed up the bank and away through 
the long grass and low bushes, making a great commotion. Two 
specimens were secured near the head of Becharof Lake and three 
at Cold Bay, and several odd skulls were obtained from natives on 
the Kakhtul and Nushagak rivers. These, on account of their large 
size and very dark color, and particularly on account of the absence 
of any white pectoral spot, are provisionally referred to L. v. melam- 
j)rj>/i/,s Elliot," although they have not been compared with specimens 
from the Kenai Peninsula, the type locality of melampeplus. The live 
skins from Becharof Lake and Cold Bay are all characterized b} r uni- 
form dark underparts without the usual white pectoral patch/ The 
measurements of the largest male are as follows: Total length, 660; 
tail vertebra?, 220; hind foot, 73. Other males, respectivel} r : 647, 
215,70; 651,212,70. Females: 563,189, 61; 557, 190, 63. Weights: 
Male, 3 pounds; female, If pounds. 

At Iliamna Village the mink is called in Aleut Emachamooduk; in 
Kenai Yarkeechah; at Igagik it is Ko'chcheechuk. 

Putorius arcticus Merriam. Arctic Weasel. 

One weasel was secured at Nushagak and another near the head of 
Becharof Lake; several others were added to the collection in 1903 by 
A. G. Maddren. Six specimens were taken in 1881 b} r McKay fit 

The Indians of Iliamna Village call the weasel Tahkiak and Kahool- 
cheenah; the Aleuts call it Ameetahduk. 

Mustela americana Turton. Marten. 

Evidently quite rare, as we heard very little of it from the natives. 
This might naturally be expected, as it is a forest-loving animal, and 
the region under consideration is on the edge of its range. The 
natives of Iliamna call it Kcheegochah. 

Gulo luscus (Linnaeus). Wolverine. 

Wolverines are found sparingly throughout the region, being rather 
common on the Alaska Peninsula. A few skins were seen in the 
trader's store at Nushagak. The traders take advantage of the natives' 

" Field Columbian Mus., Zool. Ser., Ill, pp. 170-171, April, 1903. 

&Since this was written a series of eight skins and a large number of skulls from 
Becharof Lake have 1 been received from A. (i. Maddren. These show the same 
dark color, four of them being without trace of white and the other four with only 
very tiny spots on chin and breast. Specimens without white are very rare in L. v. 
energumenos, which usually has an extensive pectoral patch. A single specimen 
from Tyonek, Cook Inlet, was previously referred to energumenos (North Am. 
Fauna, No. 21, p. 69, September, 1901), its dark brown immaculate underparts being 
regarded as due t<> individual variation. Willi a scries of fourteen specimens, in all 
of which the white markings are nearly or entirely obsolete, it now seems evident 
that a recognizable subspecies occurs in the Cook Inlet and Alaska Peninsula region. 

November, 1904.] MAMMALS. 47 

peculiar fondness for the coarse fur of the wolverine as trimming for 
their garments, and never ship the skins out of the country, but resell 
them to the natives at high prices. A single skin obtained from a 
native in urgent need of provisions, for from $2 to $5 in trade. is 
sometimes cut up into sections and bartered piecemeal for other furs 
to the value of as much as $30. 

The Aleut name used for the wolverine at Iliamna Village is Drak- 
linyuk; at Igagik it is Machawhii'luc; the Lake Clark Indians call it 

Latax lutris (Linnams). Sea Otter. 

The coast of the Alaska Peninsula from Iliamna Bay westward was 
formerly much frequented b}^ sea otters. Kamishak Bay was a favor- 
ite hunting ground for the natives of Iliamna Village and others. 
Even within the last five years parties have hunted otters there with 
considerable success. A sea otter is occasionally secured by hunting 
from shore in calm weather, when the animal ma} T come in near enough 
to be shot. The hunter stations himself on a high lookout, usually a 
rocky bluff, and carefully watches the w^ater. If an otter is seen 
within rifle shot, and a lucky shot is made, the chances are good that 
the prize will be secured. One was taken in this manner in December, 
1902, at Wide Bay, and another the preceding winter near Cold Bay. 
One skull secured by Maddren from a Kanatak native is in our col- 

The Aleut name for the sea otter is Ah'chgh-nahchgh. 

Erignathus barbatus nauticus (Pallas). Western Bearded Seal. 
Phoca nautica Pallas, Zoog. Rosso-Asiat., I, pp. 108-109, 1811. 

A young bearded seal was killed by natives near our camp on the 
Ugaguk River October 3. I offered a variety of articles in exchange 
for its 'skin, but all were scornful^ rejected. The skull, however, 
was secured for a trifle. The natives prize the skin very highly on 
account of its great utility as material for making the soles of their 
skin boots. It was also used formerl} T for making kyaks and bidarkas, 
but on account of its scarcity its use has now become restricted almost 
entirely to the making of boot soles. The flesh and blubber of this 
seal are also much in favor with the natives. Their name for the 
animal is Makluk, very similar to "mukluk," which is what their skin 
boots are called. 

On comparing the skull from the Ugaguk River with others from 
Greenland and the eastern coast of North America several slight differ- 
ences were noticed. These cranial characters are constant in the small 
series from each side of the continent which I have been able to 
examine, and I have therefore adopted the name Phoca nautica of 
Pallas for the bearded seal of the northern coasts of Alaska and Siberia. 
Several skulls from Plover Bay, Siberia, agree with those from the 


Alaska coast, which confirms the belief that the Bering Sea form is 
a general entity as contrasted with the form of the northeastern 
Atlantic coasts. The most obvious and constant character of the 
skulls from Bering Sea is the shortness of the nasals. They are 
shorter and wider than in typical barbatus, and correspond to a general 
biachycephalic condition of all parts of the skull. The brain case is 
wider and fuller; the rostral portion of the skull anterior to the infra- 
orbital foramina is heavier and thicker, and the palate, basisphenoid, 
and basioccipital are wider. Another possible character is shown in 
the lack of a decided space between the last two upper molars. In 
the skulls which I have seen, this space is very pronounced in typical 
barbatus and almost or totally lacking in naicticus. 

Phoca richardi Gray. Pacific Harbor Seal. 

The skulls of seven harbor seals taken by natives along the Alaska 
Peninsula between Kanatak and Katmai were secured in the fall of 
1903 by A. G. Maddren. The adults of these agree essentially with 
skulls from the Pribilof Islands, and in case the subspecies pribilqfensis 
proves entitled to recognition they should be referred to it. a Among 
the immature ones are several, strictly comparable, which do not 
differ from the only available skulls of true richardi from Puget 

« Doctor Allen's recent separation of the northern hair seals under the name pribilo- 
fensis may fairly be called provisional, since the available material was admittedly a 
rather meager basis for such separation. (Cf. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XVI, p. 
495, Dec. 12, 1902. ) While admitting the probability that the seals of Bering Sea 
may differ subspecifically from those of Puget Sound, I am unable to appreciate 
any characters whatever after an examination of all the material now available. 
Even if the alleged characters should prove real and constant, there still might be 
some question as to the advisability of recognizing three forms on the Pacific coast, 
for it would be a case of two extremes (geronimensis and ])ribilofensis) and an inter- 
mediate (richardi). The differences between the extremes being only of size, and 
these not very marked, there would scarcely seem to be room for more than two 
definable forms. 

In the light of Doctor Allen's careful study of the seals of the North Pacific, it is 
evident that the name Phoca largha can no longer be used for the hair seals of the 
Alaskan coast. The summary disposition of the name altogether as entirely unidenti- 
fiable is surprising, however. Like many other names (possibly the majority) pro- 
posed by early authors, this one applies equally well to several species. It is 
restricted to a reasonably definite locality, and is not composite in the ordinary sense 
of the term, but merely insufficiently diagnosed, as judged by recently established 
standards. Therefore, to be consistent, it should be restricted to one of the fornix to 
which it unquestionably applies, as has been done in many similar cases. Its rejec- 
tion at the present time is largely a matter of accident, for if we suppose a different 
history of the knowledge of the animals, there would now be no question as to the 
use of the name. That is, if specimens of only one of the three spotted seals of 
Kamchatka had come into the hands of a modern naturalist, instead of all three at 
the same time, the name largha would have been applied to it without question, and 
the subsequent discovery of the other two could not have affected its status in the 

NOVEMBER, 190-1. 


A spotted seal is reported as a permanent resident of the fresh 
waters of Lake Iliamna. While in this vicinity we made efforts to 
secure specimens of this seal from the natives, and Maddren tried 
again in 1903, but none were obtained. All reports are to the effect 
that it differs from the ordinary harbor seal, but the only character 
mentioned b}^ the natives is size, some stating that it is larger and 
others that it is smaller than the salt-water form. Most of those 
killed are said to have been found in the Kvichak River or in the 
lake near the outlet into the river, which seems to indicate that the 
animals, whether distinct or not, go back and forth from Bristol Bay 
to Lake Iliamna. 

The Aleut name for the seal is Ishooik. 

Odobenus obesus (Illiger). Pacific Walrus. 

A very limited number of walruses still occur about some of the small 
islands in Togiak Bay west of Nushagak, and on the north coast of the 
Alaska Peninsula in the vicinity of the native village of Unangashik. 
Large quantities of walrus bones, witnesses of bygone slaughters, are 
to be found at various points along the peninsula. ®ne such place 
was reported by the fishermen of Igigik, who had recently found it 
while on a hunting trip near there. From their accounts, the remains 
must be in great quantities. The trader at Nushagak informed me 
that in recent years he had obtained annually from 9 to 15 walrus 
tusks from the Togiak region. He intimated that the natives had 
given him to understand that they would not be able to get many 
more. A sailor from Nushagak visited Unangashik in August and 
September, 1902, and while there saw five walruses. They haul out on 
a sand spit near this place, but seldom get far from the water. Clams, 
which they feed on, are abundant there. The same man stated that 
he was at Unangashik with a trophy hunter in the previous year, at 
which time they secured several of the ponderous animals. They also 
visited Togiak Bay, but found no walrus. 

Sorex personatus arcticus Merriam. Arctic Shrew. 

Shrews of the personatus t} r pe were found sparingly all along the 
route, being most common in the coast region. The entire series col- 
lected numbers 44 specimens. In color they are not definitely distin- 
guishable from true personatus of the eastern United States, but after 
comparing them with series of true personatus I am inclined to refer 
them to arcticus on the basis of cranial characters. In the Alas- 
kan specimens the skull is characterized by small size and general 
slenderness; by a narrow and rather high braincase; and by having 
the palatomaxillary region between the upper unicuspids rather 
abruptly narrowed. Specimens from Cook inlet, previously referred 

6389— No. 24—04 4 

50 NORTH AMERICAN FAUNA. [no. 24. November, 1904.] 

to personatus, a possibly represent a slight tendency toward the large 
dark form streatori, although they are very much nearer to arcticus 
and personatus. b 
Sorex obscurus shumaginensis (Merriam). Shumagin Shrew. 

Sorex alascensis shumaginensis Merriam, Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci., II, p. 18, Mar. 14, 
This shrew was not found about Lakes Iliamna and Clark, but sev- 
eral specimens were taken on the Kakhtul River near its junction with 
the Malchatna. From that point on to Nushagak it was found in con- 
siderable numbers. It was also taken on the Ugaguk River, Becharof 
Lake, and at Kanatak and Cold Bay. It is found about the houses in 
the village of Nushagak in company with Microtus and Eootomys. 
Specimens taken early in October were beginning to acquire the dark 
plumbeous winter pelage, and by the middle of the month the change 
had been completed in the majority of cases. In the brown pelage 
preceding this, the color is the same as that of shumaginensis from 
the type localit} T , and somewhat paler than in alascensis. The skulls 
are practically jdentical with those of shumaginensis and smaller than 
those of alascensis. On comparing the Nushagak series and others 
from the same vicinity with typical obscurus from the United States, 
a surprising resemblance is found; in fact, some specimens of each, 
although of slightly different dimensions, are almost indistinguisha- 
ble either by color or by cranial characters, which increases the proba- 
bility that the two forms have a continuous range by way of the 
interior of Alaska and northwestern Canada. 

Sorex (Microsorex) eximius Osgood. Northern Microsorex. 

One specimen of this rare shrew, an adult female, was taken by 
A. G. Maddren on the south branch of the Chulitna River near the 
portage to Swan Lake. Its skull is not quite so elongate as that of 
the type specimen, but otherwise agrees with it. 

Myotis lucifugus (Le Conte). Little Brown Bat. 

Several bats were seen in July at Iliamna Village and near the head 
of Lake Clark, but no specimens were taken. At this season they do 
not fly until quite late in the evening, sometimes not until 11 o'clock 
and later. Even if one denies himself sleep until this hour and is then 
able to shoot them, the chances of retrieving them are slight on account 
of the dense vegetation into which they usually fall. One specimen 
is recorded by True as secured by McKay in the spring of 1882 on 
Lake Iliamna. 

«Cf. N. Am. Fauna No. 21, p. 70, 1901. 

fi Doctor Allen's recent reference of Cook inlet specimens to streatori is difficult to 
understand in the face of the measurements lie publishes, which are decidedly 
smaller than those of streatori. In referring specimens to S. alascensis he is equally 
inexplicable, since he states that they differ from true alascensis in precisely the 
characters which distinguish shumaginensis from alascensis. Cf. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. 
Hist., N. Y., XVI, pp. 228-230, July, L902. 


Colymbus holboelli (Reinh.). Holboell Grebe. 

A line adult male of this species was taken at Nushagak by McKay, 
October 12, 1881, and the specimen is now in the National Museum. 
Another is recorded as taken at Point Constantine, Bristol Bay, May 

30, 1882. 

Colymbus auritus Linn. Horned Grebe. 

Several small grebes, assumed to be this species, were seen at the 
upper end of Becharof Lake October 6-7. McKay took a specimen at 
Nushagak June 21, 1881. 

Gavia adamsi (Gray). Yellow-billed Loon. 

A large loon, either this species or G. irriber, was killed and eaten 
by natives at Cold Bay October 17. This was the only large loon seen 
by us. An immature specimen is in the National Museum, collected at 
Igushik, across the river from Nushagak, September 21, 1882. 

Gavia pacifica (Lawr.). Pacific Loon. 

This was the most common loon on the lakes and rivers. It was 
found on the Nogheling River, the Chulitna, the Swan, Kakhtul, and 
Nushagak, as well as about many small ponds a short distance back 
from the rivers. It was exceedingly abundant along the Chulitna 
River, where from 8 to 15 individuals were seen almost daily. These 
were generally seen going up and down the river, flying singly or 
more often in pairs, about 100 yards above the water and religiously 
following the course of the stream. They were quite wary and we 
seldom approached one on the water nearer than 150 yards, even when 
we were slipping noiselessly downstream. The adult birds, sitting on 
the water at a little distance, appear as if their heads were entirely 
white, particular^ if a ray of sunlight bears on them. The rapidity 
with which they swim under water is amazing, as we repeatedly 
observed when one would dive at a point about 150 yards in front of 
our canoe and in a few moments appear at about the same distance 
astern. Being unable to carry such large birds we preserved no 
specimens. Specimens were taken by McKay and Johnson at Nusha- 
gak, Cape Constantine, and Ugashik. 

Gavia lumme (Gunn.). Red-throated Loon. 

A pair flew by camp on the Chulitna River on the evening of 
August 12, and a few others were seen at comparatively long inter- 



vals along this river and the Kakhtul. They were far exceeded in 
numbers by the Pacific loon. Specimens were taken at Nushagak by 

Lunda cirrhata Pall. Tufted Puffin. 

Four tufted puffins were taken by J. W. Johnson at Nushagak 
May 9, 1885. The species was not seen by our party. 

Fratercula corniculata (Naum.). Horned Puffin. 

The catalogue of the U. S. National Museum records three speci- 
mens of the horned puffin taken at Nushagak by J. W. Johnson 
May 9, 1885. I have been unable to find them. 

Cyclorrhynchus psittaculus (Pall.). Paroquet Auklet. 

A paroquet auklet (No. 106601, U. S. N. M.) was taken near Nush- 
agak by J. W. Johnson May 22, 1885. 

Simorhynchus cristatellus (Pall.). Crested Auklet. 

Two specimens were taken at Nushagak by J. W. Johnson, April 
22, 1885. One was taken by McKa} 7 at Nushagak and one at Ugashik. 

Brachyramphus marmoratus (Gmel.). Marbled Murrelet. 

Several murrelets (apparently this species) were seen on Kanatak 
Bay, October 13. A single immature specimen (No. 106605 U. S. N. M.) 
was taken near Nushagak by J. W. Johnson, September 5, 1885. 

Brachyramphus brevirostris Vigors. Kittlitz Murrelet. 

Three specimens of this rare murrelet were taken by C. L. McKay 
at Point Etolin, near Nushagak, April 3, 1883. 

Cepphus columba Pall. Pigeon Guillemot. 

Five specimens were taken near Nushagak by J. W. Johnson, May 

20-22, 1885. 

Una troile californica (Bryant). California Murre. 

Five specimens were taken near Nushagak by J. W. Johnson, April 
20-22, 1884. No murres were seen in this region by our party in 
September and October. 

Stercorarius parasiticus (Linn.). Parasitic Jaeger. 

One specimen of the parasitic jaeger in the dark phase was taken 
by McKay on the Ugashik River, July 28, 1881. The species was not 
seen by our paily. 

Stercorarius longicaudus Vieill. Long-tailed Jaeger. 

A single long-tailed jaeger was seen among a few gulls on Lake 
Iliamna, July 16. Specimens were taken by McKay at Nushagak and 
Ugashik in July and August, 1881. 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] 

BIRDS. 53 

Kissa tridactyla pollicaris Ridgw. Pacific Kittiwake. 

A few kittiwakes were noticed among the numerous gulls at Nusha- 
gak September 12-26. Two specimens were taken at Ugashik by 
McKay September 11, 1881. 

Larus glaucescens Naum. Glaucous-winged Gull. 

A large gull occasionally flew over camp at lliamna village, and 
numbers were seen on Lake lliamna July 16-17. Gorman reports 
them in very large numbers at the lower Nogheling rapids, where 
natives were catching large quantities of salmon in August. They are 
said to breed on many of the islands in Lake lliamna. They were 
very rarely seen on Lake Clark, and none were found along the 
Chulitna River. A solitary gull appeared at intervals near Swan Lake, 
and scattering individuals were seen from there on down to the mouth 
of the Tikchik River. From the mouth of the Tikchik they were in 
immense numbers — thousands without doubt. At the time we passed 
down, the salmon run was practically ended, but it had been a very 
large one and the banks of the river were strewn with dead fish, upon 
which the gulls were regaling themselves ro} T ally. During the few 
da} T s we were passing down this stretch of the river, hundreds of 
cackling, screaming gulls were overhead from morning till night. As 
soon as one flock tired of following, another white cloud would rise 
from its resting place on one of the long, smooth sand bars and accom- 
pany the party until thoroughly satisfied as to its character. Appar- 
ently one species monopolized the salmon business, for I saw none that 
I did not take to be glaucescens. Some were so fat that they seemed 
to fly with difficult}^, and many showed a prominent abdomen and 
general corpulenc} r quite unlike the usual trim appearance of their 
kind. They were abundant on the mud flats and about the salmon 
canneries at Nushagak, but there they were mixed with other species. 
Many were also seen at Igigik and on Becharof Lake, where they are 
said to breed in some numbers. About the lake they appeared only 
in scattering numbers except at the mouths of the small salmon 
streams, where they fairly swarmed. They were also seen at Kanatak 
and Cold Ba} T , where the} 7 often afforded us amusement by their 
maneuvers against the high winds that were prevailing while we were 
there. One specimen was taken at Nushagak by McKay, but at pres- 
ent 1 am unable to find it in the National Museum. 

Larus brachyrhynchus Rich. Short-billed Gull. 

A small gull, supposed to be this species, was seen on Lake lliamna 
near the Nogheling portage July 17. The species was not seen again 
until we reached a point on the Nushagak River about 25 miles above 
Nushagak, where it became common. It was quite abundant at 


Nushagak, probably outnumbering all other gulls. A few were seen 
at Igagik and from there to Kanatak and Cold Bay. Specimens were 
taken at Nushagak by McKay. 

Larus Philadelphia (Ord). Bonaparte Gull. 

A pair of these beautiful gulls in full plumage was seen hovering 
solicitously about a sandy beach on Lake Iliamna July 16. A short 
search failed to disclose the nest, which was evidently located in the 
vicinity. The species was not met with elsewhere. Specimens were 
taken by McKay and Johnson at Nushagak, Lake Aleknagik, and 

Xema sabinei (Sab.). Sabine Gull. 

A single specimen of the Sabine gull was taken by C. L. McKay at 
Lake Aleknagik September 2, 1881. 

Sterna paradisaea Briinn. Arctic Tern. 

A few were seen on July 16 on Lake Iliamna, where they doubtless 
breed on some of the numerous islets. None were seen after this date 
by our part}^. Specimens were taken near Nushagak in Ma}^ and June 
by McKay and Johnson. 

Diomedea albatrus Pall. Short-tailed Albatross. 

Two specimens were taken by McKa}^ on Bristol Bay near the mouth 
of the Ugashik River July 20, 1881. The species was not seen by us 
except in the north Pacific. 

Puffinus tenuirostris (Temm.). Slender-billed Shearwater. 

The National Museum catalogue records one specimen of this bird 
taken near Ugashik by McKay September 15, 1881. The entiy does 
not seem open to question and is probably correct, though the speci- 
men is not now at hand to substantiate it. 

Oceanodroma furcata (Gmel.). Fork-tailed Petrel. 

Several specimens were taken at Nushagak by Johnson and at 
Igushik and Ugashik by McKay. 

Oceanodroma leucorhoa (Vieill.). Leach Petrel. 

One specimen of the common petrel was taken at Ugashik by McKay 
December 3, 1881. 

Phalacrocorax dilophus cincinatus (Brandt). White-crested Cormorant. 
Cormorants occasionally flew over our camp at Iliamna Village while 
on the way to and from their nesting places on some of the islets 
in Lake Iliamna. On July 16 we passed several small rookeries, 
where the birds could be seen in considerable numbers coming and 
going or standing in groups on the rocks near the water's edge. Sev- 
eral were seen flying up and down the Nogheling River July 21, doubt- 
less following their usual highway between the two large lakes. One 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] BIRDS. 55 

specimen was taken by Maddren on Lake Clark August 2, and a 
few others were seen about the upper end of the lake, but evidently 
very few, if any, breed there. After leaving* Lake Clark no more 
cormorants were seen until we reached the Malchatna River a short 
distance above the mouth of the Tikchik, when this species again 
appeared and was seen daily thence to Nushagak, but not in great 
numbers. Several were seen on Becharof Lake October 4 to 7. 

Phalacrocorax pelagicus Pall. Pelagic Cormorant. 

The pelagic cormorant was not seen on the lakes and was found only 
in rather small numbers in the lower Nushagak River, on Bristol Bay, 
and on Becharof Lake. Specimens were taken at Cape Constantine 
and Ugashik by McKay, and at Nushagak by Johnson. 

Merganser americanus (Cass.). American Merganser. 

The National Museum catalogue records one specimen of the Ameri- 
can merganser taken b}^ McKay on the Nushagak River, October 15, 
1881. With the exception of one adult male among a number of 
ducks killed by natives on Becharof Lake, I think none of the mer- 
gansers seen were referable to this species, all others being M. serrator. 

Merganser serrator (Linn.). Red-breasted Merganser. 

Exceeding^ abundant on all the lakes and rivers visited by us. 
Camp had barely been pitched on the banks of the JQiamna River, near 
lliamna village, July 12, when an old female merganser with a flock of 
11 young came sailing down the current of the river. During the two 
following days this family party was seen every few hours. When 
alarmed, the old bird dove or flew, and the little fellows flapped their 
tin} r down-covered wings and paddled frantically with their little feet, 
streaking over the water upstream against a strong current, at an 
almost incredible speed. Many such families of young of various 
ages were seen along the Chulitna, Kakhtul, and Nushagak rivers. 
Whenever we approached near enough to alarm them, this performance 
was repeated, their frantic efforts to get out of harm's way being often 
quite ludicrous. Flocks of 8 to 15 young adults were frequently seen 
on the lower Nushagak, and scarce a half hour passed while we were 
traveling on the rivers that one or more individuals were not in sight. 
From start to finish probably more mergansers were seen than any 
other species of water bird, with the exception of the large gulls. Two 
downy young w T ere taken at lliamna village, and adults were killed, 
but not preserved, on the Nushagak River. McKay took specimens 
at Nushagak and Lake Aleknagik. 

Anas boschas Linn. Mallard. 

An old female of this species in very poor flesh was shot in a grassy 
overflow swamp at the mouth of a small stream near the head of Lake 
Clark; two others in similar condition, with no primaries except short 


pinfeathers, were taken at the mouth of the Chulitna River August 4. 
No others were seen in this vicinity, but their familiar quack was 
heard frequently as migrating flocks Hew over on the nights of Au- 
gust 7, 8, and 9. In spite of this scarcity of mallards on the Chulitna 
side and indication that they were moving south, they began to appear 
later on Swan River. Thence to the end of our route they were more 
or less abundant, probably outnumbering all other fresh-water ducks. 
On Swan River, nearly every turn of the stream or little bight, where 
slack water gave opportunity for a growth of grasses and water weeds, 
harbored at least a pair of mallards, and often a small flock. From 
the junction of the Swan and the Kakhtul rivers to the mouth of the 
Tikchik very few were seen, as the banks are unfavorable and covered 
with spruce timber; but from the mouth of the Tikchik down the 
Nushagak to its mouth they were very abundant September 3 to 12. 
Here they were found on the open, barren sandbars or in shallow 
coves near them where the pebbly bottom afforded but little growth 
of vegetation, so that it scarcely seemed possible that they were feed- 
ing. They were found in such places, however, at all times of the 
day, from the first streaks of dawn until it was quite dark. Others 
were found along the numerous sluggish branches of the river in more 
favorable feeding places; but by far the greater number were out on 
the main river, among the thousands of gulls, geese, and cranes, along 
the stretches of sand. One foggy morning, as we were slipping down 
the current of one of the narrow side channels, a brace of mallards flew 
across a small peninsula to our left and alighted in a little cove, whence 
they hauled out on the mudd}?" bank. Thinking to secure a good fat 
duck for dinner, we quickly swung the canoe into an edd}^ and pad- 
dled upstream toward the little cove. One of the birds flew while out 
of range, and at about the same time the other somehow disappeared, 
although there was but a small patch of grass for concealment. Expect- 
ing the bird to rise at any moment, we paddled on but were beginning 
to feel baffled, when just before the canoe touched the bank, we found 
our game giving a very pretty exhibition of its confidence in protective 
coloration. It was a female mallard, and lay on the brown mud bank, 
strewn with dead grass and decaying matter, which blended perfectly 
with the markings of its back. It was not merety crouching, but lay 
prostrated to the last degree, its wings closely folded, its neck stretched 
straight out in front of it with throat and under mandible laid out 
straight, and even its short tail pressed flatly into the mud. The only 
sign of life came from its bright little eyes, which nervously looked at 
us in a half hopeful, half desperate manner. When a paddle was lifted, 
with which it could almost be reached, the bird started up and was 
allowed to escape with its well-earned life. 

NOVEMBER, 190-1.] 

BIRDS. 57 

Mallards were seen in large flocks at Nushagak September 16 to 20; a 
few flocks were also seen about Beeharof Lake, and one was killed at 
the head of the lake as late as October 16. High-flying- flocks of ducks, 
apparently mallards, were seen at Cold Bay October 20. McKay 
found the species breeding at Nushagak and took a number of speci- 
mens there in May and June, 1881. 

Mareca americana (Gmel.). Baldpate. 

Several specimens were taken by McKay at Cape Constantine and 
at Ugashik September, 1881. The species was not seen by us. 

Nettion carolinense (Gmel.). Green- winged Teal. 

Green-winged teal were very scarce on the interior lakes and rivers. 
One old female was seen on the Nogheling River July 21, and no more 
appeared until we neared the coast on the lower Nushagak River. 
Immense flocks were seen in late September in the vicinity of Nushagak. 
McKay obtained several specimens at Nushagak and at Ugashik. 

Spatula clypeata (Linn.). Shoveller. 

One specimen was taken near Nushagak by McKay August 14, 1881, 
and another September 24, 1882. The species was not seen by our 

Dafila acuta (Linn.). Pintail. 

No pintails were seen by us among the large flocks of other ducks 
met along the Nushagak River. Numerous specimens were taken from 
June to August at Nushagak b}^ McKay and Johnson. 

Aythya marila (Linn.). Scaup Duck. 

Scaup ducks, doubtless this species, were seen in small flocks along 
the Nushagak River September 4 to 9. McKay took them in May 
and July at Nushagak and Ugashik. 

Clangula islandica (Gmel.). Barrow Golden-eye. 

One was seen on the Nogheling River July 20, and one was killed 
there some days later; another was shot by W. L. Fleming on a small 
pond near the head of Lake Clark July 28. Several immature birds 
were killed at the mouth of the Chulitna River August 4. Rather 
common at intervals along the Chulitna River August 12 to 17; gen- 
erally seen in family parties of 6 to 10. Near Swan Lake a flock of 
about 15 was seen feeding on a shallow lake in company with a flock 
of 10 swans. Seen almost daily in pairs or small flocks along the 
Malchatna and upper Nushagak September 3 to 6. 

Charitonetta albeola (Linn.). Buffle-head. 

Two specimens were seen at Cold Bay October 17 among some ducks 
killed on the bay by natives. One was taken at Nushagak by McKay 
May 2, 1882. 


Harelda hyemalis (Linn.). Old-squaw. 

A few old-squaws were seen on the Nushagak River, about 25 miles 
above its mouth, September 11. Others were seen in small flocks from 
this point to Nushagak, and they were also common on Bristol Bay. 
between Cape Etolin and Igagik. Several parties of them were seen 
on the lower Ugaguk River September 29. Most of these were imma- 
ture birds. Those that were killed were found to be very good eat- 
ing, though of a decidedly different character from mallards, which 
were sometimes baked in the same pan. 

Histrionicus histrionicus (Linn.). Harlequin Duck. 

Seen in small flocks along the Ugaguk River and in and about the 
mouths of the larger streams that empty into Becharof Lake; com- 
mon on salt water at Kanatak and Cold Bay. They spend much time 
out on the open water with other species of ducks, but frequently 
leave their company to visit the mouths of small streams or to ascend 
them for considerable distances. When slightly startled on a stream 
they do not fty, but keep at a safe distance from danger by allowing 
the current to carry them downstream, unconcernedly passing through 
riffles and rapids, and deftly avoiding, without apparent effort, the 
rocks and whirlpools. 

Among the considerable number that we killed, none were in adult 
plumage, nor were any such seen, all being birds of the year. Speci- 
mens were taken at Igushik and Nushagak by McKay and Johnson. 

Polysticta stelleri (Pall.). Steller Duck. 

Evidently a common duck about Bristol Bay, but not seen by us, 
as we made no attempt to collect large birds. McKiiy and Johnson 
collected it as follows: Nushagak, May 20, August 14, October 8; 
Ugashik, July 17, November 12, November 28. 

Somateria v-nigra Gray. Pacific Eider. 

Eiders were found in great abundance about Bristol Ba} 7 and at 
Nushagak. Good-sized flocks were seen all along the Ugaguk River as 
well as on Becharof Lake. One specimen, a young male in transition 
plumage, was taken near the head of Becharof Lake October 7. 
Large flocks were seen at Kanatak and at Cold Bay. McKay secured 
specimens at Cape Constantine and Ugashik. 

Somateria spectabilis (Linn.). King Eider. 

Evidently quite common at Nushagak and about Bristol Bay. and 
doubtless seen by our party, but not recognized. McKay took several 
specimens at Nushagak and also at Ugashik. 

Oidemia americana Swains. Scoter. 

A few American scoters with broods of small young were seen on 
ponds a few hundred }"ards back from the shore of Lake Clark Jul}" 23. 

NOVEMBER, 1904] BIRDS. 59 

Females with young were also seen occasionally along- the more slug- 
gish courses of the Chulitna River. Scoters were common at Cold 
Bay, and specimens of this species were killed while we were there. 
Numerous specimens were taken Iry McKay and Johnson at Nushagak, 
Cape Constantine, Point Etolin, and Ugashik. 

Oidemia deglandi Bonap. White-winged Scoter. 

A flock of 6 was seen on Neekahweena Lake, about halfway up the 
Chulitna River, August 14. This was the only time we met with this 
species. Specimens were taken by McKay and Johnson at Nushagak, 
Cape Constantine, and Lake Aleknagik/' 

Oidemia perspicillata (Linn.). Surf Scoter. 

Surf scoters were not positively identified among the numbers of 
other species seen by us. Specimens were taken at Cape Constantine 
by McKay September 12, 1881. 

Anser albifrons gambeli (Hartl.). White-fronted Goose. 

Several white-fronted geese were killed on the Chulitna River in 
early August, and small flocks were seen frequently. One was taken 
on the Malchatna River, a few miles above its junction with the Tik- 
chik, September 3. From this point down to Nushagak large flocks 
were seen daily, either flying noisily overhead or resting on sandy 
spits and islands. On the rare days or hours of sunshine they take 
life easily, squatting on the sand in large groups or waddling lazily 
and apparently aimlessly about on it. 

Branta canadensis hutchinsi (Rich.). Hutchins Goose. 

A flock of 10 flew over camp at the mouth of the Chulitna River 
August 5. The species was not seen again until we reached the Mal- 
chatna River, a few miles above its junction with the Tikchik. From 
this point down to Nushagak flocks were seen daily. This species 
seemed to outnumber the white-fronted, the only other species of 
goose that we saw. The two species do not mingle, but flock sepa- 
rately, though flocks of each were sometimes seen occupying respective 
areas on the same sand bar. Although there were a large number of 
geese in the region, we did not see such immense flocks as occur on 
the lower Yukon, possibly because the season was not far enough 
advanced. The largest flocks were of about 150 birds each. Their 
center of abundance seemed to be about midway between Kakwok and 

Philacte canagica (Sevast.). Emperor Goose. 

An emperor goose was collected by McKay at the mouth of the 
Nushagak River May 5, 1882. Two others were taken at Ugashik in 

«No. 92149, U. S. N. M., was recorded as Melanetta fusca, but proves to be 0. deg- 
landi. Cf. Kidgway, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., VII, p. 68, 1884. 


the fall of 1881. A series of 11 specimens was also taken by McKay 
on Bristol Bay (exact locality not recorded) in May, 1881. Most of 
these have been exchanged or otherwise disposed of, and few are at 
present in the National Museum collection. 

Olor columbianus (Ord). Whistling Swan. 

More or less common, and breeding- in suitable places along the 
Chulitna River, the upper waters of the Nushagak system, and near 
the Ugaguk River and Becharof Lake. Several were seen flying at 
a distance over the marshes about the mouth of the Chulitna River 
August 1 to 9, and a flock of 1 was seen on Neekahweena Lake, 
about halfway up the Chulitna River, August 11. One was shot on 
Swan Lake August 18 by one of our natives. This proved to be such 
a desirable addition to our bill of fare that effort was made to secure 
others, and within the next few days two more were killed on small 
lakes near Swan Lake. Several small flocks were seen flying over the 
swampy country between Swan Lake and the mouth of the Swan 
River August 27 and 28. No others were noted until September 29, when 
a line of 8 or 10 big snowy fellows was seen slowly winging over the 
lake-dotted tundra near the Ugaguk River. A few days later 2 speci- 
mens were killed from a large flock on a little lake near the southwest 
shore of Becharof Lake, October 5. 

Wild swans in their natural habitat seem infinitely more beautiful 
than the domestic varieties in artificial ponds. On two occasions I 
was favored with opportunities of seeing them under conditions seldom 
equaled in an ornithological experience. The first was on the evening 
of August 14, on the beautiful little Neekahweena Lake, after a long- 
day of hard paddling against the current of the Chulitna River. We 
entered the lake just after sundown and glided slowty across, enjoying 
the light of a glowing sky mirrored in absolutely placid w T ater. When 
we were about midway, the soft musical call note of a swan attracted 
attention to several small white objects on the far side of the lake. The 
canoe was headed toward them while the natives imitated the call. In a 
few minutes the objects appeared larger, and seven of the great snow- 
white birds were distinguished slowly approaching, calling softly and 
swerving in and out among themselves, half curious and half timorous. 
As they drew nearer, we ceased paddling and remained perfectly 
silent, wrapt in the spectacle, until the swans were so near that their 
breasts and gracefully arched necks could be seen reflected in the 
glassy water. This occupied but a few minutes, as they soon decided 
that the situation was dangerous and took flight. Until they flew, 
the scene, in itself extremely impressive, was made doubl}- so by their 

At another time, while seeking a vantage point for taking a photo- 
graph near Swan Lake, 1 ascended a slight eminence from which I 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] BIRDS. 61 

looked down through some scattered timber to a little silvery lake, 
twinkling through the trees, and showing here and there spots of 
white which I recognized as swans. After a short detour and consid- 
erable crawling from tree to tree, good cover was reached on the bank 
of the lake, from which 1 could thoroughl} r appreciate the beautiful 
sight of 10 stately swans, variously disposed, enjoying a quiet, lazy 
afternoon. The place was evidently much frequented, for many loose 
feathers were scattered along the shore and on the water, and bits of 
grass and water weeds were floating about. Several were young birds 
of the 3^ear, and though of large size were easily recognized by their 
juvenile manners. A flattened tussock in shallow water a few feet 
from the shore appeared to have been used as a nest earlier in the 

The flesh of the swan was found excellent eating, the young birds 
naturally being preferable, though some of the older ones were not 
particularly tough. In fact, swan was voted the best meat in camp, 
when there was at the same time an abundance of young mallard, 
grouse, ptarmigan, and rabbits. The natives make various uses of 
the swan's skin, often taking it entire, exclusive of the wings, to make 
a winter garment for a small child. The skin of the foot they use for 
making a small bag or purse. 

Grus canadensis (Linn.). Little Brown Crane. 

Little brown cranes were first seen September 3 on the Malchatna 
River, a few miles above the mouth of the Tikchik, and from that 
point down to the vicinity of the mouth of the Nushagak, they were 
very abundant. The river for this distance abounds in islands and 
long sand bars and spits upon which large water birds spend much of 
their time. When not flying the cranes are seldom seen except on 
these sand bars, where they mingle with the more numerous gulls and 
geese. On fine daj^s they stand for hours in small groups enjo} T ing 
the sun, scarcely ever making a move. Their unmistakable rattling, 
metallic cry usually kept one informed of their whereabouts when 
they were flying anywhere within half a mile. They were quite wary 
and rarely came within gunshot. A specimen is in the National 
Museum, taken by McKay, on the Nushagak River, 80 miles above its 

Crymophilus fulicarius (Linn.). Red Phalarope. 

A single phalarope, supposed to be this species, was seen on Becharof 
Lake October 6. Two specimens, in full breeding plumage, were 
taken by McKay at Cape Constantine, Bristol Bay, May 15, 1883. 

Phalaropus lobatus (Linn.). Northern Phalarope. 

Two northern phalaropes were taken by McKa}" at Igushik May 
23-24, 1882, and two others at Ugashik, July 15 and August 10, 
respectively. Our party did not meet with the species. 


Gallinago delicata (Ord). Wilson Snipe. 

Several were seen in tundra swamps, near the Kakhtul River, Sep- 
tember 1, and a half dozen individuals were seen flying while we were 
descending the upper Nushagak September 4. A small flock was seen 
on the Ugaguk River September 29. One specimen was taken at 
Nushagak by McKay April 25, 1882. 

Macrorhamphus griseus (Gmel.). Dowitcher. 

One specimen (No. 92132 U. S. N. M.) was taken near Nushagakby 
McKay September 21, 1882, and another (No. 101228 U. S. N. M.) at 
the same place by Johnson June 9, 1884. Both of these are decidedly 
referable to M. griseus and do not even equal in length of bill the 
smallest specimens of M. seolopaceus available. The culmen of No. 
101228 measures 52 mm., and that of No. 92132 is 60 mm. Both are 
labeled male. 

Arquatella couesi Ridgw. Aleutian Sandpiper. 

One flock of about 20 birds was found at Cold Bay, October 16, and 
specimens were secured. They were found as usual huddled closely 
together on a slippery, spray-washed rock, apparently oblivious of 
everything, and showing no particular interest in life. When startled 
they left as one bird, and with a slight twittering flitted around the 
first big bowlder and unconcernedly alighted in another dark, dank 
place. Numerous specimens were taken in April by McKay and 

Arquatella ptilocnemis (Coues). Pribilof Sandpiper. 

Four typical specimens of the Pribilof sandpiper were taken by 
J. W. Johnson at Nushagak April 1-18, 1884. « 

Actodromas maculata (Vieill.). Pectoral Sandpiper. 

One was taken by Johnson at Nushagak October 15, 1884. The 
species was not seen by our party. 

Actodromas minutilla (Vieill.). Least Sandpiper. 

One was taken on the portage between lakes Iliamna and Clark 
July 19. A few others were seen at Keejik, Lake Clark, July 25. 
After that date no more were observed. One specimen which I 
have not been able to find is recorded as taken by McKay on the 
Aleknagik River June 16, 1881. 

Pelidna alpina sakhalina (Vieill.). Red-backed Sandpiper. 

Several small flocks were seen Hying up and down the Ugaguk Rivei 
September l -M>. None were seen on the mud flats about Nushagak, 
doubtless because the water there is brackish. McKay took several 
specimens in May and July, 1881, at Ugashik. 

«Cf. Palmer, Birds Pribilof Ids., Fur Seals and Ids. of N. Tac, pt. 3, p. 403, 
Wash., 1899. 

NOVEMBER, 1901.] BIRDS. 63 

Ereunetes occidentalis Lawr. Western Sandpiper. 

In the National Museum are two specimens of this sandpiper col- 
lected by C. L. McKay at Nushagak July 30 and August 10, respec- 

Limosa fedoa (Linn.) Marbled Godwit. 

Two immature specimens of the marbled godwit were taken by 
McKay at Ugashik July 16-18, 1881. These are recorded in the 
National Museum catalogue as ' Limosa hudsonica,' together with two 
other specimens from the vicinity of Nushagak which I have not seen. 

Totanus melanoleucus (Gmel.) Greater Yellow-legs. 

A male bird was taken at Iliamna Village July 14. It came sweep- 
ing in zigzag flight down into a little pond and alighted near where I 
was setting a trap, startling me by its sudden loud outcry. A few days 
later we found a pair in possession of a small pond on the portage 
trail between Lakes Iliamna and Clark. During a great part of each 
of several trips that we made back and forth, they accompanied us, 
making noisy and belligerent demonstrations. Time was too valuable 
to search for the eggs or young, which were doubtless the cause of 
these outbreaks. Each time when we came within about a quarter of 
a mile of the pond, one of the birds would be heard in a loud, high- 
pitched 'yip! yip!' — at least three or four cries to the second. 
Presently, as we came nearer, one of them would be seen flying 
swiftly down the trail, about 5 feet above the ground. When within 
about 1 or 5 feet of us, it would suddenly swoop up a few inches overhead, 
and with a few wide careens, would alight after considerable balancing 
on the tiptop of a small spruce. In a few moments the performance 
would be repeated with some variations and continued until we were 
a half mile or more from the pond. During the entire time the pitch 
and pace of the cries did not abate in the least, and continued long 
after we had passed the danger limit, and the birds were out of sight. 
The long-legged birds perched on the topmost twigs of spruce trees 
looked very much out of place. When I went over the trail last, 
at midnight of July 18, the yellow-legs were as much excited as ever. 
The grotesque appearance the}*- made on the tops of the spruces, 
silhouetted against a moonlit sky, was particularly noticed. 

Yellow-legs were not again found until Swan Lake was reached, 
where one was seen frequently, standing in a few inches of water at 
the edge of a riffle in a small stream and watching the water intently. 
Another was seen on the Malchatna River September 3. Two speci- 
mens were taken by McKay at Nushagak August 11 to 28, 1881. 

Actitis macularia (Linn.). Spotted Sandpiper. 

When we arrived at Lakes Iliamna and Clark, in the latter part of July, 
the majority of the spotted sandpipers, which doubtless breed in the 


region, had migrated, and only scattering stragglers remained. One 
small flock of 8 or 10 hornotines was seen nervously flitting from point 
to point along the gravelly beaches of Lake Clark July 25. Some 
days later a few belated individuals were found along the lower part 
of the Chulitna River. Practically all were gone before August 10. 

Numenius hudsonicus (Lath.). Hudsonian Curlew. 

Three specimens of this curlew were taken at Nushagak by McKay 
in August, 1881. No species of curlew were seen by our party. 

Squatarola squatarola (Linn.). Black-bellied Plover. 

Two black-bellied plover were collected by McKay at Nushagak 
August 8 to 14, 1881. 

Charadrius dominicus fulvus (Gmel.). Pacific Golden Plover. 

A few small flocks were seen on the tide marshes and along the mud 
flats about Nushagak September 12 to 26. Several were seen at Igagik 
and others occasionally along the Ugaguk River, as far up as the mouth 
of Becharof Lake. Specimens were taken at Nushagak by McKay in 
June, 1881. 
iEgialitis semipalmata Bonap. Semipalmated Plover. 

McKay took one specimen of this species on the Nushagak River, 
80 miles above Nushagak, June 25, 1881; another at Lake Aleknagik 
June 17, and another at Point Constantine, in Bristol Bay, May 15. It 
doubtless breeds commonly in the region, but was not found by us 
owing to our late arrival. 

Aphriza virgata (Gmel.). Surf Bird. 

One surf bird was taken by McKay at Nushagak August 9, 1881. 
The species was not seen by our party. 

Arenaria interpres (Linn.). Turnstone. 

One specimen was taken on the beach at Nushagak September 22, 
where it was frequenting the wharves and lumber piles in company 
with the black turnstone. One was taken by McKay at the same place 
August 12, 1881. 

Arenaria melanocephala (Vig.). Black Turnstone. 

One was taken and another seen on one of the islets near the middle 
of Lake Clark July 23. Turnstones were not met again until we 
reached Nushagak, where a flock of about half a dozen were seen daily 
along the beach in front of the village. Specimens were taken by 
McKay and Johnson at and near Nushagak and also at Ugashik in June 
and July. 

Canachites canadensis osgoodi Bishop. Alaska Spruce Grouse. 

A few small flocks were seen in the timber near Ilianma Village. 
July 13-15, and several scattered individuals between Lake Ilianma 



and the Nogheling River. They were found in abundance all about 
Lake Clark, being more common there than 1 have ever found them 
elsewhere in Alaska. We seldom made a landing or walked more 
than 100 yards into the timber around the lake without finding one 
or more grouse. They feed largely on berries in the summer time, 
being particularly fond of those of Vaccinivnt vitis-idaea, which they 
eat almost exclusively from the time the little green berry first begins 
to swell until it is dead ripe. At this time the flesh of the birds is 
sweeter than in the early winter, when a diet of spruce needles has 
made them fatter but less palatable. In the spruce forest which is 
their ordinary habitat, they are unable to obtain on the moss-covered 
ground the grit necessary for a gallinaceous bird, so they make daily 
excursions to the shores of the rivers and lakes where tine gravel is to 
be had in abundance. Early morning before sunrise is the time for 
this; then they may often be seen on the beaches, singly, in pairs, 
or in small flocks. Doubtless they also come to the rivers to drink, 
though pools are common enough in the swampy openings in the 
timber. On the Chulitna River one was caught in a steel trap which 
had been set for a possible mink or weasel in the marsh grass at the 
water's edge. 

The range of the spruce grouse is practically coextensive with that 
of the spruce tree. We traveled much of the time near the west- 
ern limit of the timber, and found grouse fairly common, even up to 
the edge of the tundra, where the spruce was considerably scattered. 
The last one seen was a tine cock, which was startled very early on 
the morning of September 10, from a small beach on the Nushagak 
River about '25 miles above its mouth. The grouse are said to occur 
within a very few miles of Nushagak, however. Specimens were 
taken by McKay at Lake Aleknagik. 

Lagopus lagopus (Linn.). Willow Ptarmigan. 

Willow ptarmigan were found in nearly all the tundra and semi- 
tundra regions along our route. In July old females, with partly 
grown young, were found on Iliamna Pass and about Lake Iliamna. 
They were also seen along the Nogheling River. In the thick timber 
about Lake Clark there are of course no ptarmigan, though they may 
occur on some of the mountains. They were abundant along the 
upper Chulitna River, and particularly so on the portage to Swan 
Lake. There, in the latter part of August, the young w T ere still fol- 
lowing their parents, though they quite equaled them in size. 
Whether the young are restrained by their parents who fear that they 
are not able to care for themselves, or whether the adults reluctantly 
remain with the j 7 oung who are too timid to expose themselves, it 
seems that both old and young at this time seldom attempt to escape 
6389— No. 2-4—04 5 


danger by tiight. We repeatedly passed within a few feet of family 
parties of about a dozen birds which displayed small alarm, beyond a 
little craning of necks or a slight crouching, with now and then a warn- 
ing cluck. Often they would not fly until almost stepped upon, and 
then only for a short distance. Once, while walking across the 
portage with a native, we came upon a small flock of ptarmigan and 
I witnessed a simple method of securing game without the use of shot 
and powder. Several of the birds were within about 20 feet, and 
stretched their necks to look at us from the farther side of some 
tundra hummocks, behind which the} r were standing. The native 
dropped on one knee, pulled out his jackknife, and without opening 
it tossed it lightly at one of the bobbing heads. The bird dodged the 
first throw and fluttered away for about 10 feet, enabling the native 
to recover the knife and try again. This time the knife just tapped 
the bird's cranium, causing it to flutter over, stunned. Before it 
could recover, its neck was wrung. 

Willow ptarmigan were found along the Kakhtul and Malchatna 
whenever we went into the open tundra beyond the timber immedi- 
ately bordering the rivers. Occasionally a few were flushed in the 
sparse timber near the edge of the tundra. Sometimes a pair or two 
were found on the mountain sides up to about 1,000 feet elevation, 
well within the domain of the rock ptarmigan. Like the grouse, the 
ptarmigan visit the gravel beaches along the rivers and lakes to obtain 
grit. A flock was seen on such a beach on the lower Nushagak River 
September 11. They were abundant on the tundra about Nushagak, 
and in the latter part of September were collected in large flocks. At 
one of our camps near Nushagak immense flocks came whizzing over 
the tent every evening just before dark, and sometimes for a short 
time after dark, evidently on the way to a resting place for the night. 
Earlier in the season, through late July and early August, we often 
heard the whirr of their wings at night near camp, as well as their half- 
croaking, half-rattling cry which seems to be an invariable and per- 
haps involuntary accompaniment of their flight. The food of the 
willow ptarmigan is much the same as that of the rock ptarmigan. 
Stomachs of birds taken in July contained berries of Vaccinium and 
JE/mpetrum; those of a few weeks later were crammed with the amenta 
of the dwarf birch, and those of still later date showed buds and 
leaves. Specimens in various plumages were taken, but our limited 
carrying capacity made it impossible for us to save large series. 
McKay and Johnson preserved large numbers from Nushagak, chiefly 
of birds in winter plumage, however. 

Lagopus rupestris nelsoni Stejn. Nelson Ptarmigan. 

A few pairs were seen on barren, rocky parts of the 'Portage 
Mountain, ' between the head of the Chulitna River and Swan Lake, 



August 19. They were unwary ut this time and allowed approach 
within easy shotgun range. The natives recognize their distinctness 
from the willow ptarmigan and seem to think their differently pitched 
cry the most important consideration. They were again seen in the 
mountains on the Kanatak portage and about Cold Bay, October 12 
to 26. At this time both rock and willow ptarmigans were to be 
found in the same Hock, though in the more mountainous regions the 
former predominated. Although permanent snows had not yet come, 
the birds were rapidly losing the dark summer plumage, so that as 
they rested on the browned vegetation, their white bodies were veiy 
conspicuous, and could often be seen and recognized though more than 
a mile away on the mountain side. They had also begun their winter 
diet of buds, but obtained a larger variety than if snow had been on 
the ground. 

An examination of the crops of 10 birds killed at Cold Bay showed 
a variety of food, but buds, particularly willow buds, predominated. 
Tiny buds and twigs of some small species of Vaccihium were found 
in large numbers, which must have been secured by a very tedious 
process. Some of the craws contained nothing but buds, others had 
a few leaves of Dryas and Ledum, and occasionally one contained 
some broken pieces of the large aments of AVnus viridis. 

With the material at hand I have been unable to satisfactorily 
distinguish the rock ptarmigan of the Alaska Peninsula from those of 
Unalaska Island. 

Lagopus leucurus Swains. White-tailed Ptarmigan. 

Without being solicited, our guide, Zachar, a very intelligent native 
from Keejik village, described this species. He said that it was found 
in a few restricted localities in the mountains on the northwest side 
of Lake Clark. 

Circus hudsonms (Linn.). Marsh Hawk. 

One was seen near the mouth of the Chulitna River August 6, and 
others at intervals almost daily along the river. Several were seen 
along the Kakhtul River or beating over the swampy tundra back of 
it. Others were seen occasionally thence to Nushagak. Specimens 
from Nushagak of McKay's take are in the U. S. National Museum. 

Accipiter velox (Wils.). Sharp-shinned Hawk. 

A sharp-shinned hawk was seen giving battle to a pair of ravens on 
the Malchatna River September 3. The conflict was watched for fully 
fifteen minutes. During that time both sides won several apparent 
victories, but each time hostilities were renewed by one or the other 
and continued until we were out of sight. The species was not seen 
elsewhere. It is not contained in McKa} r 's collection. 


Accipiter atricapillus striatulus Ridgw. Western Goshawk. 

A goshawk was seen soaring over the mountains about Iliamna 
Pass July 13, and several immature birds were seen daily near camp 
at the mouth of the Chulitna River August 4 to 8. No others were 
observed until we reached Nushagak, where on two or three occasions 
several were seen flying over a piece of swamp}^ tundra. 

Archibuteo lagopus sanctijohannis (Gmel.). Rough-legged Hawk. 

A pair and two young able to fly were found in possession of an islet 
near the middle of Lake Clark. One of the young attempted to fly to 
the mainland about a mile away, but, becoming exhausted, fell into 
the water near the shore and was killed with a paddle. One adult 
was seen at the mouth of the Chulitna River August 2, and another 
was killed a few days later on the upper river. On the Nushagak side 
we saw but one. This came screaming over the boat on the lower 
Nushagak about September 8. One was taken on the Aleknagik or 
Wood River by McKay August 25, 1881. 

Aquila chrysaetos (Linn.). Golden Eagle. 

According to the record of the National Museum Catalogue, a golden 
eagle was taken by McKay at Nushagak September 30, 1882. 1 have 
looked through the collection with considerable care, but have been 
unable to And this specimen. 

Haliseetus leucocephalus alascanus Towns. Northern Bald Eagle. 

In the course of our entire trip but five eagles were seen, as follows: 
At Iliamna village July 15; near the head of Lake Clark July 28; at 
Swan Lake August 27; on the Malchatna River September 3, and on 
Becharof Lake October 0. The natives report them as occurring 
sparingly all through the region. Their primaries and rectrices are 
used by the natives for vanes on arrows, and a neat little pocket needle 
case is made from the large part of the quill by merel} T cutting it off 
and fitting a bone or wooden plug in the open end. 

Falco rusticolus gyrfalco (Linn.). Gyrfalcon. 

Several falcons, presumably this species, were seen flying about a 
high volcanic cliff on Becharof Lake October 1. An unsuccessful shot 
sent them screaming away and they were not seen again. Specimens 
were taken at Nushagak and at Ugashik by McKay. 

Falco columbarius Linn. Pigeon Hawk. 

One was taken and another seen on the Nogheling River about half- 
way between Lakes Iliamna and Clark July 19. Several were seen 
flying over or unsteadily balancing on the topmost twig of some tall 
spruce along the Chulitna River. A second specimen was taken at 
the forks of the upper river August 17. The species was also seen 

NOVEMBER, 1904. 

BIRDS. 69 

occasionally along the Kakhtul and Nushagak rivers. Specimens were 
secured at Nushagak and Aleknagik Lake by McKay. 

Pandion haliaetus carolinensis (Ginel.). Osprey. 

Ospreys were found quite commonly on nearly all the river courses 
we traversed. Fish are plentiful throughout the region, and the birds 
doubtless find an easy living. The first was seen soaring over the 
Nogheling River July 21. The next day a nest was seen in the top of 
a spruce on the bank of the same stream. Ospreys were seen at inter- 
vals along the Chulitna River and nearly always in the vicinity of their 
nests, which are bulky, flat-topped affairs, invariably located on the 
very top of a live spruce near the river bank, thus being very con- 
spicuous. In several places along the Chulitna the young ospreys 
were seen perched on the edge of the nest. A few ospreys were seen 
along the Kakhtul River. One pair had a nest about half a mile from 
one of our camps on the Kakhtul. The old birds made one or two 
trips over us every day, maneuvering about in the air above the tent, 
dangling their legs characteristically and crying loudly or whistling 

Asio accipitrinus (Pall.). Short-eared Owl. 

The short-eared owl, as well as most other species of the coast 
region, was met some 25 miles above Nushagak, and was seen in con- 
siderable numbers. It was attracted by the light in the tent at night 
and came about several of our camps near the mouth of the Nushagak 
River and on Becharof Lake. Several were seen flying over the houses 
at twilight in the villages of Nushagak and Igagik. Numerous speci- 
mens were taken by McKay and Johnson at and near Nushagak and at 

Cryptoglaux tengmalmi richardsoni (Bonap.). Richardson Owl. 

The catalogue of the National Museum records one specimen of Rich- 
ardson owl, taken at Nushagak by J. W. Johnson February 20, 1884. 
I have been unable to find this specimen in the Museum, but since 
the occurrence of the species in the region is altogether probable, 
and since most of the names entered in the catalogue are correct, the 
record may be accepted. 

Bubo virginianus algistus (Oberh.). Great Horned Owl. 

Horned owls are only fairly common in the region traversed. One 
was heard at Iliamna village July 14, another at the mouth of the 
Chulitna River August 6, and a third on the lower Kakhtul River Sep- 
tember 1. A specimen in immature plumage was taken at the forks 
of the upper Chulitna River August 16. While this specimen was 
being prepared, our native guide asked that the body be saved for 
him. When it was delivered to him it promptly went into the pot, 
and shortly after 'boiled owl' was eaten with a relish by the natives. 


On being questioned about it they replied: " Eat urn? Yes; eat um. 
Good! All same glouse." A specimen of this owl was taken by 
McKay near Aleknagik River August 24, 1881. 

Nyctea nyctea (Linn.). Snowy Owl. 

A poorly mounted snowy owl was seen in the trader's store at 
Nushagak. The species is said to be a regular winter visitant there, 
as well as at Igagik and Becharof Lake. Specimens were taken on the 
Malchatna River and at Lake Aleknagik by McKay. 

Surnia ulula caparoch (Mull.). Hawk Owl. 

An immature bird was taken in some thick woods near the head of 
Lake Clark Jul} 7 27. One was seen giving battle to a pair of ravens 
at the mouth of the Chulitna River August 8. It was shot later from 
the top of a tall spruce, where it was resting after its exertions. A 
third was killed a few miles up the river on the following da} r . One 
was taken by McKay on the Aleknagik or Wood River, October 20, 
1881, and four were taken by Johnson at Nushagak in November and 
December, 1884. 

Ceryle alcyon (Linn.). Belted Kingfisher. 

One was seen on the Kakhtul River August 28; another near the 
same place August 31, and a third flew cackling by us down the Mal- 
chatna River September 3. These were the only kingfishers observed 
on the entire trip. 

Picoides arcticus (Swains.). Arctic Three-toed Woodpecker. 

An adult male was taken on the Malchatna River by McKay, in 
March, 1883. It is the only specimen of this species from Alaska in 
the U. S. National Museum, and, as far as I can learn, there is no other 
record of its occurrence in the Territory." During three seasons' 
work in various parts of Alaska I have never seen this woodpecker 
nor heard any report of it. 

Picoides americanus fasciatus Baird. Alaska Three-toed W'oodpecker. 
A woodpecker was heard near Uiamna Village July 15; another 
near Keejik Village, on Lake Clark, July 24, and two specimens 
were taken near the head of Lake Clark July 29. Another-was heard 
on the Chulitna River early in August, and this ended our experience 
with woodpeckers. Though conditions are everywhere favorable for 
them in this region, they seem to be quite rare. One specimen was 
taken by McKay on the Nushagak River January 10, 1882. 

Sayornis saya (Bonap.). Say Phoebe. 

One specimen, probably a migrant, was taken at the mouth of the 
Chulitna River August 6; no others Were seen. 

a Nelson records one specimen from Fort Reliance, which is not in Alaska hut in 
Yukon Territory. Cf. Nat. Hist. Coll. in Alaska, }». 157, 1887. 



Otocoris alpestris arcticola Oberh. Alaska Horned Lark. 

A small flock of 10 or 15 was seen flying about the summit of the 
'Portage Mountain,' between the head of the Chulitna River and Swan 
Lake, August 19. No specimens were secured there, and the species 
was unfortunately not seen elsewhere. 

Pica pica hudsonia (Sab.). Magpie. 

A magpie was brought in bv- a native boy at Keejik Village, on Lake 
Clark, July 26, and several others were seen in the mountains near 
the head of the lake July 28. Magpies were not found again until 
Becharof Lake was reached, where one was taken October 6. A small 
flock was seen at Kanatak October 12. One was taken by McKay on 
the Malchatna River December 25, 1881, and four others on the 
Nushagak River December 13-27, 1881. They doubtless occur spar- 
ingly throughout the entire region. 

Perisoreus canadensis fumifrons Ridgw. Alaska Ja} T . 

As soon as we reached the timber on the interior side of lliamna Pass, 
we met the jays, and from that time until we reached Nushagak we 
saw a good deal of them. They were perhaps most common about 
Lake Clark, but were frequently seen along the Chulitna River and on 
the divide, and thence to Nushagak. They frequently came about our 
camps, but never attempted any great familiarity. Sometimes they 
picked up scraps of meat near the tent, but were usually very cau- 
tious about it, at least while we were in the vicinity. They generally 
preferred to sit a few rods away in a spruce and entertain us by prac- 
ticing some of their vocal accomplishments, which are not a few, and 
well warrant their being given the title of ' Mockingbird of the North.' 
Specimens were taken at lliamna Village, at Lake Clark, and on the 
Kakhtul River. They were also taken in small numbers at Nushagak 
by McKay and Johnson. 

Corvus corax principalis Ridgw. Northern Raven. 

A small party of ravens were about camp at the mouth of the Chu- 
litna River and kept it well cleaned of bits of meat and refuse. The 
raven's ability to appear from space and discover a cubic inch of decay- 
ing meat in a secret place seems second only to that of the bluebottle 
fly and the turkey buzzard. The birds were among the first to be 
active in the morning, and many times awakened us when it was 
scarcely dawn by the peculiar whizzing sound made by their wings 
as they flew slowly back and forth over the tent. Ravens were more 
or less common all along the route. Several w T ere seen along the 
Nogheling River July 21; scattering pairs and small flocks were seen 
or heard at various points about Lake Clark; others now and then 
attracted our attention as we went down the Kakhtul and the Nusha- 
gak. They were common at Nushagak and at Igagik. Large flocks 


were seen at Kanatak, doubtless attracted by the carcass of a right 
whale which had drifted ashore near there. A few were seen at Cold 

Nucifraga columbiana (Wils.). Clarke Nutcracker. 

A tine specimen of the Clarke nutcracker was taken by J. W. John- 
son at Nushagak November 5, 1885. This, I believe, is the second 
specimen of this species known to have been taken in northern Alaska." 

Euphagus carolinus (Mull.). Rusty Blackbird. 

One specimen was taken in a willow thicket near Keejik Village, 
Lake Clark, July 24; no others were seen in this vicinity. They were 
next found along a small creek near the headwaters of the Chulitna 
River, where they were quite common for a few miles. Several were 
seen about the deserted huts of the native village of Ikwok, on the 
Nushagak River, September 5. McKay took one specimen on 
the Nushagak River and two at Lake Aleknagik. 

Pinicola enucleator alascensis Ridgw. Alaska Pine Grosbeak. 

Pine grosbeaks were collected b}^ McKa}' near Nushagak, near Lake 
Aleknagik, and on the Nushagak River. Among these was the type 
of P. e. alascensis (No. 86510, U.S.N.M.), taken June 9, 1881, in spruce 
woods 6 miles above Nushagak. No pine grosbeaks were seen by our 

Loxia leucoptera Gmel. White-winged Crossbill. 

Crossbills were seen in much less numbers than I have usually 
found them elsewhere in Alaska. A few small flocks were seen at 
a distance about Lakes Iliamna and Clark, but they were not noted 
elsewhere. A single adult female was taken in January, 1883, on the 
Malchatna River, by McKay. 

Leucosticte tephrocotis griseonucha (Brandt). Aleutian Leucosticte. 

One adult male, doubtless a straggler from the Alaska Peninsula, 
was taken at Nushagak by McKa}", November 1, 1882. It is inter- 
mediate in size between L. griseonucha and L. litt&ralis, being similar 
to some specimens from Kodiak Island. 

Acanthis hornemanni exilipes (Cones). Hoary Redpoll. 

Flocks were seen in September at Nushagak and along the lower 
Nushagak River; also found commonly about Becharof Lake and at 
Kanatak and Cold Bay, October 1-26. Several specimens were taken 
on Becharof Lake- and at Cold Bay. June and July specimens in 
breeding plumage, taken at Nushagak by McKay and Johnson, are in 
the National Museum, and afford a good example of the residence of 
arctic birds at this point. 

(f. Ridgway, Man. X. Am. Birds, j>. 364, 1SS7; Grinnell, Birds Kotzebue Sound, 
Pac. Coast Avifauna No. 1, j>. 77, 1900. 


BIRDS. 73 

In the fall, after most of the other small birds are gone, the little 
redpolls are more conspicuous, and many a long - tramp in a dreary 
region is relieved of some of its monotony by their cheerful appear- 
ance at frequent intervals. They are intensely gregarious, seeming 
to have no individuality whatever. One even recalls their notes col- 
lectively as a medley of clicking and chipping, not musical but agree- 
able nevertheless. After the alders have shed their leaves the redpolls 
frequent them a great deal. They alight in small clouds in these 
thickets, swerving suddenly from their course as if one and all had 
suddenly changed their minds, or as if shying from a fancied danger, 
and in a flash they disappear in the bushes and immediately begin 
feeding in matter-of-fact fashion on the pendent aments. When 
startled they fly out hurriedly in all directions, chipping excitedly. 
When Hying high they undulate and utter a 'cheep 1 much after the 
manner of siskins and goldfinches. 

Acanthis linaria (Linn.). Redpoll. 

Redpolls were common in the timbered regions about lakes Iliamna 
and Clark and along the Chulitna River. One was taken at Iliamna 
Village, July 13, and another on Lake Clark, July 23, both of which 
were adult males referable to typical linaria. Among a number of 
redpolls taken at Nushagak by McKay and Johnson is one (No. 86526 
U.S.N.M.) which seems also to be true linaria. It was collected June 
2], 1881, and is in very much abraded plumage. 

Acanthis linaria holbcelli (Brehm). Holbcell Redpoll. 

Taken at Nushagak by McKay and Johnson. Four June and Julv - 
birds which have been examined are quite characteristic of this form. 
It was not recognized among the numbers of A. exilipes, seen by us at 
Nushagak in September. Nushagak is perhaps near the southern limit 
of its breeding range. 

Spinus pinus (Wils.). Pine Siskin. 

One was taken at Iliamna Village, July 13, and a few others seen. 
Several were seen on the Nogheling River, July 21. They were not 
seen later, and no specimens are mentioned as taken by McKay at 

Passerina nivalis (Linn.). Snowflake. 

One specimen was taken on the beach at Nushagak, September 2<», 
and another was seen in company with it. A small flock was seen on 
Becharof Lake, October 6, and a few more were seen in the mountains 
between Becharof Lake and Kanatak. Numerous specimens were 
taken at Nushagak by McKay and Johnson. Most of these are winter 
birds, but at least one (No. 110128) is in full nuptial plumage. It was 
taken July 3, 1886, which would indicate its breeding in the vicinity. 


It also breeds at Cold Bay, where Maddren found it nesting in high 
rock}' cliffs in the summer of 1903. 

Passerina hyperborea (Ridgw.). Hyperborean Snowflake. 

The bird used as the basis for the original description of the female 
in winter plumage of this species was taken by McKay at Nushagak, 
November 16, 1882. A male bird was taken by him at the same 
locality, December 10, 1882. The species is evidently a regular winter 
visitant to this locality, for Johnson took two specimens November 
12, 1881, and March 13, 1885, respectively. 

Calcarius lapponicus alascensis Ridgw. Alaska Longspur. 

Longspurs were first found in numbers in the coast region on the 
lower Nushagak River, though a few high-flying birds supposed to be 
this species were seen in the mountains along the Kakhtul River, Sep- 
tember 3. They were practically the only small land birds to be found 
in the tundra about Bristol Bay during middle and later September. 
They were not in large flocks, but in parties of 10 to 20, or very fre- 
quently in twos and threes. When flushed, they usually rose up 
against the strong wind that was blowing most of the time and swung 
around with it, and in a few long sweeps alighted within a short dis- 
tance. When the vegetation is dead and browned in the fall, their 
changed plumage makes them very inconspicuous birds. They were 
seen daily at Nushagak, at Igagik, along the Ugaguk River, and at 
various points along Becharof Lake. A few were seen at Kanatak 
and several at Cold Bay as late as October 25. Numerous specimens 
were taken at Nushagak by McKay and Johnson. 

Passerculus sandwichensis alaudinus (Bonap.). Western Savanna 
Breeding abundantly on the treeless slopes and in the small grassy 
mountain valleys on the west side of Iliamna Pass, where one specimen 
was taken July 12. Seen in small numbers in open places in the 
vicinity of Iliamna Village and along the Nogheling River. None 
were seen about Lake Clark until August 7, when they suddenly 
appeared in considerable numbers near the mouth of the Chulitna 
River, not in the open swamps, but in scattering twos and threes in 
the thick willow brush, evidently preparing for migration. After 
this date none were seen. McKay and Johnson found the species 
breeding at Nushagak. 

Zonotrichia leucophrys gambeli (Xutt.). Intermediate Sparrow. 

First seen on the portage between Lakes Iliamna and Clark, where 
it was found in company with Z. <-<>i'<>n<tt<i July 18. Scattered indi- 
viduals were observed later about Lake (lark and along the Chulitna 
River. One specimen was taken and a tew others were seen near 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] BIRDS. 75 

Swan River August 27. They were quite rare at this time, and the 
majority that breed in the region had doubtless migrated. One speci- 
men was taken at Nushagak as late as September 18. Specimens were 
also taken 'at this locality by McKa} 7 , June 6 to August 9, 1881. 

Zonotrichia coronata (Pall.). Golden-crowned Sparrow. 

The golden-crowned sparrow was the first land bird seen when wo 
reached Iliamna Bay. It was very common in the low brush on the 
steep mountain sides about the bay, where M. W. Gorman found several 
nests in the latter part of June. These, he says, usually contained 
four eggs, though one with six was found. The bird was abundant at 
Iliamna village and between there and the bay. Large streaked 
3'oung were found on Lake Iliamna July 17, and a few were seen about 
Lake Clark, which is probably as far as the species ranges into the 
interior. The birds are rather erratic about going south in the fall 
and do not all leave at once, as straggling individuals remain until 
quite late. One of these stragglers was taken by Johnson at Nushagak 
as late as November 5. Breeding birds were also taken there by 
McKay in June. 

Spizella monticola ochracea Brewst. Western Tree Sparrow. 

Several were seen on Iliamna Lake July 16 near the Nogheling 
portage, where one specimen was taken. A few were seen about 
Lake Clark, and a specimen was taken at the mouth of the Chulitna 
River August 3. On the trip up the Chulitna, tree sparrows were 
found to be quite common, being the characteristic birds of the low' 
brush and almost the only small birds that were regularly seen each 
day. They were also common about the Chulitna portage and from 
there on down the Swan River and the Kakhtul to the Malchatna, 
after which they were seen no more. McKay secured specimens at 
Nushagak and on the Nushagak River 80 miles above its mouth. 

Junco hyemalis (Linn.). Slate-colored Junco. 

Up to the second week in August j uncos were seen almost daily from 
Iliamna village to the lower Chulitna River. They were in scattered 
family parties, the older members of which took particular pains to 
follow us through the woods whenever occasion offered, persistently 
scolding and flitting excitedly about, making more disturbance than 
many other birds would at the invasion of their nests. Like the 
chickadees, they were particularly responsive to * squeaks. 1 and sel- 
dom failed to appear promptly when calls were given for more desir- 
able species. Several specimens were taken. They were not taken at 
Nushagak bj T McKay and Johnson. Perhaps they do not occur farther 
west than the Iliamna region, though it would be strange if they did 
not range throughout the spruce timber. 


Passerella iliaca (Merrem). Fox Sparrow. 

A .specimen of typical Passerella iUaca (No. 86535 U. S. N. M.) in 
breeding plumage was taken by McKay at Nushagak June 6, 1881. 
From this it would seem that the species breeds all along the coast of 
Bering Sea. north of the Alaska Peninsula, since it is known to be a 
common breeder at St. Michael. A specimen (No. 110105) collected 
by J. W. Johnson at an unknown locality on the Alaska Peninsula is 
intermediate in character between iliaca and unalaschcensis, but nearer 
to iliaca. 

Passerella unalaschcensis (Gmel.). Peninsula Sparrow. 

One specimen was taken and several were seen in the mountains 
near Iliamna Bay July 12; two others, one adult and one immature 
bird, were taken at Iliamna village July 14; and another } r oung bird 
was taken on Lake Iliamna at the Nogheling portage July 18. These 
agree well with birds from the Shumagin Islands and localities to the 
westward on the Alaska Peninsula. Doubtless these localities are near 
the eastern limit of the range of typical unalaschcensis, since aberrant 
birds are found in Cook Inlet. a The young are easily distinguishable 
from young of insularis and annectens by much the same characters as 
the adults. . They are generally grayer and less rufeseent and the light- 
creamy areas on the under parts are more extensive. On the upper- 
parts the head, neck, and forepart of the back are gra}^er, and show 
greater contrast with the rump and upper tail-coverts. 

A specimen of typical unalaschcensis in fresh fall plumage was taken 
at Nushagak September 19; another, which is not quite typical, but 
easily referable to imalaschcensis, was taken at the same locality by 
J. W. Johnson October 22, 1884. These birds may have been wan- 
derers, but if so they must have wandered out of their regular course 
of migration and traveled in a northerly or westerly direction for a 
considerable distance, as their known breeding range is to the south 
and east. Nushagak, where typical iliaca breeds, is scarcely 100 
miles from Lake Iliamna and points on the Alaska Peninsula where 
we have typical unalaschcensis. Between these localities there is no 
physical barrier and no appreciable difference in temperature or 
environment. If we assume that intergradation takes place between 
these two birds in this short distance, we must do it merely on the 
evidence of a very limited number of specimens showing a combina- 
tion of characters. Without apparent environmental cause it hardly 
seems possible thai differentiation takes place in such a short distance 
between two such well-marked forms; one a distinctly rufeseent bird, 
the other as distinctly olivaceous gray; one with bright chestnut pri- 
maries and rectrices, the other with these parts of quite different 
color; one a bird with white wing-bars, the other with none; one with 

«Cf. N. Am. Fauna No. 21, p. 79, 1901. 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] BIRDS. 77 

back striped, the other with back plain. If it be -true that gradual 
intergradation according to a sequence of geographical units does 
take place in this case, it is certainly the most remarkable on record. 
If we consider the few intermediate specimens as hybrids pure and 
simple, there is much less to be explained. Additional specimens from 
different parts of the Alaska Peninsula would perhaps decide the ques- 
tion, but while it is. necessary to choose from hypotheses, 1 prefer 
the hybrid theory to that of gradual geographic intergradation. In 
this connection it is interesting to note that most of the supposed 
' intergrades ' are winter birds from California and that no typical 
iUaca has been taken in California." Accepting the hybrid theory, it 
is possible to believe that these birds were led to take a western route, 
while typical iUaca, although breeding in practically the same region, 
has invariably followed its own route to the eastward. 

Hirundo erythrogastra Bodd. Barn Swallow. 

Barn swallows breed commonly in the vicinity of Lake Iliamna and 
Lake Clark, where we found them in late July and early August. 
It is probable that they are also summer residents of much of the other 
country through which we traveled, but we arrived too late to find 
them. They were seen in small numbers at Iliamna Village July 14; 
on Lake Iliamna July 15; about the islands in Lake Clark July 23; 
and near the mouth of the Chulitna River August 6 to 10. They 
appeared with other swallows in considerable numbers August (>, and 
soared about all day. The majority of them disappeared the next day 
(August 7), and by August 10 practically all were gone. 

Iridoprocne bicolor (Vieill.). Tree Swallow. 

A few unmistakable tree swallows were seen in company with flocks 
of violet-green swallows at Iliamna Village July 13 to 15. The} T were 
not recognized with certainty elsewhere. 

Tachycineta thalassina lepida (Mearns). Northern Violet-green Swallow. 
Violet-green swallows were found in considerable numbers at Iliamna 
Village and several specimens were taken July 13 to 15. At this time 
they were flying actively as late in the evening as 9.30. Earlier in 
the season they doubtless fly much later. Small numbers were seen 
on Lakes Iliamna and Clark. On August 6 they were preparing to 
migrate. None were seen after August 10, when I left the mouth of 
the Chulitna River. 

Ttiparia riparia (Linn.). Bank Swallow. 

No signs of bank swallows were seen except along a short stretch of 
the Nushagak River between the mouth of the Tikchik and Kakwok, 
where most of the high banks were drilled along the upper edges with 

a I believe I am correct in this. P. iliaca has been variously recorded from Cali- 
fornia, but so far as I know the specimens are of the hybrid type. 


their characteristic holes. The birds themselves were not seen, doubt- 
less having- migrated early in August. Summer specimens taken at 
Nushagak by McKay are in the National Museum. 

Lanius borealis Vieill. Northern Shrike. 

An immature bird was taken at the mouth of the Chulitna River 
August 5, and another at Swan Lake August 25. One was seen on 
the Kakhtul River August 31. Another, the last one seen, was found 
near Nushagak September 17. Two specimens were taken b} T McKay 
at Ugashik September 20, 1881. 

Helminthophila celata (Say). Orange-crowned Warbler. 

A few scattering birds were seen in the low bushes about Lakes 
Iliamna and Clark in July. One specimen was taken at Iliamna 
Village July 11, and another, an immature bird, near the head of 
Lake Clark July 26. The species doubtless went south with the 
other warblers soon after the 1st of August, as we saw none after that 
date. The immature example differs quite decidedly from the adult, 
in having two buffy wing bars, buffy sides, grayish head and throat, 
a decided whitish loral stripe, and a grayish brown pileum and nape 
distinct from olivaceous back. The species breeds in the vicinity of 
Nushagak, as testified by several specimens .taken in June by McKay. 

Dendroica aestiva rubiginosa (Pall.). Alaska Yellow Warbler. 

The yellow warbler was one of the least common of the warblers 
seen about Lake Iliamna and Lake Clark during the early part of our 
trip. One specimen was taken at Iliamna Village July 15, and another 
about 10 miles above the mouth of the Chulitna River August 11. 
Several others were seen or heard near Iliamna Village and about Lake 
Clark. Specimens were taken at Nushagak by McKay and Johnson. 

Dendroica coronata (Linn.). Myrtle Warbler. 

The myrtle warbler was found in considerable numbers about Lake 
Clark, where it doubtless breeds. It was most abundant August 6, when 
a slight migrating wave was observed at the mouth of the Chulitna 
River. Several specimens were taken, including both adults and young 
of the year. The species was collected at Nushagak by McKay. 

Dendroica striata (Forster). Black-poll Warbler. 

This was the most common of the warblers seen from July 14 to 
August 12. It was fairly common at Iliamna Village; a few were 
seen along the Nogheling River, and man} 7 at various points along 
Lake Clark. They frequented the tops of the deciduous trees more 
than the other warblers, which generally kept lower down in the willow 
brush. Our camp at the mouth of the Chulitna River was situated in 
a grove of birch and poplar. From August to August 10 it was 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] BIRDS. 79 

possible to step outside the tent at almost any time during the day 
and see one or more black-polls flitting through the tree-tops. Of the 
seven specimens taken nearly all are young in transition plumage. 
One taken on Lake Clark July 23 is irregularly patched with parts of 
the juvenal and the first fall plumages. The light olivaceous of the 
new plumage is appearing strongly on the pileum, breast, and sides, 
and a few new feathers are scattered through the scapular tracts. 
Elsewhere is the more or less mottled dusky and creamy of the juvenal 
plumage. The species undoubtedly breeds throughout the timbered 
region traversed by us. McKay's collection contains two breeding- 
birds, one taken on the Nushagak River, 80 miles above its mouth, 
June 25, 1881, and one at Aleknagik Lake June 17, 1881. 

Seiurus noveboracensis notabilis Ridgw. Grinnell Water Thrush. 

A pair of water thrushes was seen at Iliamna Village July 11. They 
flew nervously about" in a willow thicket, and acted as if a brood of 
3 T oung might be secreted in the vicinity. No more were seen until 
August 3, when the}- became quite common at the mouth of the Chu- 
litna River, where they were beginning to migrate. Their quick, 
nervous actions and decisive call note made them very noticeable. 
Three specimens were taken there, one of them being caught in a 
mouse trap under a deca} r ed log in a boggy place. None were seen 
later than August 7. One specimen was taken by McKay on the 
Nushagak River, 85 miles above its mouth, June 6, 1881. 

Wilsonia pusilla pileolata (Pallas). Pileolated Warbler. 

Pileolated warblers were found in abundance among the thickets of 
alder and willow from the summit of Iliamna Pass to Iliamna Village. 
They were found about Lake Clark and were particularly numerous 
among other migrating warblers at the mouth of the Chulitna River 
August 5 to 7, perhaps being second in abundance only to the blackpoll 
warbler. They were found in low brush, particularly willow, rather 
than higher up in birches and spruce, where other species preferred 
to be. Specimens were taken at Iliamna Pass, Iliamna Village, head 
of Lake Clark, and at the mouth of the Chulitna River. In 1881 
McKay took four specimens at Nushagak. 

Budytes flavus alascensis Ridgw. Alaska Yellow Wagtail. 

McKay and Johnson secured four breeding birds of this species in 
June and July at Nushagak. This is doubtless near the southern 
limit of its breeding range on this continent. 

Anthus pensilvanicus (Lath.). Pipit, 

A few small flocks were seen in barren rocky places about the tops of 
some low mountains near the Kakhtul River August 29-31. McKay 
secured two specimens at Nushagak August 25, 1881. 


Cinclus mexicanus Swains. Dipper. 

One adult was taken at the mouth of a cold rushing- stream near the 
head of Lake Clark August 1. It was accompanied by a young bird, 
able to fly but not lacking in juvenile manners. The parent skipped 
about the rocks or dove unconcernedlv into the icy riffles. Mean- 
while the young one, with feathers ruffled and head thrown slightly 
back, fluttered about, making frequent stops, while it kept up a plain- 
tive cry, accompanied by a fretful expression about all its movements 
which reminded me of a wilful child. These were the only ouzels met 
with until near the end of our trip, when a specimen was taken on a 
small mountain stream at Cold Bay October IS. McKay took five 
specimens on the Malchatna River December 15-20, 188-1. 

Parus atricapillus turneri Ridgw. Turner Chickadee. 

Chickadees were found sparingly all along our route. Toward 
the end of the season they shared places in our affections with 
the redpolls, as most of the other small land birds had migrated. 
Specimens were taken on Lake Clark, on the Nushagak River, at 
Nushagak, and at Cold Bay. Specimens from Nushagak, taken by 
McKay and Johnson, are also in the National Museum. These, as 
well as others from Alaska, seem to indicate that Parus dtrica/pillus 
turneri merits recognition as a form subspecifically different from 
P. a. septentrionalis. The Alaska bird contrasted with 1\ a. septen- 
trionalis is characterized by a decidedly smaller and more slender bill, 
shorter wing and tail, and general grayer coloration. The black of 
the pileum is more dead bluish-black, without any brownish cast as in 
septentrionalis i the white on the outer webs of the secondaries is 
broader and more extensive; and on the outer web of the outer rec- 
trix there is less tendency to a dusky wedge next to the shaft. In 
fall plumage particularly there is less buffy tingeing on the back and 
rump, as well as on the sides, than is the case with septentrionalis. 

Parus hudsonicus Forst. Hudsonian Chickadee. 

The Hudsonian chickadee was much less common than I have 
usualby found it elsewhere in Alaska. Only two specimens were 
collected, one at the head of Lake Clark, July 31, and another ;it 
Nushagak, September 19. A few small flocks were seen at other 
points, but at rather long intervals. 

Acanthopneuste borealis (Bias.). Kennicott Willow Warbler. 

Two specimens of this interesting bird were secured near Iliamna 
Village, July 13 and 11. They were found in small deciduous trees, 
where their actions were not noticeably different from those of other 
warblers with which they were associated. McKay's collection con- 
tains one specimen of this species taken near the Aleknagik River, 
August 24, 1881. Two specimens taken by J. W. Johnson, at Nusha- 
gak, June 19, 1881, are in the National Museum. Previous records 

NOVEMBER, 1904.] BIRDS. 81 

include 9 specimens from Alaska — 6 from Norton Sound/' 2 from 
the Kowak River, 6 and 1 from Port Clarence/ 

Hylocichla alicise (Baird). Gray-cheeked Thrush. 

A gray-cheeked thrush was seen at Swan Lake August 25, and 
another a few da} T s later on the Kakhtul River; a third was collected 
near the mouth of the Kakhtul River September 1. This specimen is 
more olivaceous than any other I have seen, which is perhaps due to 
its being in newly acquired fall plumage. McKa} T secured two speci- 
mens, one at Aleknagik Lake and one near Nushagak. 

Hylocichla ustulata swainsoni (Cab.). 01iv r e-backed Thrush. 

This thrush was heard rarely in late Jul}" in the Lake Iliamna and 
Lake Clark region, and not at all after we left the mouth of the 
Chulitna River early in August. The lateness of our arrival doubtless 
deprived us of the pleasure of hearing the beautiful night song of the 
bird, so well known to summer travelers in Alaska. One specimen 
was taken on Lake Clark, near Keejik, July 21. 

Hylocichla guttata (Pall.). Alaska Hermit Thrush. 

Two specimens taken at the head of Lake Clark July 29 were the 
only hermit thrushes seen. Two specimens taken at Nushagak by 
McKay and Johnson are recorded in the National Museum Catalogue, 
but I have been unable to find them. 

Merula migratoria (Linn.). Robin. 

A few robins were seen near Iliamna Village, and one specimen was 
taken there July 15. From this point on to the upper Chulitna River 
robins were seldom seen, though once in a great while we heard their 
familiar note. They were quite abundant in small flocks about Swan 
Lake August 25, and considerable numbers were also seen near there 
in the brush and young timber around the base of the 'Portage Moun- 
tain.' Specimens were taken at Nushagak by McKay in June, 1881. 

Ixoreus naevius (Gmelin). Varied Thrush. 

The unmistakable note of this species was heard on the Kakhtul 
River on the evening of August 28, and the following day, a few 
miles farther downstream, one of the birds was seen perched in the 
top of a spruce. The species was not observed elsewhere. McKay 
secured specimens in June on the Nushagak River near its mouth, and 
at Aleknagik Lake. 

" Dall and Bannister, Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., I, p. 278, 1869; Baird, Ibid., p. 
313; Nelson, Nat. Hist. Coll. in Alaska, pp. 214-215, 1888; McGregor, Condor, IV, 
p. 144, 1902. 

>> Townsend, Auk, IV, p. 13, 1887, and Cruise of Rev. Strnr. Convin in 1885, p. 94, 
1887; Grinned, Birds of Kotzebue Sd., Pac. Coast Avifauna No. 1, p. 60, Nov., 1901, 

c Townsend, Auk, loc. cit. 

6389— No. 24—04 6 


Acanthis exilipes, 22, 72-73. 

holboelli, 22, 73. 

linaria, 73. 
Aoanthopneuste borealis, 80. 
Accipiter striatulus, 68. 

velox, 67. 
Aetitis niacularia, 63-64. 
Actodrornas maculata, 62. 

minutilla, 62. 
JSgialitis semipalmata, 64. 
Agrostis, 14, 15, 20. 
Albatross, short-tailed, 54. 
Alee, 22. 

gigas, 29-30. 
Alnus viridis, 11. 
Anas boschas, 55-57. 
Andromeda, 21. 
Anser gambeli, 59. 
An thus pensilvanicus, 79. 
Aphriza virgata, 64. 
Aquila chrysaetos, 68. 
Arehibuteo sancti-johannis, 68. 
Arctos, 17, 21. 
Arenaria interpres, 64. 

melanocephala, 64. 
Arquatella couesi, 62. 

ptilocnemis, 62. 
Aspen, 13. 

Asio accipitrinus, 69. 
Auklet, crested, 52. 

paroquet, 52. 
Aytbya rnarila, 57. 
Balaena, 22. 

sieboldi, 27. 
Baldpate, 57. 
Bat, little brown, 50. 
Bear, black, 41. 

Kidder, 41^5. 

peninsula brown, 41-45. 
Beaver, 32-33. 
Betula alaskana, 11, 17. 

rotundifolia, 11, 16. 
Birch, dwarf, 11, 16. 

paper, 11. 
Birds, list of, 51-81. 
Blackbird, rusty, 72. 
Braehyramphus brevirostris, 52. 

marmoratus, 52. 
Branta hutchinsi, 59. 
Bubo algistus, 69-70. 
Budytesalascensis, 22, 79. 
Buffle-head, 57. 
Calcarius alascensis, 22, 74. 
Canachites osgoodi, 64, 65. 

Canis albus, 39-40. 
Caribou, peninsula, 27-29. 
Castor canadensis, 32-33. 
Cepphus columba, 52. 
Ceryle alcyon, 70. 
Chamsecistus, 17, 21. 
Charadrius fulvus, 22, 64. 
Charitonetta albeola, 57. 
Chickadee, Hudsonian, 80. 

Turner, 80. 
Cinclus mexicanus, 80. 
Circus hudsonius, 67. 
Citellus, 22. 

ablusus, 31-32. 
Clangula islandica, 57. 
Colymbus auritus, 51. 

holboelli, 51. 
Cormorant, pelagic, 55. 

white-crested, 54-55. 
Corvus principalis, 71-72. 
Crane, little brown, 61. 
Crossbill, white-winged, 72. 
Crowberry, black, 44. 
Crymophilus fulicarius, 22,61. 
Cryptoglaux richardsoni, 69. 
Curlew, Hudsonian, 64. 
Cyclorrhynchus psittaculus, 52 
Darila acuta, 57. 
Delphinapterus, 22. 

leucas, 27. 
Dendroica coronata, 78 

rubiginosa, 78. 

striata, 78-79. 
Devil's club, 14. 
Dicrostonyx, 22. 

nelsoni, 37. 
Diomedea albatrus, 54. 
Dipper, 80. 
Dowitcher, 62. 
Dryas, 21. 
Duck, harlequin, 58. 

scaup, 57. 

Steller, 58. 
Eagle, golden, 68. 

northern bald, 68. 
Echinopanax, 14. 
Eider, king, 68. 

Pacific, 58. 
Empetrum, 19, 21. 

nigrum, 44. 
Erethizon myops, 38. 
Ereunetes occidentalis, 63. 
Erignathus, 22. 

uauticus, 47-48. 




Euarctos, 22. 
Euphagus carolinus, 72. 
Evotomys, 22. 

dawsoni, 33-34. 
Falco columbarius, 68-69. 

gyrfalco, 68. 
Fiber spatulatus, 35. 
Pox, Alaska red, 40. 

arctic, 22. 

continental arctic, 40. 
Fratercula corniculata, 52. 
Gallinago delicata, 62. 
Gavia adarusi, 51. 

lumme, 51-52. 

pacifica, 51. 
God wit, marbled, 63. 
Golden-eye, Barrow, 57. 
Goose, emperor, 59-60. 

Hntchins, 59. 

white-fronted, 59. 
Goshawk, western, 6.8. 
Grebe, Holboell, 51. 

horned, 51. 
Grosbeak, Alaska pine, 72. 
Grouse, Alaska spruce, 64-65. 
Grus canadensis, 61. 
Guillemot, pigeon, 52. 
Gull, Bonaparte, 54. 

glaucous-winged, 53. 

Sabine, 54. 

short-billed, 53-54. 
Gulo, 22. 

luscus, 46-47. 
Gyrfalcon, 68. 
Haliseetus alascanus, 68. 
Hare, Alaska arctic, 39. 

arctic, 22. 

Dall varying, 39. 
Harelda hyemalis, 58, 
Hawk, marsh, 67. 

pigeon, 68-69. 

rough-legged, 68. 

sharp-shinned, 67. 
Helrninthophila celata, 78. 
Hirundo erythrogastra, 77. 
Histrionicus histrionicus, 58. 
Hylocichla alicia\ 81. 

guttata, 81. 

swainsoni, 81. 
Iridoprocne bicolor, 77. 
Ixoreus naevius, 81. 
Jaeger, long-tailed, 52. 

parasitic, 52. 
Jay, Alaska, 71. 
J unco hyemalis, 75. 
J unco, slate-colored, 75. 
Kingfisher, belted, 70. 
Kittiwake, Pacific, 53. 
Lagopns lagopus, 22. 65-66. 

leucurus, 67. 

nelsoni, 66-67. 
Lanius borealis, 7s. 
Lark, Alaska horned, 71, 
Larua brachyrhynchus, 53-54. 

glaucescens, 53. 

Philadelphia, 54. 
Lata v lutris, 47. 

Lemming, Nelson pied, 37. 

pied, 22. 
Lemmus minusculus, 36-37. 
Lepus dalli, 39. 

othus, 22, 39. 
Leucosticte griseonucha, 72. 

Aleutian, 72. 
Life zones, 21-25. 
Limosa fedoa, 63. 
Longspur, Alaska, 74. 
Loon, Pacific, 51. 

red-throated, 51-52. 

yellow-billed, 51. 
Loxia leucoptera. 72. 
Lunda cirrhata, 52. 
Lutra, 22. 

canadensis, 45. 
Lutreola melampeplus, 45-46. 
Lynx, Canada, 39, 
Lynx canadensis, 39. 
Macrorhamphus griseus, 62. 
Magpie, 71. 
Mallard, 55-57. 
Mammals, list of, 27-50. 
Mareca americana, 57. 
Marmot, hoary, 32. 
Marmota caligata, 32. 
Marten, 46. 
Merganser americanus, 55. 

serrator, 55. 
Merganser, 55. 

red- breasted, 55. 
Merula migratoria, 81. 
Microsorex, northern, 50. 
Microtus, 22. 

drummondi, 35. 

kadiacensis, 34-35. 
Mink. Kenai, 45-46. 
Moose, Alaska, 29-30. 
Mouse, Dall lemming, 35-36. 

Dawson red-backed, 33-34. 

Hudson Bay jumping, 37-38. 
Murre, California, 52. 
Murrelet, Kittlitz, 52. 

marbled, 52. 
Mus norvegicus. 33. 
Muskrat, northwest, 35. 
Mustela, 22. 

americara, 46. 
Myotis lucifugus, 50. 
Nettion carolinense, 57. 
Nucifraga columbiana, 72. 
Numeniua hudsonicus, 61. 
Nutcracker, Clarke, 72. 
Nyctea nyctea, 70. 
Nymphsea, 11. 
Oceanodroma furcata, 54. 

h'ucorhoa, 54. 
Ochotona collaris, 38. 
Odobenus, 22. 

obesus, 19. 
( tidemia americana, 58 59. 

deglandi, 59. 

perspicillata, 59. 
Oldsquaw, 58. 
Olor columbianus, 60-61. 
i isprey, 69 



Otocoris arcticola, 71. 
Otter, land, 45. 

sea, 47. 
Ovis kenaiensis, :>0. 
Owl, great horned, 69-70. 

hawk, 70. 

Richardson, 69. 

short-eared, 69. 

snowy, 70. 
Pandion carolinensis, 69. 
Parus hudsonicus, 80. 

turneri, 80. 
Passerculus alaudinus, 74. 
Passerella iliaca, 76. 

unalaschcensis, 76-77. 
Passerina hyperborea, 25, 74. 

nivalis, 22, 73-74. 
Pelidna sakhalina, 62. 
Perisoreus fumifrons, 71. 
Petrel, fork-tailed, 54. 

Leach, 54. 
Phalacrocorax cincinatus, 54-55. 

pelagic us, 55. 
Phalarope, northern, 61. 

red. 61. 
Phalaropus lobatus, 61. 
Philafcte canagica, 59-60. 
Phoca richardi, 48-49. 
Phoca.'na phocsena, 27. 
Phtebe, Say, 70. 
Pica hudsonia, 71. 
Picea canadensis, 11,13,15. 

mariana, 13. 
Picoides arcticus, 70. 

fasciatus, 70. 
Pika, collared, 38. 
Pinicola alascensis, 72. 
Pintail, 57. 
Pipit, 79. 
Plover, Pacific golden, 64. 

semipalmated, 64. 
Polysticta stelleri, 22, 58. 
Populus balsamifera, 10, 13-14, 17 

treniuloides, 13, 17. 
Porcupine, Alaska, 38. 
Porpoise, harbor, 27. 
Ptarmigan, Nelson, 66-67. 

white-tailed, 67. 
Puffin, horned, 52. 

tufted, .".2. 
Puffinus tenuirostris, 54. 
Putorius, 22. 

arcticus. it;. 
Rangifer, 22, 

granti, 27-29. 
Rat, Norway, 33. 
Raven, northern, 71-72. 
Redpoll, hoary, 72-73. 

Holboell, 73. 
Riparia riparia, 77-78. 
Kissa pollicaris, 53. 
Robin, 81. 
Salix, 17, 19. 
Sandpiper, Aleutian, 62. 

least, 63. 

pectoral, 62. 

Sandpiper, Pribilof, 62. 

red-backed, 62. 

spotted, 63-64. 

western, 63. 
Sayornis saya, 70. 
Sciurus, 22. 

hudsonicus, 30-31. 
Scoter, 58-59. 

surf, 59. 

white-winged, 59. 
Seal, Pacific harbor, 48-49. 

western bearded, 47-18. 
Seiurus notabilis, 79. 
Shearwater, slender-billed, 54. 
Sheep, Kenai, 30. 
Shoveller, 57. 
Shrew, arctic, 49-50. 

Shumagin, 50. 
Shrike, northern, 78. 
Simorhynchus cristatellus, 52. 
Siskin, pine, 73. 
Snipe, Wilson, 62. 
Snowflake, 25, 73-74. 

hyperborean, 74. 
Somateria spectabilis, 22, 58. 

v-nigra, 22, 58. 
Sorex, 22. 

arcticus, 49-50. 

eximius, 50. 

shumaginensis, 50. 
Sparrow, fox, 76. 

golden-crowned, 75. 

intermediate, 74-75. 

peninsula, 76-77. 

western savanna, 74. 

western tree, 75. 
Spatula clypeata, 57. 
Spinus pinus, 73. 
Spizella ochracea, 75. 
Spruce, black, 13. 

white, 11, IS, 15. 
Squatarola squatarola, 22, 64. 
Squirrel, Hudson Bay red, 30-31. 

Nushagak ground, 31-32. 
Stercorarius longicaudus, 52. 

parasiticus, 22, 52. 
Sterna paradisa?a, 54. 
Surf bird, 64. 
Surnia caparoch, 70. 
Swallow, bank, 77-78. 

barn, 77. 

northern violet-green, 77. 

tree, 77. 
Swan, whistling, 60-61. 
Synaptomys, 22. 

dalli, 35-36. 
Taehycineta lepida, 77. 
Teal, green-winged, 57. 
Tern, arctic, 54. 
Thrush, Alaska hermit. 81. 

gray-cheeked, 81. 

Grinnell, water, 79. 

olive-backed, 81. 

varied, 81. 
Totanus melanoleucus, 63. 
Turnstone, 64. 

black, 64. 



Uria ealifornica, 62. 
Ursus, 22. 

arnericanus, 41. 

gyas, 41-45. 

kidderi, 41-45. 
Vaccinium, 17,21,44. 
Vole, Drummond, 35. 

Kodiak, 34-35. 
Vulpes alascensis, 40. 

innuitas, 40. 

lagopus, 22. 
Wagtail, Alaska yellow, 79. 
Walrus, Pacific, 49. 
Warbler, Alaska yellow, 78. 

black-poll, 78-79. 

Kennicott willow, 80-81. 

myrtle, 78. 

Warbler, orange-crowned, 78. 

pileolate'd, 79. 
Weasel, arctic, 46. 
Whale. Pacific right, 27. 

white, 27. 
Wilsonia pileolata, 79. 
Wolf, northern, 39-40. 
Wolverine, 46-47. 
Woodpecker, Alaska three-toed, 70. 

arctic three-toed, 70. 
Xema sabinei, 54. 
Yellow-legs, greater, 63. 
Zapus, 22. 

hudsonius, 37-38. 
Zones, life, 21-25. 
Zonotrichia coronata, 75. 

gambeli, 74-75. 





No. 2 5 

[Actual date of publication, October 24, 1905] 


LIFE ZONES, with Characteristic Species of Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, and Plants 

REPTILES, with Notes on Distribution 

MAMMALS, with Notes on Distribution? Habits, and Economic Importance 




Prepared under the direction of 



19 5 




No. 2 5 

[Actual date of publication, October 24, 1905] 


LIFE ZONES, with Characteristic Species of Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, and Plants 

KEPTILES, with Notes on Distribution 

MAMMALS, with Notes on Distribution, Habits, and Economic Importance 


Prepared under the direction of 




. 19 5 


\ £ 

\ /o\ vgw**W\ 


IT. S. Department of Agriculture, 

Biological Survey, 
Washington, D. C, July 10. 1005. 
Sir : I have the honor to forward herewith, for publication as North 
American Fauna No. 25, a report on the results of a biological survey 
of Texas, by Vernon Bailey. The report consists of three sections: 
The first characterizes the life zones and defines the distribution areas 
of the State; these are mapped in detail and are accompanied by 
practical suggestions as to their adaptation to agricultural uses. The 
second comprises a brief report on the snakes and lizards, adding con- 
siderably to previous knowledge of the distribution of these groups. 
The third consists of a report on the mammals of the State, and con- 
tains much of a practical nature on distribution, habits, and economic 
relations of the several species. 

The maps and illustrations are essential to the clearness and brevity 
of the report. 

C. Hart Merriam. 
Chief, Biological Surrey. 
Hon. James Wilson, 

Secretary of Agriculture. 




Introduction : 9 

Personnel of Biological Survey work in Texas 10 

Acknowledgments - 10 

New species of inammals 10 

Fauna and flora of Texas in relation to life zones and minor distribution 

areas 11 

Tropical element of the Lower Rio Grande region 14 

Lower Austral zone . . - 16 

Gulf Strip of Texas 16 

Austroriparian of eastern Texas 18 

Grand and Black prairies 19 

Coast prairie 19 

Coast marshes 20 

Beaches and islands 20 

Mammals of eastern Texas Austroriparian 20 

Birds breeding in eastern Texas Austroriparian 21 

A few of the lizards and snakes of eastern Texas 21 

Plants characteristic of humid eastern in distinction from arid 

western Texas . ,. 22 

Lower Sonoran of western Texas 23 

Semiarid Lower Sonoran 23 

Extreme arid Lower Sonoran . . 25 

Mammals of Lower Sonoran of western Texas 26 

Breeding birds of Lower Sonoran of western Texas 27 

Reptiles of Lower Sonoran . . 28 

Conspicuous plants of Lower Sonoran 29 

Upper Austral zone, Upper Sonoran division 33 

Mammals of Upper Sonoran 34 

Birds of Upper Sonoran 34 

Lizards and snakes of Upper Sonoran 35 

Plants of Upper Sonoran plains 35 

Plants of Upper Sonoran mountains and foothills 35 

Transition zone ; 36 

Canadian zone • . . 38 

Report on the Biological Survey collection of lizards and snakes from Texas . . 38 

Report on the mammals of Texas 51 




Plate I. Map of life zones of Texas and parts of New Mexico. Oklahoma, 

and Indian Territory Frontispiece 

II. Cypress and other swamp timber near Jefferson 18 

III. Map of distribution of mesqnite in western Texas . 24 

IV. Map of distribution of red-bellied and Texan woodpeckers in 

eastern and western Texas . : 24 

V. Fig. 1. Fouquiera splendent and Covillea tridentata .. C6 

Fig. 2. Desert vegetation of Great Bend region ~6 

VI. Agave lecheguilla, near Boquillas, Great Bend of Rio Grande 32 

VII. Agave wislizeni in flower. Davis Mountains, humming bird at 

flower cluster on left _ . . . 32 

VIII. Sotol before and after the leaves are burned off. on mesa near 

Comstock ( photographed by Oberholser ) 32 

IX. Views on Staked Plains neat Hereford and Dimmitt ( photographed 

by Oberholser) . 36 

X. Fig. 1. Transition zone timber of Guadalupe Mountains 36 

Fig. 2. Head of Dog Canyon. Guadalupe Mountains 36 

XL Transition zone timber of Chisos Mountains (photographed by 

Oberholser) 36 

XII. Map of distribution of eastern rattlesnake and Texas diamond 

rattlesnake - 50 

XIII. Map of distribution area in Texas of the thirteen-lined ground 

squirrels ( Citellus texensis and pallidus) 66 

XIV. Map of distribution in Texas of Baird and Mexican wood rats 

{Neot&ma micropus and mexicana)-. ._ 112 

XV. Head of wild-cat ( Lynx baileyi) . drawing by Fuertes 1 TO 

XVI. Chet cat, drawing by Fuertes.- 182 



Fig. 1. Map of distribution area in Texas of huisache {Vachellia farne- 

siana) .. 17 

3. Map of distribution area in Texas of creosote bush (Covillea tri- 
dentata) 25 

3. Map of distribution area of Agave lecheguilla 30 

4. Map of distribution area of the black and yellow persimmons 

i B rayodendron texanum and Diospyros virgin in nn) ._ 32 

5. Skull of armadillo, Tatu n. num. from Brownsville, Texas 52 

6. Skull of armadillo, Tatu n. mexica num. from Colima. Mexico 53 



Fig. 7. Map of distribution area in Texas of the armadillo 55 

8. Map of distribution area in Texas of the peccary 59 

9. Photograph of a gray mule deer yearling buck, at Langtry 65 

10. Map of distribution area in Texas of the fox squirrels (Sciurus lud- 

ovicianus and limitis) 76 

11. Map of distribution area in Texas of the gray squirrel (Sciurus 

carolinensis) . . 7fc 

12. Map of distribution area in Texas of the flying squirrel (Sciurop- » 

terns v. querceti) 80 

13. Map of distribution area in Texas of the antelope squirrel (Ammo- 

spermoph tins interpres) _ go 

14. Map of the distribution area in Texas of the prairie dog 89 

15. Map of distribution area in Texas of Peromyscus taylori and subnter. 102 

16. Map of distribution area in Texas of white-throated wood rat 

(Neotoma albigula) 

17. Map of distribution area in Texas of cotton rats of the genus Sigmo- 

don - . 115 

18. Photograph of cotton rat and nest in Pecos Valley .... 118 

19. Photographs of large pod et mouse (Perognathus hispidus) caught 

in traps at Seguin 

20. Photograph of long-eared cottontail (Lepus a. minor) in Pecos 


21. Gray fox ( Urocyon c. scotti) photographed in trap at Langtry by 


22. Prairie-dog burrow enlarged by badger, Pecos Valley 18. r 

23. Map of distribution area in Texas of the spotted skunks of the genus 


24. Map of distribution area in Texas of the white-backed skunks of 

the genus Conepatus . 

No. 25. NOKTH AMEEIOAN FAUNA. Oct., 1905. 


By Vernon Bailey. 


For a number of years the Biological Survey has been collecting 
information and specimens bearing on the natural history of Texas. 
Some of the results are here brought together in a discussion of the 
life zones and their subdivisions and a report on the mammals and 
reptiles of the State. The original plan included also a report on the 
birds of Texas, by H. C. Oberholser, but the present paper has grown 
to such proportions that the bird report will be published separately. 

Much of the field work has been carried on in connection with that 
in adjacent regions, and on several occasions it has been possible to 
continue parties in the field until late in the season or throughout the 
winter by moving them southward into Texas in the fall,' or to begin 
work there early in the spring before the season had opened suffi- 
ciently for operations farther north. Hence, while the Texas work 
has the appearance of being desultory and scattered, the ground in 
reality has been covered with great economy of time and labor. 
Part of the field work has been carried on in connection with special 
studies of urgent economic problems, as the prairie dog, coyote* and 
boll weevil pests, and throughout all of it the economic status of birds 
and mammals has received special attention. The distribution of mam- 
mals, birds, reptiles, and plants, so far as they have an important 
bearing on the extent and boundaries of faunal areas, has been 
studied in detail in the field, and in the case of most species a suffi- 
cient number of specimens has been collected to show the variation 
due to climatic differences. Of many of the larger game mammals, 
and especially of the deer, bear, and panther, it has not been possible 
to secure enough material to satisfactorily establish the present geo- 
graphic limits of the species and subspecies, but it is greatly to be 



hoped that the growing- interest in natural history will inspire local 
hunters and residents of the country to send specimens of these van- 
ishing forms to the National Museum before it is too late. Many 
important problems can be solved only by aid from local naturalists 
or other intelligent residents of the State. The skull that is left in 
the woods or thrown away would often aid in solving one of these 


Ill carrying on the field work in Texas the writer was assisted 
at different times by the following regular or temporary field natural- 
ists of the Biological Survey : William Lloyd, Clark P. Streator, 
William L. Bray, Harry C. Oberholser, N. Hollister, Merritt Gary, 
Gordon Donald, Arthur H. Howell, and James H. Gaut. 

Several local naturalists and collectors have added materially to 
the results of the work in Texas, and among these thanks are espe- 
cially due to Mr. H. P. Attwater and Mr. Howard Lacey. 

Extensive collections of mammals, birds, reptiles, batrachians, 
crustaceans, mollusks, and plants have been made from localities 
practically covering the State, and the field reports of the collectors 
contain a mine of important facts on habits, distribution, correlation, 
and economic importance of species. Much of this material has 
already been published by the Biological Survey in the form of bul- 
letins and papers on economic subjects, and much still remains for 
use in future papers. 


To Dr. C. Hart Merriam, under whose direction the work was 
planned and carried out, I am indebted for the use of his private 
collection of mammals deposited in the United States National 
Museum. To Mr. F. W. True, curator, and Mr. Gerrit S. Miller, jr., 
assistant curator of mammals in the National Museum, I am indebted 
for the use of the museum collection: also to Dr. J. A. Allen, curator 
of birds and mammals in the American Museum of Natural History: 
Mr. Outram Bangs, curator of mammals in the Museum of Com- 
parative Anatomy: and Mr. Witmer Stone, curator of birds and 
mammals in the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, for the loan of 
types and topotypes of mammals from the collections under their 


A number of new species of plants, reptiles, birds, and mammals 
has been found in the Texas collection. Most of these have been 
described and named by various specialists, but descriptions of a 


few previously undescribed mammals are included in the present 
report. They are as follows: 


Tatu novemcinctum texanum 52 

Peromyscns boylei laeeyi . 99 

Peromyscns taylori subater . . . 102 

Reith rodontomys griseus - - - 106 

Castor canadensis texensis 122 

Geomys breviceps lla nensis . . 129 

Lepus pi net is robnstns . . 159 

Can is uebracensis texensis - - . 175 

Conepatus mesoleucus telmalestes 203 


The fauna and flora of Texas are wonderfully rich and varied, not 
only in abundance of individuals and species, but in the number of 
genera, families, and orders, some of which do not occur in any other 
part of the United States. This richness is due. not so much to the 
enormous extent of the State, as to its varied physical and climatic 
conditions, for it embraces areas of abundant humidity and extreme 
aridity, of dense forest and extensive plain, of low coast prairies 
and rugged mountains. Besides stretching across the aerial pathway 
of north and south migrating birds and bats, it lies at the threshold 
of the Tropics and claims a large contingent of Mexican species. On 
the east it includes the fauna and flora of the lower Mississippi Val- 
ley, with most of the species ranging to the Atlantic coast, and on the 
west reaches far into the desert region of highly specialized forms, 
while in the middle portion it is traversed by a wide tongue of ihe 
more northern fauna and flora of the Great Plains. In the vesc 
several mountain masses reach an altitude of 8,000 feet, with peaks 
rising to 8,500 and 9,500 feet. This range of altitude, together with 
the great extent of latitude, suffices to include within the State the full 
width of three of the principal life zones. Lower Austral. Upper 
Austral, and Transition, each with its characteristic series of plants 
and animals. In the Lower Rio Grande and Gulf Coast region there 
is. moreover, a slight overlapping of tropical species, accompanying 
the almost tropical climate, while high up in the Guadalupe. Davis, 
and Chisos mountains are mere traces of Canadian zone species. 

The agricultural and commercial interests of the State are as varied 
as the climatic conditions on which they largely depend, and when 
mapped they are found in many cases closely to correspond with the 
areas of distribution of certain species of native plants and animals. 
In other words, various agricultural industries are being slowly 
developed by endless and costly experiment along the same lines that 
the native species have followed in the course of adaptation to their 
environment. Thus the lumbering industries of the State are pre- 


scribed by the distribution of certain species of trees. On the other 
hand, successful stock raising depends in part on the absence of 
forests and the abundance of certain grasses, and in part on the 
absence of certain disease-conveying parasites. Several varieties of 
wheat are successfully raised over a limited area near the upper edge 
of humid Lower Sonoran zone, but most of the State lies below the 
belt of small grains. Rice and sugar cane are standard crops of the 
semitropical coast region, and cotton is the staple for the whole Lower 
Sonoran zone, wherever the rainfall is sufficient to mature the crop or 
water is available for irrigation. Parts of the State are peculiarly 
adapted to the production of early fruits and winter vegetables for 
the northern market, but these industries are as yet more or less 
restricted by inadequate facilities for quick transportation. 

The division of the State into wheat, cotton, and stock-raising dis- 
tricts is no matter of accident, nor is it a matter of choice on the part 
of those engaged in the various industries. While usually there is 
no room for doubt in the middle of each area as to the crop it is best 
adapted to, there is always a question along the boundaries. For 
instance, where does the successful production of cotton yield to that 
of wheat? Nature in her processes avoids sharp lines and hard-and- 
fast rules, but usually gives reliable averages. Even after a season 
of copious rainfall in a valley clothed with cactus and scrubby mes- 
quite trees, the experienced ranchman knows better than to ploAv and 
plant with the idea that the following season will be similar: but 
from the character of the vegetation and of the animals present he 
may not only learn approximately the average amount of rainfall, 
but also the life zone in which he is located, with its average range 
of temperature and many of the crops best adapted to it. While 
much has been done and much more will be done to overcome arid 
conditions and to convert the now almost worthless desert soil into 
the most productive in the State, the normal conditions limiting life 
zones can not be materially overcome, nor can they be safely ignored. 
The attempt to raise cotton in Upper Sonoran zone results only in 
failure and loss, but enough of this zone lies within the State to 
produce, with the water available for irrigation, an abundance of 
the finest apples, as well as many other fruits and crops not adapted 
to lower zones. 

The primary object of the present report is a careful definition of 
the ranges of native species of plants and animals and a correlation 
of these ranges into well-defined areas of distribution. In ' Life 
Zones and Crop Zones of the United States' Doctor Merriam has 
given, with as much detail as the data collected to 1898 would allow, 
the adaptation of various crops to the zones and their subdivisions, 
and has clearly set forth the practical application of the knowledge 

Oct., 1905.] 


of faunal areas to agriculture. Under the heading ' Relations of the 
Biological Survey to Practical Agriculture,' he says: 

The Biological Survey aims to define and map the natural agricultural belts 
of the United States, to ascertain what products of the soil can and what <an 
not he grown successfully in each, to guide the farmer in the intelligent intro- 
duction of foreign crops, and to point out his friends and his enemies among 
the native birds and mammals, thereby helping him to utilize the beneficial 
and ward off the harmful. * * * * 

The farmers of the United States spend vast sums of money each year in 
trying to find out whether a particular fruit, vegetable, or cereal will or will 
not thrive in localities where it has not been tested. Most of these experiments 
result in disappointment and pecuniary loss. It makes little difference whether 
the crop experimented with comes from the remotest parts of the earth or from 
a neighboring State, the result is essentially the same, for the main cost is the 
labor of cultivation and the use of the land. If the crop happens to be one 
that requires a period of years for the test, the loss from its failure is propor- 
tionately great. 

The cause of failure in the great majority of cases is climatic unfitness. 
The quantity, distribution, or interrelation of heat and moisture may be at 
fault. Thus, while the 'total quantity of heat may be adequate, the moisture 
may be inadequate, or the moisture may be adequate and the heat inadequate, 
or the quantities of heat and moisture may be too great or too small with 
respect to one another or to the time of year, and so on. What the farmer 
wants to know is how to tell in advance whether the climatic conditions on his 
own farm are fit or unfit for the particular crop he has in view, and what crops 
he can raise with reasonable certainty. It requires no argument to show that 
the answers to these questions would be worth in the aggregate hundreds of 
thousands of dollars yearly to the American farmer. The Biological Survey 
aims to furnish these answers. 

Agricultural colleges, experiment stations and substations, horti- 
culturists, and countless fanners are working out the details of these 
problems in. different parts of the country and constantly pushing 
their experiments into new regions. As a crop becomes an estab- 
lished success in one locality, a study of the zone map will show over 
what adjoining country it can be profitably extended. For instance, 
Roswell, N. Mex., where apple raising has proved a great financial 
success, is situated at the junction of Upper and Lower Sonoran 
zones, or in a mixed belt of overlapping of the two, at the western 
edge of the Staked Plains. By tracing this lower border of Upper 
Sonoran zone around the southern arm and along the eastern edge 
of the Staked Plains, a belt approximately 1,000 miles long of the 
same zonal level and climatic conditions is found, lying within the 
State of Texas. This is largely undeveloped agricultural land, but 
a considerable part of it can be irrigated, and there is every reason to 
believe that it will be found perfectly adapted to the varieties of 
apples that thrive in the Pecos Valley at Roswell. The Staked 

i Life Zones and Crop Zones of the United States, by C. Hart Merriam. Bui. 
10, U. S. Dept. Agr., Div. Biol. Survey, pp. 9, 12, 1S98. 


Plains, lying within this belt, arc pure Upper Sonoran, the real home 
of most of the standard varieties of apples. Other northern crops, 
both cereals and fruits, have proved a success along this southern pro- 
jection of Upper Sonoran zone, but have not been introduced as sys- 
tematically as the advantages of its position seem to warrant. To 
quote again from Life Zones and Crop Zones, page 15, under the 
heading " Special value of narrow extensions of faunas," Doctor 
Merriam says: 

In looking at the map of the life zones it will he seen that nearly all of the 
helts and areas send out long arms, which penetrate far into the heart of 
adjoining areas. When such arms occupy suitahle soils in thickly inhabited 
regions, so that their products may he conveniently marketed, they are of more 
than ordinary value, for the greater the distance from its area of principal pro- 
duction a crop can he made to succeed the higher price it will command. 
Hence, farms favorably situated in northern prolongations or islands of south- 
ern zones, or in southern prolongations or islands of northern zones, should be 
worth considerably more per acre than those situated within normal parts of 
the same zones. The obvious reason is that by growing particular crops at 
points remote from the usual sources of supply, and at the same time conven- 
iently near a market, the cost of transportation is greatly reduced and the profit 
correspondingly increased. 

Since the publication of Doctor Merriam's zone map, detailed work 
in Texas has enabled me to make minor corrections and to establish 
the zone boundaries with more precision than has been possible here- 


Until recent years more thorough biological collecting had been 
done in the Lower Rio Grande region than in any other part of 
Texas, with the result of 'giving a somewhat exaggerated impression 
of the tropical element found there. Later and more systematic field 
work over the State, together with the extensive investigations of 
Nelson and Goldman in Mexico, have shown that the Texas mam- 
mals of tropical groups — -as the armadillo, ocelot, jaguar, red and 
gray cats, and spiny pocket mouse — elsewhere range through Lower 
Sonoran zone, or at least its Tamaulipan subdivision, while a more 
critical study of these groups, based on the rapidly increasing amount 
of material, has resulted in every case in the specific or subspecific 
separation of the Texas forms. The single specimen of IVasua, ap- 
parently of a tropical species, from Brownsville may have been im- 
ported, and if this is so not a strictly tropical mammal reaches the 
border of Texas. 

The close proximity to the Tropics is shown most pronouncedly by 
the birds of the Lower Rio Grande region. A considerable number 
of species, mainly tropical in distribution, reach southern Texas, 

Oct., 1005.] TROPICAL ELEMENT. 15 

where some breed regularly, while others are more or less regular 


Columbus dominion* braohyptorus. Polyborus cheriway. 

Phalacrocorax vigua mexicanus. Glaucidium phalainoides. 

Fregata aquila. Crotophaga sulcirostris. 

Nomonyx dominions. Ceryle torquata. 

Dendrocygna autumnalis. Ceryle amerioana septentrionaUs. 

Guam alba.- Nyctidromus albicollis merrilli. 

Mycteria americana. Amizilis tzacatl. 

Ajtiia ajaja. Amizilis cerrinivontris ohaloonota. 

Jacana spinosa. Tyrannus melanoholicus couchi. 

Ortalis vefula maeealli. Pitangus derbianus. 

Leptotila fvlviventris braehyptera. Myiarchus me.vicanus. 

Columba flarirostris. Pyrooophalus rubincus mexicanus. 

Melopelia leucoptera. Omithion hnborbo. 

Scardafella inca. Tangavius <rnem inroluoratus. 

Elanus loucurus. Agelaius phccniceus richmondi. 

Purubutco unioinotus harrisi. Megaquisealus major maorourus. 

Butoo abbreriatus. Arremonops ruflvirgatus. 

Buteo albioaudatiis sennctti. Sporaphila morelleti. 

UruMtinga anthracina. Vireo fldvoviridis. 

Falco fusco-oarulcscens. Geothlypis polioocphala. 

A few species of reptiles supposed to be of tropical origin enter 
southern Texas, but the task of verifying the records and determining 
ranges has not been undertaken in connection with the present work. 

In the case of plants, as of mammals, the tropical element of 
southern Texas has been overestimated. A number of species of 
genera that are mainly tropical extend into the Lower Rio Grande 
region, but very few species of known tropical range. The Texas 
palm (/nodes texana Cook)" is found in limited numbers in the 
Brownsville region, but apparently nothing is known of its southern 
extension or zonal significance. So with other supposedly tropical 
forms the southern limits and zonal position have not been satis- 
factorily determined, but evidently no purely tropical species holds 
an important place in the flora of the Lower Rio Grande region. 
This absence or scarcity of tropical plants is fully accounted for by 
Professor Bray in the Botanical Gazette for August, 1901 (p. 102), 
as follows : 

A record of sixteen years at Brownsville showed a minimum temperature of 
18° (the minimum in February, 1899, was 12°) and five years without frost. 
At Indianola a record of fifteen years showed a minimum of 15° and four years 
without frost. Probably a freeze severe enough to kill tropical woody vegeta- 
tion occurs in periods of ten to twelve years. The fatal temperature for trop- 
ical plants in this region is that due to northers, which bring abnormally low 
temperatures suddenly, and not infrequently during the growth season. 

a Sabal mexieana Mart, of Sargent, Coulter, and Small. 


A striking example of the fatal effects of a ' norther was wit- 
nessed over the coast region of Texas from Galveston to Port La- 
vaca in the spring of 1899, following the extremely cold Avave of the 
preceding February, when the abundant huisaehe trees were killed 
to the ground. In the Brownsville region, however, as I found in 
the following spring, these trees had escaped, but all of the bananas 
had been killed. Under such climatic conditions tropical species could 
hardly be expected to persist, and it is not surprising that the pre- 
ponderating species of plants and mammals are those characteristic 
of Lower Sonoran zone. Nor is it surprising that tropical species of 
birds, with their greater freedom of motion, should overlap the 
limits of their zone slightly beyond the more stationary groups. 

Bananas offer a good illustration of the partial success of a tropical 
fruit in this region. During a period of warm years they thrive and 
even bear fruit, but only to be killed by the first hard freeze. Even 
at Brownsville they require artificial protection to insure their living 
through the winter. Oranges in like manner are a partial success. 
but an assured success only where artificial protection can be afforded 
during the winter. 


By far the greater part of Texas, including all but the Staked 
Plains with their northern and southern extensions and the mountain 
elevations in the western part of the State, lies within the Lower 
Austral, or cotton-producing zone, the subdivisions of which within 
the limits of the State equal, if they do not exceed, in practical 
importance the more restricted intrusions of other transcontinental 
zones. The most important of these subdivisions of Lower Austral 
are the narrow Gulf strip, with its semitropical climate, and the 
Austroriparian, or humid eastern, and Lower Sonoran, or arid west- 
ern, areas, which divide the zone in Texas into approximately equal 


A compartively narrow strip of country bordering the Gulf coast 
of Texas is characterized by a limited number of species of unques- 
tioned tropical affinities, ranging as extensions from Mexico or 
Florida part or all of the way along the Gulf coast, but not extending 
back over the rest of Lower Austral zone. While associated with a 
preponderance of characteristic Lower Austral species, they mark a 
border of modified climatic conditions too important to be ignored. 
This strip has been mapped as a semitropical or Gulf strip of the 
Lower Austral zone, of which it is merely a subdivision. 

In mammals the best representatives of a mainly tropical group 
(subgenus Baiomys) are the little Peromyscus taylori and its. sub- 

Oct., 1905.] 



species subater, which inhabit the coast prairies from Brownsville to 
Galveston. Among birds the caracara, a bird of wide tropical range, 
is common in the coast region of Texas as far east as Port Lavaca, 
while the jackdaws — the great-tailed and boat-tailed grackles — of the 
genus Megaquiscalus, extend in one form or the other from the tropics 
of eastern Mexico along the Gulf coast to Florida, and breed abun- 
dantly along the whole Texas coast region. 

Fig. 1. — Distribution area of huisache (Vaehellia farnesiana). 

In plants some of the species marking the Gulf strip extend into 
the tropical regions of Mexico or Florida, while others are limited to 
some part of this narrow strip. As stated by Professor Bray,° the 
outlines of the strip are approximately indicated in Texas by the 
range of Vaehellia (= Acacia) farnesiana and Parkinsonia aculeata, 
both species of partly tropical range, and to these I should add 
Daubentonia longifolia (Sesban cavanillesii) and Lantana camara as 
equally important, while others of less extensive range in Texas are 

« Botanical Gazette, August, 1901, 103. 
3873— No. 25—05 m 2 


Gastela nicholsonii, Amyris parvifolia, Karwinskia humboldtiana, 
Ibervillea lindheimeri, Castalia elegans, Yucca treculeana, Manfreda 
maculosa, Tillandsia baileyi, Jatropha macrorhiza and midtifida, 
Malpighia glabra, and Solatium triquetrum. It is worthy of note 
that none of these plants enter the swamp and timber country to any 


The eastern part of Texas, west to approximately the ninety-eighth 
meridian, agrees very closely in climate, physiography, and the bulk 
of its species of plants and animals with the lower Mississippi Valley. 
Except for the strip of coast prairie, and farther north the areas 
known as the Black Prairie and Grand Prairie." it is largely a 
forested region, comprising both deciduous and coniferous trees and 
inhabited by forest species of birds and mammals. 

While a rich though only half-developed agricultural region 
devoted mainly to cotton, corn, fruits, and vegetables, it still com- 
prises extensive areas of native forest and uninhabited cypress 
swamps. Most of the numerous streams have wide bottom lands sub- 
ject to occasional floods, from which they derive a deep rich soil 
especially adapted to luxuriant forest growth. These rich bottoms 
are largely grown up to sweet gum, sour gum, various oaks, swamp 
hickory, sycamore, willow, holly, and magnolia, while along the 
streams and in swamps and shallow lagoons the cypress, tupelo gums, 
and palmettoes are often the characteristic growth. Where inter- 
laced with vines these bottom-land forests are almost impenetrable 
thickets. The uplands and ridges arc usually more openly forested 
with deciduous trees, such as oaks, hickories, dogwood, and sassafras, 
or often densely covered with one or more of the three species of pines 
which furnish most of the lumber of the State. Of these Phi us taeda 
and echinata are distributed over the State as far west as Houston. 
Hockley, Trinity, and Palestine in about equal abundance. The long- 
leaf pine (Pinus palustris) occupies the southeastern part of the 
State, and where untouched by ax or fire forms miles of dense forest 
of the cleanest, most uniform, and symmetrical body of pine to be 
found on the continent, excelling the yellow pine forests of Arizona 
and California in the close array of graceful trunks. 

In eastern Texas many species stop short of filling the whole humid 
area, and when their ranges are carefully mapped are found to be 
absent from, or in fewer cases to be restricted to. some of the follow- 
ing nohforested sections: The Grand and Black prairies of the Fort 
Worth and Dallas region: the coast prairie; coast marshes: islands 
and beaches. 

a Physical Geog. of the Texas Region. R. T. Hill, r. S. Geol. Survey. Topo- 
graphic Atlas, p. 13, L900. 

North American Fauna, No. 25 

Plate II 

Fig. 1.— Cypress Swamp, near Jefferson. 

Fig. 2.— Mixed Swamp Timber near Jefferson, Eastern Texas. 



The Grand and Black prairies, lying parallel, with only the narrow 
strip of Lower Cross Timbers' between, extend from near Austin 
north in a broad strip to the Red River bottoms and east to Paris, 
forming an extensive area over which trees and forest species are 
mainly restricted to narrow stream bottoms. The rich black ' wax- 
land ' soil of these prairies is almost proof against burrowing rodents, 
which penetrate the region only along some sandy stream bottoms, 
while the open country tempts jack rabbits, coyotes, and other plains 
species eastward slightly beyond their usual bounds. Few, if any, 
species are restricted to these prairies, however, and the effect on dis- 
tribution is mainly negative. 

Here and there island strips of rich soiled grassy prairie occur in 
the timbered region farther east, becoming smaller and less frequent 
as they recede from the Black Prairie and Grand Prairie, and in 
some cases these islands are inhabited by a few plains species of birds, 
mammals, and reptiles nearly to the eastern edge of the State. Such 
an example is Xevils Prairie, near Antioch, where N. Hollister found 
scissor-tailed flycatchers, jack rabbits, and horned toads. 


Over a wide strip of level coast prairie, extending along the Gulf 
from western Louisiana to San Antonio Bay and irregularly beyond, 
the timber is restricted to relatively narrow strips in the river bottoms, 
while the greater part of the surface is characterized by a rich growth 
of grass and many flowering plants. Spreading live oaks, loaded 
with Spanish moss, border the prairies or grow in scattered motts 
over them. In addition to the strictly shore species and those of the 
salt marshes which occasionally range over it or follow up the rivers 
to the limits of the open country, a few species of birds and mammals 
are characteristic of these coast prairies. 

The most characteristic mammals are Didelphis v. pigra, Peromys- 
cus taylori and subater, Oryzomys palustris, Reithrodontomys </nj'<m- 
tiuSj R. nicrriami, Sigmodon h. texianus, Microtus ludovicianus, 
Geomys sagittal is, Lepus merriami, and Spilogale indianola, and of 
these Peromyscus taylori and subater, Microtus ludovicianus, and 
Geomys sagittdlis are, so far as known, restricted to it. 

The characteristic breeding birds of the coast prairies are Tympa- 
nuchus attwateri, Otocoris a. giraudi, Megaquiscalus major and 
macrourus, Ammodramus in. sennetti, Ooturnicujus s. bimaculatus, 
and Geothlypis t. brachidactyla. 

Among its flowering plants Baptisia, Oenothera, Meriolix, Hart- 
mannia, Monarda, Coreopsis, Ratibida, Grindelia, <'<illir]i<><\ Eustoma, 
and Hymenocallis are conspicuous genera, with numerous species, 




while such low shrubs as Daubentonia longifolia, Vachellia farnesi- 
(i)Ki, Morella cerifera, Ascyrum, and low willows are found here and 
there in favorable localities. 


Extensive marshes border the Gulf shore irregularly as far west as 
Port Lavaca, and recur at intervals, mainly near the mouths of the 
streams, to the Rio Grande. These brackish, sedgy, tide-washed 
marshes are inhabited by rice rats, rails, water snakes, and grea< 
numbers of crustaceans. They are favorite resorts also for numerous 
migrating waders and water birds. 


The Gulf beaches and low islands offshore have a largely maritime 
fauna, the most striking feature of which is the abundance of shore 
birds, pelicans, cormorants, gulls, and terns. Not until the long 
reef-like bar of Padre Island is reached do we find any restricted 
forms of island mammals, and here only two — Perodipus compactus 
and Geomys personatus. 

The following species and subspecies of mammals, breeding birds, 
reptiles, and plants occur more or less commonly in the Austroriparian 
or humid subdivision of Lower Austral zone in eastern Texas, but 
rarely, if at all, in the arid western subdivision of the zone. None of 
the lists are complete. 


Didelphis virginiana. 
Didelphis virginiana pigra. 
Sciuropterus volans querceti. 
Sciurus ludovicianus. 
Sciurus carolinensis. 
Citellus tridecemlineatus texensis. 
Peromyscus gossypinus. 
Peromyscus leucopus. 
Peromyscus taylori subater. 
Oryzomys palustris. 
Reithrodontomys a it cant ins. 
Reithrodontomys merriami. 
Neotoma floridana rubida. 
8igmod<Tn Kispidus texensis. 
Wicrotus pinetorum auricularis. 
Microtus ludovicianus. 
Castor canadensis texensis. 
Geomys breviceps. 
Geomys sagittalis. 
Perognathus hispidus spilotus. 
i.i /ins doridanus alacer. 

Lepus aquaticus. 

Lepus aquaticus attwateri. 

Felis (sp.?) (panther). 

Lynx rufus texensis. 

Cants tiler. 

Vulpes fulfil*. 

i 'rocyon cinereoargenteus fioridanus. 

I is its Jut col IIS. 

Procyon lotor. 

Liiini ( canadensis?). 

Lutreola lutrcocephala. 

Spilogale indianola. 

Mephitis mesomelas. 

Conepatus mesoleucus telmalestes. 

Scalopus aquaticus. 

Blarina brevicauda carolinensis. 

Blarina parva. 

Nycticeius humeralis. 

I a sin r tis borealis. 

Lasiurus borealis seminolus. 

Pipistrellus subflavus. 

Oct., 1905.] 




ffydranassa tricolor ruficollis. 

Florida cwrulea. 

Colinus virginianus. 

Tyriipannchus americanus. 

Tympanuchus americanus attwateri. 

Meleagris gallopavo silvestris. 

Elanoides forflcatus. 

Buteo lineatus. 

Falco sparverius. 

Syrnium v. helveolum. 

Bubo virginianus. 

Megascops asio. 

Campephilus principalis. 

Dryobates pubescens. 

Dryobates villosus auduboni. 

Dryobates borealis. 

Ceophlosus pileatus. 

Melanerpes erythrocephalus. 

Cent ii r its carol in us. 

Colaptes aural us. 

A nirostoiinis carolinensis. 

Chordeiles ( virginianus?). 

Chordeiles virginianus chapmani. 

Trochilus colubris. 

Cocci/.: iis americanus. 

T lira mi its ti/ run nits. 

M iiiarclnis crinittts. 

Contopus rirens. 

Empidonax virescens. 

Cyanocitta cri statu. 

Agelaius phozniceus. 

Agelaius phoeniceus floridanus. 

Icterus galbula. 

Quiscalus quiscula uncus. 

Megaquiscalus major. 

Spizella socialis. 

Spizella pusilla. 

Pcitcaa aestivalis bachmani. 

Cardinal is cardinal is. 

Ouiraca cazrulea. 

Cyanospiza cyanea. 

Piranga rubra. 

V.ireo olivaceus. 

Vireo noveboracensis. 

Vireo flavifrons. 

Mniotilta varia. 

Protouotaria citrca. 

Dendroica dominica albilora. 

Dendroica vigorsi. 

Geothlypis trichas brachidactyla. 

Geothlypis fdrmosa. 

Icteria rirens. 

Wilsonia m it rat a. 

Mini us polyglottos. 

Galeoscoptes carolinensis. 

Thryothorus iudovicianus. 

Sitta carolinensis. 

Sitta pusilla. 

Biroi oph us bicolor. 

Pants carolinensis agilis. 

Polioptila curiileu. 

Hylocichla mustelina. 

Sialia sialis. 



A nolis carolinensis. 

PUrynosoma cornutum (local form). 

Ophisaurus ventralis. 

Cnemidophorus sexlineatus. 
Leiolopisma luterule. 
Eumeces quinquelineatus. 


Opheodrys wstivus. 

Callopeltis obsoletus. 

Larnpropeltis getula holbroolci. 

Xatri.r clarkii. 

Xatri.r fasciata transversa. 

Storeria dekayi. 

Eutainia proxima. 

Tropidoclonium Uneatum. 
Tuntilia gracilis. 
Elaps fulvius. 
A gleistrodon piscivorus. 
Agkistrodon contortrix. 
Crotalus ftorridus. 



[No. 25. 



Pinus tarda. 
J'iiuis palustris. 
Pinus echinata. 
Taxodium distichum.. 
Juniperus virginiana. 
Liquidambar styracifiua. 
Nyssa sylvatica. 
Nyssa aquatica. 
Plata a us occidentalis. 
Magnolia foet.ida. 
Magnolia virginiana. 
Tilia leptophylla. 
Acer drummondi. 
Acer rubrum. 
Hicoria ovata. 
II in iiia a I ha. 
Hicoria glabra. 
Hicoria aquatica. 
Juglans nigra. 
Cast a iica pumila. 
Carpinus caroliniana. 
Ostrya virginiana. 
Betula nigra. 
Quercus phellos. 
Quercus nigra. 
Quercus marylandica. 
Quercus digitata. 
Quercus rubra. 
Quercus virginiana. 
Quercus acuminata. 
Quercus macrocarpa. 
Quercus lyrata. 
Quercus minor. 
Quercus alba. 
Populus deltoides. 
Salix ( nigra .'). 
I tin us americana. 
I I in us fiitra. 
I I in us alula. 
Toxylon pomiferum. 
< 'eltis in ississippiensis. 
Asimina triloba. 
Diospyros virginiana. 
Sassafras sassafras. 
Cynoxylon florid am. 

Crataegus spathulata. 
Crataegus texana. 
Persia borbonia. 
Leitneria floridana. 
Ilex opaca. 
Ilex decidua. 
Ilex vomitoria. 
Ilex lucida. 
Morns rubra. 
Gleditsia tricanthos. 
Gleditsia aquatica. 
Fagara clavaherculis. 
Aratia spinosa. 
Viburnum rufotomentosum. 
Viburnum molle. 
Viburnum ( nudum?). 
Callicarpa americana. 
Cyrilla racemiflora. 

Vaccihium sp. ? 

Morella crispa. 

Azalea sp. ? 

Schmaltzia lanceolata. 
Schmaltzia copallina. 
Ix tins radicaus. 
CepKalanthus occidentalis. 
Ji'tia m nus caroliniana. 
Hamamelis virginiana. 

Vitis sp. '; 

Smilax laurifolia. 
Smilax ( renifolia?) . 
Smilax pumila. 
(lelsemiiim sem gerrirens. 
Bignonia crucigera. 
Campsis radicaus. 
Bradleia ( wisteria ). 
Passiflora incarnata. 
Putins ( trivialis?) . 
Rubus ( procumbensf). 
Yucca louisianensis. 
Yucca urkuusanu. 
Salmi adiuiitiuum. 
A rundiuuria macrosperma. 
Dendropogon usneoides. 
Mitchella repens. 
Sphagnum sp. ? 

For crops of the Austroriparian faunal area of the United States 
see Life Zones and Crop Zones, page 4(*>. under the headings 
'Cereals/ ' Fruits,' k Nuts/ and ' Miscellaneous." Only a part of the 

Oct., 1905.] LOWER SONORAN AREA. 23 


crops listed are adapted to the cast Texas region, however, while 
other varieties have been introduced since the preparation of these 


In Texas the annual rainfall decreases gradually from about 50 
inches in the eastern part of the State to about 10 inches in the 
extreme western part. While the extremes are so great and there is 
no abrupt change from eastern humid to western arid, there is still 
a well-defined division between the two regions, approximately 
where the annual rainfall diminishes to below 30 inches, or near the 
ninety-eighth meridian. By combining the limits of range of east- 
ern and western species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and plants an 
average line of change can be traced across the State, beginning 
on the north at the ninety-eighth meridian, just east of Henrietta, and 
running south to Lampasas, Austin, Cuero, and Port Lavaca. This 
line conforms in a general way to the eastern limit of the mesquite, 
which more nearly than any other tree or shrub fills the whole of the 
arid Lower Sonoran zone. While scattering outlying mesquite. trees 
are found farther east, the line is intended to mark the eastern 
edge of their abundance, or the transition from eastern prairie 
and timber country to the region dominated by the mesquite and 
associated plants. 

West of this line the region may be again subdivided into semiarid. 
or region of mesquite and abundant grass, stretching west to the 
Pecos Valley and from the northern Panhandle to the mouth of the 
Rio Grande, and extreme arid, or region of creosote bush and scanty 
grass, lying mainly between the Pecos and Rio Grande. 


The semiarid region is largely mesquite plains, varying from open 
grassy plains with scattered mesquite bushes to a miniature forest 
of mesquite trees, in places densely filled in with other thorny 
bushes and cactus, as along its southern stream valleys and over much 
of the plains of the Lower Rio Grande. Scattered oaks and other 
scrubby timber growth characterize the higher, rougher parts of the 
region, and narrow strips of tall timber are found along some of its 
streams. Toward the coast, flower-strewn grassy prairies extend 
irregularly nearly across the southern part of the State, forming a 
broken westerly extension of the more continuous eastern coast 
prairie. West of Matagorda Bay this prairie is mainly crowded 

a The Mesophytie plant region of eastern Texas and the Xerophytic of west- 
ern Texas of Coulter and Bray. (See Plant Relations, by John M. Coulter, pp. 
168, 193, 230, 1899, and Ecological Relations of Vegetation of Western Texas. 
I«y William L. Bray. Botanical Gazette, XXXII. p. Ill, 1901.) 


back from the coast by dense thickets, consisting of mesquite, 
huisache, and numerous thorny shrubs mixed with cactus, or of miles 
of live-oak brush, in places only knee high; again, in dense jungles 
10 or 20 feet high, in patches, strips, or isolated oak w motts.' In 
Cameron County the oak motts occur as widely scattered islands on 
the prairie, and are usually made up of a few gnarled old trees. 
Along the stream bottoms and on the low coast flats the chaparral 
is especially dense and in places almost impenetrable from the 
abundance of cactus and thorny branches that interlace over the 
trails. The bulk of this chaparral is composed of common arid 
Lower Sonoran shrubs, such as Momesia pallida, Zizyphus obtusi-* 
folia, Condalia obovata, Koeberlinia spinosa, Opuntia engelmanni, 
O. lepticaulis, and other associated species, which in this semiarid 
region of rich soil grow with unusual vigor. Many other widely 
distributed species, such as Parkinsonia aculeata, Vachellia farne- 
siana, Tillandsia recurvata, and Manfreda maculosa, range through 
it, while a few others are peculiar to it or barely extend into it from 
farther south. 

As Padre Island lies within this semiarid division, and is suffi- 
ciently large and isolated to provide a habitat for a few species of 
mammals, the following brief description by William Lloyd, who 
traveled its whole length in November, 1891, is of interest: 

Padre Island is about 90 miles long, and at the south end runs out to a point, 
the last 10 miles of which is not over a mile wide, while for the last . r » miles it 
is only 300 or 400 yards wide. Its central and greater breadth is nearly 4 miles. 
including about two-thirds of the distance a muddy flat so soft that one sinks 
in it over 3 inches. From here it tapers again to its north extremity, which is 
about 300 yards wide. It is divided from the mainland by the Laguna Madre, 
which is only about a mile wide from Point Isabel and 2 miles wide opposite 
Arroyo Coloral. Here, however, the water is 8 to P) feet deep in the channels. 
Farther north at the noted wagon crossing, about 15 miles south of Corpus 
Christi, near the north end of the island, the channel is 7 miles wide, with the 
water 4J to 5 feet deep at its ordinary elevation, although south winds raise 
it very rapidly so as to be impassable. The main island is surrounded by a 
network of smaller islands, with Mustang Island at the north end separated 
from it by a channel a mile wide. The drift or wrack and floating timbers on 
the Gulf side are rapidly embedded in the restless sand and form a nucleus for 
the sand dunes which stretch along the beach and form the backbone of the 
island. Beyond them are smaller mounds with some little vegetation, and at 
their feet lie sandy fields of grass, broken by numerous salt-water lakes where 
the sea has washed in from time to time. 

The island has no arborescent growth worth noticing, with the exception of a 
shin-oak, which extends from the north end for about a mile and continues on 
sandy bills on the lagoon side for 5 or 6 miles farther. This is usually 
inches to IS inches liiirli. but there are trees, perhaps a different species, G to 8 
feet high. As this oak is always loaded with acorns, even now it is the favorite 
wintering ground of birds such as wood ibis, whooping and sand-hill cranes. 
Wild celery abounds also in the lagoon and attracts great numbers of ducks of 
various species. 

North American t-.uiu No 

Notth Ameiican Fauna. No 25 

/' fc^ 

Oct., 1905.] 



A few willows, presumably Salix nigra, grow ;it t li< - settlement and at one 
point north of it. and a few patches of buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalism 
were observed, also a few stunted ' huisache,' Acacia farnesiana, and crab grass, 
COCkleburr, and wild grapes. These are all on the north and center of the island, 
south of which grow salt grass and various waxy and creeping plaids. 

Strange to say, neither hackberry, mesquite, nor Mexican persimmon, though 
abundant on the adjacent mainland, have succeeded in obtaining a footing any- 
where, and two straggling prickly pears (Opuntia engelmanni) were the sole 
representatives of the cactus family. Although palmetto and banana stumps 
wash ashore in great numbers, none were seen growing. 

dales cover the (Jult* side of the island with debris that must come from the 
districts of Tampico or Vera Cruz. An iguana was taken a short time since on 
the island, and at least three species of snakes, including the rattlesnake, occur 
there. Deer and coyotes have been seen by several parties swimming or wading 
across to and from the island and mainland. 

Fig. 2. — Distribution area of creosote bush (Cocillcu tridaituta) 


The extreme arid section of the arid Lower Sonoran zone of Texas 
includes the Pecos Valley and the Rio Grande Valley south to about 
Eagle Pass and all the country between the two valleys except the 


several mountain masses that rise as somewhat less arid Upper 
Sonoran and Transition zone islands. It has an irregular annual 
rainfall of 10 to 20 inches, and a half-barren soil, rich and mellow 
in the valleys, stony and baked on the mesas. It is subject to long, 
scorching drought, but after a single heavy rainfall bursts into ver- 
dure and bloom with a sudden brilliancy seen only in the desert. 
Its most characteristic shrub is the evergreen creosote bush, the range 
of which defines its extent better than any other plant, but its most 
conspicuous vegetation consists of yuccas, agaves, sotol, cactus, fou- 
quiera, allthorn, and mesquite. Its mammals are mainly the species 
of the whole arid Lower Sonoran. but a few of these extend farther 
west without extending farther east than the Pecos Valley, among 
which are the following species: 

Odocoileus hemionus canus. Perodipus ordi. 

Ammospermophilus interpres. Dipodomys merriami. 

Citellus spilosoma arens. Dipodomys merriami ambiguus. 

Onychomys torridus. G'eomys arenarius. 

Peromyscus leucopus texanus. Thomomys aureus lachuguilla. 

Peromyscus sofioriensis blandus. Canis meamsi. 

Peromyscus eremicus. Vulpes macrotis neomexicanus. 

Perognathus penicillatus cremicas. Myotis californicus. 

Perognathus intermedius. Myotis yumanensis. 

Perognathus nelsoni. Pipistrellus hesperus. 

Perognathus nelsoni canescens. Corynorhinus macrotis pallescens. 

Perognathus flavus. Antrozous pallidus. 

Perognathus merriami (/Unix. Promops californicus. 

Including these somewhat mixed elements of semiarid, half open 
plains, strips of low prairie, dense cactus, thorny chaparral, and 
the more 1 barren region of extreme aridity, under the heading of 
"Lower Sonoran Zone," we have in Texas an area which covers a 
little more than half of the State, and includes by far the largest 
number of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and plants common 
to any subdivision in the State. It is characterized by the following 
species, some of which fill the subdivision and are restricted to it, 
while many more are restricted to definite areas within its limits, and 
still others range beyond through one or more of the other zones. 
Few of the species, however, extend through both arid and humid 
divisions of the zone without undergoing at least a subspecific change. 


Tatu novemcinctum texanum. Citellus variegatw couchi. 

Didelphis marsupialis texensis. Citellus buckleyi. 

Tayassu angulatum. Citellus mexicanus parvidens. 

Odocoileus virginianus tenants. Citellus spilosoma major. 

Odocoileus hemionus canus. Citellus s. arens. 

Sciurux ludovicianus limitis. citellus s. annectens. 

Ammospermophilus interpres. Onychomys torridus. 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate V. 

Fig. 1.— Ocotillo (Fouquiera splendensi and Creosote Bush 
(covillea tridentatal. 

Fig. 2.— Desert Vegetation of Great Bend Region. 

Oct.. 1905.] 



Onychomys longipes. 
Peromyscus leucopus texanus. 
Peromyscus leucopus meamsi. 
Peromyscus michiganensis pallescens. 
Peromyscus sonoriensis blandus. 
Peromyscus eremicus. 
Peromyscus attwateri. 
Peromyscus taylori. 
Oryzomys aquaticus. 
Reithrodontomys intermedins. 
Beithrodontomys megalotis. 
Reithrodontomys griseus. 
Neotoma micropus. 
Sigmodon hispidus berlandieri. 
Filter zibethicus ripensis. 
Castor canadensis frondator. 
Liomys texensis. 
Perognath as li ispidus. 
Perognathus penicillatus eremicus. 
Perognathus intermedins. 
Perognathus nelsoni. 
Perognathus nelsoni canescens. 
Perognathus flavus. 
Perognath us merriami. 
Perognathus merriami gilvus. 
Perodipus ordi. 
Perodipus sennetti. 
Perodipus compactus. 
Dipodomys spectabilis. 
Dipodomys elator. 
Dipodomys merriami. 
Dipodomys merriami ambiguus. 
Geomys breviceps attwateri. 
Geomys breviceps llanensis. 
Geomys arenarkis. 
Geomys texensis. 
Geomys pet sonatas. 
Geomys personatus falla.r. 
Cratogeomys castanops. 
Thomomys aureus lachuguilla. 

Thomomys perditus. 
Lepus merriami. 
Lepus te.riainis. 
Lepus arizomr minor. 
Lepus ftoridanas ehapmani. 
i-'ctis onca hernandezi. 
Felis hippolestes aztecus. 
Felis pardalis limitis. 
Felis cacomitli. 
Lynx texensis. 

Canis rufUS. 

Canis nebracensis texensis. 
Canis microdon. 
Canis meamsi. 

Vulpes maerotis neome.rieanus. 
Urocyon cinereoargenteus scotti. 
Bassariscus astutus paras. 
Taxidea taxus berlandieri. 
Procyon lotor mexicanus. 
Nasua narica (yucatanicaf). 
Putorius frenatus. 
V a tori as neomexicanus. 
Spilogale leucoparia. 
Mephitis mesomelas varians. 
Conepatus mesoleucus meamsi. 
Conepatus leuconotus texensis. 
Scalopus texensis. 
tfotiosorex crawfordi. 
Blarina berlandieri. 
Myotis relifer. 
Myotis californicus. 
Myotis incautus. 
Myotis yumanensis. 
Pipistrellus hesperus. 
Dasypterus intermedins. 
Antrozous pallidas. 
Corynorhinus maerotis palleseens. 
Nyctinom as mexicanus. 
Promops californicus. 
Mormoops megalophylla senienla. 


Col in as virginianus texanus. 

Callipepla squamata. 

Callipepla squamata castanogastris. 

Lophortyx gambeli. 

Meleagris gallopavo intermedia. 

Leptotila fulviventris brachyptera. 

Melopelia leaeoptera. 

Columbigallina passerina pallescens. 

Scardafella inca. 

Flan as leucurus. 

Parabuteo unicinctus harrisi. 

Buteo borealis calurus. 

Buteo abbreviatus. 
Buteo albicaudatus sennetti, 
Buteo swainsoni. 
Urubitinga anthradna. 
Faleo mexicanus. 
Faleo fusco-ccerulescens. 
Faleo sparverius phahvna. 
Polyborus cheriway. 
Syrnium varium helveolum. 
Megascops asio mccalli. 
Bubo virginianus palleseens. 
Speotyto cunicularia hypogcea. 



[No. 25. 

Micropallas whitneyi. 
Crotophaga sulcirostris. 
Qeococcyx calif ornianus. 
Coccyzus americanus occidenfalis. 
Ceryle americana septentrionalis. 
Dryobates scalaris bairdi. 
('cut iir us aurifrons. 
Phalcenoptilus nuttalli. 
Nyctidromus albicollis merrilli. 
Chordeiles acutipennis texensis. 
Amizilis cerviniventris chalconota. 
Tyrann us vociferans. 
Myiarch us cinerascens. 
Sayornis saya. 
Sayornis nigricans. 
Pyrocephalus rubineus mexicanus. 
Xanthoura luxuosa glaucescens. 
Gorvus corax si mint us. 
Corvus cryptoleucus. 
Molothrus (iter obscurus. 
Tangavius uncus involucratm. 
Sturnella magna hoopesi. 

/(■terns mid iihoui. 

Icterus cnctillat its sennetti. 
Icterus parisorum. 
Icterus bulloclci. 

Megaquiscalus major macrourus. 
Carpodacus mexicanus frontalis. 
Astragalinus psaltria. 
A mphispiza bilineata. 
Amphispiza b. deserticola. 

I'ciicira cassini. 

Aimophila ruficeps eremceca. 

Arremonops rufi rirgata. 

Card iiia I is card in a lis cauicaiidiis. 

I'jirrtinlo.iia siuuata. 

Pyrrhuloxia s. texana. 

Quiraca car idea lazula. 

Cyanospiza versicolor. 

Piranga rubra coo/ieri. 

Phainopepla nitens. 

Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides. 

Vireo africapillns. 

Vireo belli medius. 

Vireo b. arizonm. 

Vireo noveboracensis micrus. 

Dendroica wstiva sonorana. 

Dendroica chrysoparia: 

fcteria rirens longicauda. 

Mini iis polyglottos leucopterus. 

Toxostoma longirostre sennetti. 

Toxostoma curvirostre. 

llclcod i/tes brunneicapillus couesi. 

Salpinctes obsoletus. 

Catherpes mexicanus albifrons. 

Thryomanes bewicki cryptus. 

Thryomanes h. leucogaster. 

Bwolophus atricristatus. 

A uriparus flaviceps. 

Polioptila carulca obscura. 

Polioptila plumbea. 



Crotaphytus reticulatus. 

('rota [ih jit ns irislizeuii. 
Holbrookia texana. 
HolbrooJcia propinqua. 
Holbrookia uiaciilata. 
HolbrooJcia m. lacerata. 
Sceloporus clarkii. 
Sceloporus spinosus floridanus. 
Sceloporus consobrinus. 

Sceloporus dispar. 
Sceloporus merriami. 
Phrynosoma cornutum. 
Phrynosoma modestum. 
Coleonyx brevis. 
Ophisaurus ventralis. 
Cnemidophorus tessellatus. 
Cnemidophorus perplexus. 
Cnemidophorus gularis. 


Diadophis regal is. 
Heterodou nasieiis. 
Bascanion flagellum. 
Bascanion ornatum. 
Drymobius margaritiferus. 
Callopeltis obsoletus. 
Drymarchon corn is melanurus. 
Rhinocheilus leconti. 

Xatri.r fasciata transversa. 
Eutainia elegans marciana. 
Eutainia proxima. 
Tantilla gracilis. 

I : In /is fill riiis. 

Agkistrodon piscivorus. 

Crotalits atro.r. 

Oct.. 1905.1 




Prosopis glandulosa. 
Prosopis pubescens. 
Acacia constricta. 
Acacia tortuosa. 
Acacia roemeriana. 
Acacia schottii. 
Acacia wrightii. 
Acacia amentacea. 
Acacia berlandieri. 
Vachellia farnesiana. 
Leuccena retusa. 
Mimosa emoryana. 
Mimosa Undheimeri. 
Mimosa borealis. 
Mimosa fragrans. 
Parkinsonia aculeata. 
Cercidium floridanum. 
Cercidium texanum. 
Eysenhardtia amorphoides. 
Sophora secundiflora. 
I'aroscJa frutescens. 
Parosela formosa. 
Juglans rupestris. 
Celtis helleri. 
Momesia pallida. 
Chilopsis linearis. 
Ehretia eliptica. 
Kceberlinia spinosa. 
Adelia angustifolia. 
Adelia neomexicana. 
Fraxinus greggii. 
Porlieria angustifolia. 
Covillea trident at a. 
Sch maltzia m icroph ylla. 
Schmaltzia mexicana. 
Schmaltzia virens. 
Nicotiana glauca. 
Brayodendron texanum. 
Bcrbcris trifoliata. 
Zizyph us obtusifolia. 
ZAzypn us lycioidesi 
Condalia obovata. 

Condalia spathulata. 
Lycium berlandieri. 
Lycium pallidum. 
Leucophyllum texanum. 
Leucophyllum minus. 
Krameria canescens. 
Fouquiera splendens. 
Aloysia ligustrina. 
Tecoma stans. 
Ephedra antisyph ilitica. 
Ephedra trifurcata. 
Croton torreyanus. 
Bernard ia mi/ricafolia. 
E uph orb ia ant isyph ilitica. 
Mozinua spathulata. 
Baccharis (salicina f ) . 
Baccharis (glutinosaf). 
Flourensia cernua. 
Agave lecheguiUa. 
Hechtia texensis. 
Tillandsia recur rata. 
Tillandsia baileyi. 
Yucca macrocarpa. 
Yucca treculeana. 
Yucca radiosa. 
Yucca rostrata. 
Yucca rupicola. 
Samuela faxoniana. 
Sam uela camerosana. 
Hesperaloe parviflora. 
Opuntia Undheimeri. 
Opuntia engelmanni. 
Opuntia leptocaulis. 
Vereus puueispiuus. 
Cereus enneacanthus. 
Cereus strain incus. 
Echinocactus horizonthalonius. 
Ech in ocaet us h a m a toca nth us. 
Ech inocactus wislizeni. 
Echinocactus wrighti. 
Cactus heyderi. 

For crops adapted to Lower Sonoran, see Life Zones and Crop 
Zones, pages 42-45, under heading " Crops of the Lower Sonoran 
Faunal Area," where under kw Cereals," " Fruits," " Nuts," and " Mis- 
cellaneous " are listed the varieties that have proved a success in other 
parts of the area. Although many of these have not been tested in 
the Texas region, and while varieties other than those listed have 
proved successful, the list will be found helpful in selecting varieties 
for experiments. 



I No. 25. 

Some practical suggestions may be derived also from the native 
species of plants, as in the case of Schmaltsia mexicana, variously 
known as Rhus mexicana and Pistacia mexicana, and related to the 
Pistacia vera of the Mediterranean region, from which the pistachio 
of commerce is obtained. In places in the canyons of the Rio Grande 
this large shrub grows in profusion, suggest ing that the real 'pistachio 
also might succeed here. 

One of the conspicuous plants often dominant over much of the 

Fig. 3. — Distribution area of lecheguilla (Ayavc lecheguilla). 

extreme arid Lower Sonoran zone of western Texas is a little cen- 
tury plant (Agave lecheguilla), best known by its Mexican name of 
' lecheguilla.' Its rigid leaves are about a foot long, well armed with 
marginal hooks and stout terminal spines, which effectually protect 
them from the attacks of grazing animals. Even the hardy burros 
and hungry goats refrain from eating them, and pick their way cau- 
tiously among their dagger points. But within each leaf is a bundle 
of smooth, strong fibers suitable for the manufacture of brushes, 
matting, coarse twine, and rope. These plants grow in greatest 


abundance over limestone and lava mesas and steep rocky slopes that 
can never be irrigated and are often too steep and rough for grazing, 
even if the scanty grass were not crowded out by the cactus and agaves. 
Here, over thousands of square miles of the most worthless part of 
the desert, is a crop, not only offering in its leaf fibers a profitable 
industry awaiting development, but also suggesting that other species 
of agaves, yielding fiber of still more valuable quality, can be success- 
fully introduced into this region — a region that now lies unimproved 
and almost uninhabited while hundreds of thousands of dollars worth 
of agave fibers are annually imported from Mexico. 

In the Davis and Chisos and Guadalupe mountains the large 
Agave wisliseni and applanata, the mescal plants of the Mescalero 
Apaches, offer a nutritious food that might well find place on our 
tables as a delicacy. They grow over the barest and roughest slopes, 
not only yielding in the starchy caudex a rich store of food, but in 
the beautifu,l flowers a quantity of delicious honey equaled by few 
other plants. A single plant during its flowering period of about a 
month bears from one to two thousand flowers, each yielding nearly 
half a teaspoonful of honey. That the country is well adapted to 
I ices is evidenced by numerous and extensive bee caves in the rocks. 
by bee trees, and by the success of domestic swarms. The numerous 
leguminous shrul >s — acacias, mimosas, and mesquites, several species 
of the ' bee bush' (Lippia and Goniostachyum) , and the abundant 
flowers of numerous species of Composite — all yield rich stores of 
honey. In semiarid gulches where the native black-fruited Texan 
persimmon (Brayodendron tescanum) bears an abundance of its 
almost worthless fruit it is probable that varieties of the delicious 
Japanese persimmon would thrive. 

Other plants besides grass and cactus are important as food for 
stock or are of service to man. The sotol (Dasylirion texanum), 
with its double-edged saw-bladed leaves and stout caudex, when split 
open so that the inner starchy heart can be reached, yields a large 
amount of hearty food for stock. The plant is widely distributed 
over most of the region west of the Pecos and Devil rivers, and is 
most, abundant over the barest and stoniest slopes. Like most desert 
plants, it is of slow growth, and its greatest value has been in tiding 
stock over periods of scarcity. Sotol cutting becomes an important 
business with sheep and cattle men when a dry summer is followed 
by a winter of bare pastures. 

The value of the mesquite and screw bean {Prosopix glandulosa and 
pubescens) to stockmen and ranchers of western Texas can hardly 
be overestimated. Over much of the arid and semiarid region of 
the State they yield fuel, fence posts, and building material for the 
ranch, and also shade, shelter, and food for stock. The common 




mesquite, though barely reaching the dignity of a tree and often 
dwarfed to a mere shrub, is the only available timber over thousands 
of square miles. The wood is heavy, strong, and durable. The 
feathery foliage, while so thin that glass grows under the trees, 
affords a welcome shade to man and beast, The fragrant, honey- 
laden, catkinlike flowers blossom quickly, and in warm weather 
after a good rain a crop of long bean pods will mature and ripen with 

Brayodendron texanum 
Diospyros virgin iana ■ 

FIG. 4. — Distribution area of the black and the yellow persimmons (Brayodcndron 1<x- 
anum and Diospyros virginiana). 

little regard to season. Often two crops a year mature if rains 
come at proper intervals. The sugary pods serve to fatten cattle, 
horses, mules, burros, sheep, and goats. The small, hard beans pass 
through animals and seed new ground, so that the spread and 
increase of the mesquite has been a notable result of stock raising. 
The use of the sweet, nutritious pods as food by both Indians and 
early settlers seems to have been mainly given up. but the actual 
food value of the pods needs no better demonstration than is 
a Honied by the condition of animals feeding on them. 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate VI. 

Fig. 1.— Lecheguilla with Flowers and Fruit. 

Fig. 2.— Lecheguilla (Agave lecheguilla) near Boquillas, Great Bend of 

Rio Grande. 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate VII. 

Agave wislizeni in Flower, Davis Mountains. Hummingbird 
at Flower Cluster on Left. 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate VIII. 

Fig. 1 .— Sotol on Mesa near Comstock. 

Fig. 2.— Sotol After the Leaves are Burned Off. 

Oct., 1905.] UPPER SONORAN AREA. 33 

A much neglected product of the mesquite is the gum which exudes 
from the branches and can be gathered in large quantities. Apparently, 
it has all the qualities of gum arabic, the gum of closely related Old 
World acacias, and needs only introduction to a market to become of 
commercial value. 

The seeds and pods of other leguminous shrubs, the acorns of sev- 
eral species of oaks, and the sugary berries of the alligator-barked 
juniper also are of considerable value in special areas as feed for 
stock or poultry. 


East of the Pecos Valley. Upper Sonoran zone covers most of the 
Panhandle, the Staked Plains and the narrower secondary plain, or 
Edwards Plateau, running south as far as Rock Springs, as well as 
the tops and cold slopes of the ridges and bottoms of shaded gulches 
breaking down from the edge of these plains. West of the Pecos 
Valley it covers the foothills and lower slopes of the mountains, 
extending on southwest slopes nearly or quite to the tops of most of 
the peaks, but on the northeast slopes of the Guadalupe, Davis, and 
Chisos mountains giving place to Transition zone at about 6,000 
feet. On such steep, arid slopes as these mountains present to the 
sun's rays the difference of zone level on opposite sides is often 
2,000 or 3,000 feet, increasing with the steepness and barrenness of the 
slope. Over the mountains and rough country the zone is marked 
by a scattered growth of nut pines, junipers, and oaks, but over the 
plains, where short grass is the principal vegetation, its limits are 
often best determined by the absence of mesquite and other shrubs of 
the surrounding Lower Sonoran zone. Some of its most character- 
istic plants in the mountain region are Pinus edulis and cembroides, 
Juniperus pachyphlma, monosperma, and flaccida, Quercus grisea and 
emoryi, Adolphia infesta, Nolina texana, Mimosa biuncifera, Cerco- 
car pus parvifolius, Garrya lindheimeri, Fallugia paradoxa, Yucca 
baccata, .{(/arc wislizeni and a />/>/// unfit, while those on the plains, 
aside from grasses, are Asclepias latifolia and speciosa, Laciniaria 
punctata, several species of Psoralea and Astragalus, Polygala alba, 
Yucca glauca, and Opuntia cymochila. 

In the mountains and rough country Upper Sonoran zone is 
• especially characterized by the occurrence in the breeding season of 
birds such as ' Gyrtonyx meamsi, Cc&ligena clemencim, Calothorax 
lucifer, Aphelocoma couchi, cyanotis, and ten/no. Pipilo mesoleucus, 
Vireo plumbeus and stephensi, and PsaltHparus plumbeus and Uoydi,' 
anil on the plains by such breeding species as Podasocys m,ontanus, 
Numeniu8 longirostris, Ohordeiles henryi, Poc&cetes confinis, and 
Otocoris leucolcema. 

3873— No. 25—05 m 3 



[No. 25. 

In the mountains and rough country some of the most characteristic 
mammals of Upper Sonoran zone are Ovis mexicana, Odocoileus 
couesi and canus, (' '/tell us grammurus and couchi, Peromyscus 
rowleyi, attwateri, and laceyi, Neotoma attwateri and albigula, and 
on the plains Antilocapra americana, Odocoileus macrourus, Cynomys 
ludovicianus, Citellus pallidus, Onychomys pallescens, Perognathus 
paradoxus and copei, Perodipus richardsoni, Lepus melanotis, Yulpes 
velo.r, Putorius nigripes. 

Including both plains and mountain slopes, the Upper Sonoran 
zone in Texas is characterized by the following species : 


Ovis mexicanus. 
Antilocapra americana. 
Odocoileus couesi. 
Odocoileus virginianus maCrourus. 
Citellus variegatus grammurus. 
Citellus v. couchi. 
Citellus tridecemlineatus pallidus. 
citellus spilosoma marginatus. 
Cynomys ludovicianus. 
Onychomys leucogaster pallescens. 
Peromyscus sonoriensis. 
Peromyscus rowleyi. 
Peromyscus attwateri. 
Peromyscus boylei laceyi. 
Weotoma attwateri. 
Neotoma albigula. 
Thomomys baileyi. 
Perognathus flavescens copei. 

Perognathus hispidus paradoxus. 

Perodipus richardsoni. 

Lci>as texianus melanotis. 

Lepus arizonw minor (mainly Lower 

Lepus pinetis robust us (mainly Tran- 
sition ). 

Felis Mppolestes astecus. 

Lynx baileyi. 

Can is griseus. 

Can is nchracensis. 

VulpeS relo.r. 

Urocyon cinereoargenteus scotti (also 

Lower Sonoran). 
Putorius nigripes. 
Spilogale interrupta. 
Mephitis rnesomelas varians. 
Taxidea taxus berlandieri. 


\ a men ins loiii/irostris. 
Podasocys montanus. 
Cyrtonyx montesumw mearnsi. 
Accipiter cooperi. 
Chordeiles virginianus henryi. 
Calothorax lucifer. 
Cosligena clemenciw. 
Trochilus alexandri. 
Phalamoptilus nuttalli. 
A eronautes melanoleucus. 
7 lira nn its rerticalis. 
Otocoris alpest-ris leucolwma. 
Aphelocoma woodhousei. 
Aphelocoma cyanotis. 
Aphelocoma texana. 
Aphelocoma sieberi couchi. 

Cyanocephalus cyanocephalus. 
Icterus bullocki. 
Sturnella manna neglecta. 
Carpodacus mexicanus frontalis. 
Spizella socialis arizonir. 
Aimophila ruficeps scotti. 
Pipilo fuscus mesoleucus. 
Cyanospiza amoena. 
Zamclodia melanocephala. 
Ampelis cedrorum. 
Vireo solitarius plumbeus. 
Vireo gilvus swainsoni. 
Troglodytes aedon astecus. 
Ba'olophus i noma t us griseus. 
Psaltriparus plumbeus. 
Psaltriparus melanotis Uoydi. 

Oct., 1005.] 





Crotaphytus collaris. 

Crotaphytus c. baileyi. 

eta ornata. 

Sceloporas torquatus pomsettii. 

Sceloporus consoorinus. 

Diadophis regalis. 
Heterodon nasicus. 
Liopeltis vernalis. 
Bascanion flagellum. 
Pituophis sayi. 

Phrynosoma hernandesi. 
Gerrhonotus liocephalus inf emails. 
Eumeces guttulatus. 
Eumeces oosoletus. 
Eumeces brevilineatus. 


Chionactis episcopus isozonus. 
Eutainia cyrtopsis. 
Crotalus molossus. 
Crotalus lepiilns. 
Crotalus confluentis. 

[.sclepias latifolia. 
Asclepias tuberosa. 
Polygala alba. 
Laciniaria punctata. 
Yucca glauca. 
Yucca stricta. 
Opuntia davisi. 
Opuntla macrorhiza. 
( 'act us in isso uriensis. 
Artemisia fiiifolia. 
I'ut ihiiJu columnaris. 
Helianthus annuus. 
Ih ■liantluis petiolaris. 
Gutierrezia sarothra. 


Mentzelia inula . 
Astragalus molissimus. 
Astragalus caryocarpus. 
Psoralea linearifolia. 
Psoralea digitata. 
Parosela enneandra. 
Acuan illinoensis. 
A morpha canescens. 
Hoffuianseijijia jamesi. 
Petalostemon purpureus 
Ipomea leptophylla. 
Merolix intermedia. 
Li ii a m rigidum. 
Verbena stricta. 


/'in us edulis. 
I'iinis cembroides. 
Juniperus pachyphlcea. 
Juniperus flaccida. 
Juniperus monosperma. 
Juniperus sabinoides. 
Quercus grisea. 
Quercus emoryi. 
(Jin reus uniliilata. 
Quercus texana. 
('ill is reticulata. 
Morus microphylla. 
Idolphia in, est a. 

Mimosa biuncifera. 
Cercocarpus parvifolius. 
Garrya lindlieimeri. 
Garrya wrightii. 
Philadelphus microphyllus. 
Xch malt trilobata. 
Arbutus xalapensis. 
Cercis occidentalis. 
Fallugia paradoxa. 
Allure wislizeni. 
A an re applanata. 
Yucca baccata. 
\ i>l inn microcarpa. 

The two long strips of Upper Sonoran zone lying- east and west of 
the Pecos Valley at the present time are largely devoted to grazing, 
lo which they are peculiarly adapted, but the time will come when 
they will be in part reclaimed for agriculture or horticulture, and 
the advantage of their position in adaptation to crops not grown 
in surrounding Lower Sonoran zone will be recognized. While 


grazing will long continue to be the chief' industry, the introduction 
of successful crops will be of the greatest advantage to the stockmen. 
Most of the region is semiarid, with only sufficient rainfall for a good 
stand of native grasses, hut by intelligent methods of handling the 
soil, deep plowing, dust mulch, and a system of cross-furrowing to 
utilize all the water that falls on sloping areas many kinds of fruits 
and other crops will thrive without irrigation. Where irrigation is 
possible, however, as it is in many places along streams or by means 
of water storage, artesian wells, or pumping, the returns will, of 
course, lie far more certain and abundant. 

For lists of cereals, fruits, nuts, and miscellaneous crops adapted 
io Upper Sonoran zone see Life Zones and Crop Zones, pages 37-40. 
This is preeminently the zone of standard varieties of apples and of 
many other fruits and grains. It is the only zone of any extent in 
Texas adapted to the sugar beet for the manufacture of sugar. 


The Transition is the most restricted and broken of any zone within 
the State, being confined to the Chisos, Davis, and Guadalupe moun- 
tains from about 6,000 feet on northeast slopes to the tops of the 
ranges, while between these mountains it is divided by wide strips 
of Upper Sonoran zone. It is well marked in each of these range- 
by its most characteristic tree — the yellow pine {Pinus ponderosa) — 
but in each is characterized by a different combination of plants and 
animals. Although the home of the wild potato (Solanum t. boreale), 
it is too rough for extensive agriculture and is important mainly for 
its timber and for the hidden sources of streams that break out at 
lower levels. 

In the Guadalupe Mountains the Transition zone mammals are: 

Odocoileus {hemionust). Thomomys fulvus. 

Eutamias cinereicollis canipes. Lepus pinetis robustus. 

Seotoma mexicana. Ursus (americanusf). 
\Iicrotus mexicanu8 guadalupensis. 

In the Davis Mountains : 

Odocoileus sp. — : Lepus pinetis robustus. 

Scotoma mexicana. Ursus americanus ambliceps. 

Thomomys fulvus texensis. Ursus horribilis horriceus. 

Erethizon sp. .' Vespertilio fuscus. 

In the ( !hisos Mountains : 

Odocoileus couesi. Lepus pinetis robustus. 

Scotoma (mexicana?). Ursus <i. ambliceps. 

Sigmodon ochrognathus. I espertilio fuscus. 

The li>ts of breeding birds of the Transition zone show little varia- 
tion in the Guadalupe, Davis, and Chisos mountains, and more 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate IX. 

Views on Staked Plains near Hereford and Dimmitt. 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate X. 

Fig. 1.— Transition Zone Timber of Guadalupe Mountains. 

Fig. 2.— Head of Dog Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains. 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate XI. 

Transition Zone Timber of Chisos Mountains (Approximately 6,500 Feet). 

Oct., 1905.] TRANSITION ZONE. 37 

thorough collecting high up in these ranges would doubtless show 
a still closer similarity of species. 

The following species are common to all three ranges: 
Cyrtonyx montezumcc mearnsi. Pipilo maculatus megalonyx. 

Coin mhii fasciata. Vireo solitarius plumbeus. 

Melanerpes formioivorus. Piranga hepatica. 

Trochilus alexandri. Sitta carolinensis nelsoni. 

8ela8phorus platycercus. 

The following species occur and probably breed in the Guadalupe 
Mountain Transition : 

Meleagris gallopavo merriami. HeVminthophila celata orestera. 

Senium occidentale. Dendroica auduboni. 

Megascope fiammeolus. Dendroica gvacice. 

Dryobates villosus hyloscopus. Sitta pygmwa. 

SelaspJiorus rufus. Hylocichla guttata auduboni? 

Aimophila ruficeps scotti. Merula migratoria propvnqua. 
Junco dorsalis. 

The following occur in both the Guadalupe and Davis Mountain 
Transition : 

Colaptes infer collaris. Parus gambeli. 

Cyanocitta stelleri diademata. Sialia mexicana bairdi. 
Piranga ludoviciana. 

The following species occur in both the Guadalupe and Chisos 
mountains, but were not observed in the Davis Mountains: 
Antrostomus macromystax. Empidonax diflicilis. 

Nuttallornis borealis. Wilsonia pusilla pileolata. 

Contopus richardsoni. 

The following were found in the Chisos Mountains only: 
Aphelocoma sieberi couchi. Oreospisa chlorura. 

Loxia curvirostra stricklandi. Yireo huttoni stepJiensi. 

In the Davis Mountains a single Asyndesmus torquatus was seen. 

Most of these birds are Rocky Mountain forms, some of which 
reach their southern breeding limits in one of these groups of moun- 
tains; others range south into Mexico along this chain of Transition 
zone islands, while still others are more particularly southern and 
western forms that in one or more of the ranges reach approxi- 
mately their northeastern limits. 

The Transition zone plants of the Guadalupe Mountains are: 
Pin us ponderosa. /'run us (serotinaf). 

Pin us fic.rilis. Amelanchier alnifolia. 

Pseudotsuga mucronata. Bhamnus purshiana. 

Acer grandidentatum. Ceanothus greggii. 

Ostrya baileyi. Robinia neomexicana. 

Quercus acuminata. Herberts repens. 

Quercus novomexicana. Symphoricarpos ( longiflorusf). 

Quercus grisea (dwarf form). Solanum tuberosum boreale. 

Quercus fendleri. Limnn perenne. 

Quercus undulata. Oxalis violacea or var. 



[No. 25. 

Of the Davis Mountains: 
Pinus ponderosa. 
Pinus peril is. 
Acer grandidentatwm. 
Que n- us leucophylla. 
Quo-en* novomexicana. 
Quercus grisea (dwarf form). 

Of the Chisos Mountains 

Pin us ponderosa. 
Pseudotsuga mucronata. 
Cupressus arizonica. 
Acer grandidentatwm. 
Quercus grisea. 

Quercus emoryi (dwarf form), 
Prunus scroti mi acutifolia. 
Rhamnus purshiana. 
Symphoricarpos ( longiflorusf | . 
Solanum tuberosum boreale. 

Quercus emoryi. , 

Quercus te.iiinu. 
Prunus s. acutifolia. 
Rhamnus purshiana. 
Symphoricarpos (longiflorusf). 

The Transition area is so restricted in Texas as to be of compara- 
tively little agricultural importance, especially as it lies within the 
arid section of the zone. Its greatest value, aside from its native 
timber, will be found in its adaptation to the culture of northern 
fruits, varieties of apples, pears, cherries, plums, grapes, and berries 
that will never prove successful elsewhere in the State. 

For list of fruits that have been grown successfully in arid 
Transition zone in western Montana, eastern Washington and Ore- 
gon, and in parts of Idaho and Utah, see Life Zones and Crop Zones, 
pages 25-27. 


In the Davis Mountains a thicket of Populus tremvloidcs along 
the northeast base of a high cliff near Livermore Peak indicates a 
mere trace of Canadian zone, while a single specimen of the hoary 
bat, shot as it came down one of the gulches near the northeast base 
of Livermore Peak, July 10, strongly suggests that this Canadian 
zone species was on its breeding ground. Nuttallornis hoi'citlix and 
Loxia cur'virostra stricklandi seen in the Chisos Mountains in June 
were probably breeding there, while Nuttallornis borealis and imma- 
ture Junco dorsalis, observed in the Guadalupe Mountains in August, 
may or may not have been migrants. 


The Biological Survey collection of reptiles in the United States 
National Museum contains 353 specimens from Texas, including 102 
specimens and 31 species of snakes from SI localities. 252 specimens 
and 32 species of lizards from L67 localities. No attempt has been 
made lo identify or include the turtles and batrachians. The mate- 
rial has been gathered by the held assistants of the Survey as oppor- 
tunity offered in connection with other work, but none of the col- 

Oct., 1905.] 


lectors has made a specialty of reptiles. Until a systematic field 
study of these groups is taken up, we can not expect to know much of 
the distribution and habits of the species; but so much that is vague, 
erroneous, and misleading has been published, especially in regard to 
the Texas region, that it seems doubly important to put on record all 
definite localities from which specimens have been positively iden- 
tified. Every specimen in the present collection is fully labeled with 
exact locality, including altitude in the case of most specimens from 
the mountains, date, name of collector, and in many cases notes on 
habitat. Only a knowledge of the country is requisite to enable each 
specimen to be referred to its proper zone. Of some species there are 
specimens from enough localities to determine with considerable 
accuracy their range and zonal position in the State, but of many 
others the few records will be useful mainly in future works of 
broader scope. 

But few of the collectors' field notes on reptiles, when unaccom- 
panied by specimens, have been made use of owing to the danger of 
confusing closely related species, and when such notes are used they 
are carefully distinguished. In a few cases the records of speci- 
mens in the United States Xational Museum collection from locali- 
ties of peculiar importance are given separately. References to pub- 
lished records usually are avoided. 

To Dr. Leonhard Stejneger I am greatly indebted for identification 
of the specimens. With the aid of his assistant, Mr. Richard G. 
Paine, T was able to simplify his task in many cases by making pre- 
liminary determinations." 

Anolis carolinensis Cuvier. Carolina Chameleon. 

This little chameleon-like lizard is represented in the collection by 
specimens from Waskom, Joaquin, Sour Lake, and Columbia, and I 
have seen it in abundance at Jefferson and Timpson, but never in the 
western half of Texa 

Crotaphytus collaris (Say). Ring-necked Lizard. 

Specimens of this beautiful lizard from Wichita Falls, Henrietta, 
Miami, Gail, Castle Mountains, Fort Lancaster, Fredericksburg, and 
Rock Springs, Tex., and from Roswell and Santa Rosa. X. Mex., 
carry the range of the species over the middle plains region of Texas, 
the region lying between the Pecos River and the eastern timbered 

a Additional specimens identified by Mr. Paine and myself during Doctor 
Stejneger's absence are as follows: From Sour Lake. Crotalus horridus, Cal- 
lopeltis obsoletus, Agkistrodon contortrix, Storeria dekayi, Sceloporus conso- 
brinus, Anolis carolinensis; from Hempstead. Tropidocloniwm lineaium; from 
Seguin, Eutainia elegans marciana and Sceloporus spinosus floridanus; from 
Washburn. Heterodon nasicus and Liopeltis vernalis, and from Cleveland, 
Elaps fulvius. 


country. The above localities lie near the junction of Upper and 
Lower Sonoran zones, but this lizard inhabits at least a part of both 
zones. Fourteen out of the 15 specimens referred to collar-is have 
the single row of interorbital plates. One specimen from Miami has 
two full rows of interorbitals, but with the large supraoculars and 
blunt nose of collaris. 

Crotaphytus collaris baileyi Stejneger. 

Nine specimens of Crotaphytus from eight localities are referred 
by Doctor Stejneger to baileyi. They are from Comstock, Alpine, 
Paisano, Chisos Mountains (west base), Davis Mountains (east base), 
Toy ah, TO miles north of Toy ah, Tex., and one from the east base 
of Guadalupe Mountains, Avest of Carlsbad, N. Mex. These locali- 
ties are near the junction of Upper and Lower Sonoran zones. Five 
of the nine specimens from Comstock, Paisano, and Chisos Mountains 
and two from the Davis Mountains are typical baileyi, with two full 
rows of interocular plates, small supraoculars, and relatively narrow 
muzzle. The specimen from Alpine has the interoculars joined in a 
single row, but otherwise possesses the characters of baileyi. The 
specimen from the Guadalupe Mountains and the two from Toyah 
and TO miles north of Toyah have the interoculars joined in a single 
row and other characters intermediate between baileyi and collaris. 
Considering the close relationship and evident intergradation of the 
two forms, it seems best to follow r Witmer Stone in placing baileyi 
as a subspecies of collar-is. 11 

Crotaphytus reticulatus Baird. 

Lloyd collected a specimen of this rare and apparently very locally 
distributed lizard at Rio Grande City, Tex., May 28, 1891. 

Crotaphytus wislizexiii Baird & Girard. Leopard Lizard. 

A fine, large individual of this big, spotted lizard was shot near 
Boquillas, in the Great Bend of the Rio Grande, by McClure Surber. 
and Gary and Hollister each collected a specimen near Toyahvale, in 
the Pecos Valley. The species is not common and occurs only in the 
low, hot valleys of extreme arid Lower Sonoran zone. 

Holbrookia texana Troschel. 

This most brilliantly colored of the Texas lizards is represented 
by 11 specimens from the following nine localities: Fort Stockton. 
Adams, Toyahvale, Pecos River (5 miles west of Sheffield), Davis 
Mountains (east base). Boquillas, McKinney Spring (60 miles south 
• if Marathon), Comstock, and Benbrook. It is a common and con- 
spicuous species over all the hot, bare Lower Sonoran desert of 
western Texas and as far up the Pecos Valley as Santa Rosa. X. Mex. 

aProc. Acul. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1903, 30. 

Oct., 1005.1 


This species is so similar in both general appearance and habits to 
Callisaurm draconoides, the 'gridiron-tailed lizard' of the Death 
Valley country, that I never noticed the difference between them 
until Doctor Merriam pointed it out in a beautiful colored study of 
Holbrookia texana made by Fuertes in western Texas. Few animals 
possess more wonderful protective markings than these bar-tail vl 
lizards. As they dash away, well up on their legs, with tail curled 
over the back, exposing their brightly colored sides and the black 
and white barred lower surface of the tail, they are strikingly con- 
spicuous, until, stopping suddenly, they flatten themselves on the 
ground, when the speckled back blends into the earth colors and the 
lizards are lost to view. 

Holbrookia propinqua B. & G. Long-tailed Holbrookia. 

There are 15 specimens of this slender-tailed Holbrookia from live 
localities in southern Texas: Brownsville. Sauz Ranch, Santa Rosa 
Ranch and Padre Island in Cameron County, and King's Ranch in 
Nueces County. 

Holbrookia maculata Girard. Spotted-sided Holbrookia. 

The collection contains 10 specimens of this little, short-tailed 
lizard from the following eight localities in Texas: Mouth of Devils 
River, Fort Stockton, Fort Davis. Alpine, Paisano, Dimmitt (15 miles 
south), Henrietta, and Amarillo. places lying some in Upper and 
some in Lower Sonoran zones of the arid and the semiarid regions. 
Apparently the species has not been taken south of Devils River and 
San Antonio. 

Holbrookia maculata lacerata Cope. Spotted-tailed Holbrookia. 

One specimen of the spotted-tailed lizard from Cotulla, two from 
15 miles west of Japonica, and one from 25 miles southwest of Sher- 
wood considerably extend the southern and western range of the 
species. Apparently it belongs to Lower Sonoran zone. 

Uta stansburiana B. & G. 

Specimens of this little lizard from El Paso, Pecos City, and Fort 
Stockton carry its range across the extremely arid part of Lower 
Sonoran zone in western Texas and mark the eastern limit of a 
widely distributed species. 

Uta ornata B. & G. 

Twelve specimens of this little lizard are from the following locali- 
ties in western Texas: Mouth of Pecos, Langtry, Ingram, Chisos 
Mountains, Altuda, Paisano, and Fort Davis. The Chisos Mountain 
specimen was taken at COOO feet, and the four Fort Davis specimens 
at approximately 5,700 feet, in the midst of Upper Sonoran zone. 
Altuda, Paisano, and Ingram are at the lower edge of the zone, while 


Langtry and mouth of Pecos, as well as the type locality of the spe- 
cies, Devils River, arc just below the edge in Lower Sonoran. How- 
ever, enough Tipper Sonoran species of plants cling to the cold walls 
of side canyons in the Langtry, Pecos, and Devils River country to 
account for the presence of such rock-dwelling species, and I am 
inclined to consider the range of this lizard as strictly Upper Sono- 
ran, at least in Texas. If all the southern Arizona and California 
records of the species are correct, it is certainly Lower Sonoran in 
that region. 

Sceloporus torquatus poinsettii (B. & G.). 

This splendid, big, scaly rock lizard is represented in the collection 
by 14 specimens from the following localities in western Texas: 
Japonica, East Painted Cave, Marathon (50 miles south), Chisos 
Mountains (6,000 feet), Paisano, Davis Mountains (5,700 feet), Fort 
Stockton, Castle Mountains, near Toyah, and Guadalupe Mountains 
(south end of Dog Canyon, at about 6,700 feet). The species ranges 
throughout the width of Upper Sonoran zone, but in many places 
conies well into Lower Sonoran, as at Toyah and Fort Stockton. 

Sceloporus clarkii B. & G. 

The collection contains but 4 Texas specimens of this big scaly 
lizard — 3 from Boquillas and 1 from Langtry. Both localities are 
on the Rio Grande, in extremely arid Lower Sonoran zone. 

Sceloporus spinosus floridanus (Baird). 

Eighteen specimens of this medium-sized Sceloporus from southern 
Texas come from the following localities: Seguin, Ingram, Browns- 
ville, Rio Grande City, Lomita Ranch (6 miles north of Hidalgo), 
Devils River, Langtry, and Pecos River (50 miles from mouth), 
which carry its range across the State in Lowe.r Sonoran zone. 

Sceloporus consobrinus B. & G. 

Six localities in Texas are represented by the 8 specimens of this 
medium-sized Sceloporus : Joaquin, Sour Lake, Kerrville (Lacey's 
Ranch), Santa Rosa (Cameron County), Langtry, and Fort Davis. 
The range of the species apparently covers nearly the whole State 
where there are trees, in both Upper and Lower Sonoran zones. 

Sceloporus dispar B. & G. 

Lloyd collected 5 specimens of this little slender Sceloporus at 
Lomita Ranch, .6 miles north of Hidalgo, in June. 1891. 

Sceloporus merriami Stejneger. 

This beautiful little Sceloporus, which Doctor Stejneger has just 
described as new." is represented by 5 specimens, 2 from the East 

a Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, XVIII, p. 17. Feb. 5, 1904. 

Oct.. 1905.] 


Painted Cave, near the Rio Grande, a mile below the mouth of the 

Pecos; 1 from Comstock; 1 from the Pecos River Canyon, 55 miles 
northwest of Comstock, and 1 from Boquillas, in the Great Bend of 
the Rio Grande. Apparently the species is confined to the rocky 
walls of the canyons of the Rio Grande and Pecos rivers. 

Phrynosoma cornutum (Harlan). Horned Toad. 

This commonest and longest-horned species of the Texas horned 
toads is represented by specimens from El Paso, Grand Canyon of 
Rio Grande. Alpine. Altuda, Valentine, Davis Mountains (east base), 
Toyahvale ('20 miles southeast). Fort Stockton, Fort Lancaster, 
Painted Caves, Carrizo, Roma, Rio Grande City, Sauz Ranch (Cam- 
eron County), King's Ranch (Nueces County), Corpus Christi, ('en- 
ter Point, Llano, Dimmitt, Henrietta, and Tascosa, and from Antioch 
and Virginia Point in eastern Texas, a series of localities covering at 
least the whole arid Lower Sonoran zone of the State and extending 
irregularly into the humid eastern division. Considerable variation 
however, appears within this range. The three specimens from Vir- 
ginia Point and one from Antioch are much darker than any of the 
others, with sharply marked face bars and gray, thickly spotted bel- 
lies, while those of the upper Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, and Rio 
Grande Canyon are the lightest and brightest colored of all, with 
narrow face bars and white bellies. The transition from these ex- 
tremes is gradual across the State, but the dark individuals from the 
eastern localities, the gray ones from the grassy plains, the strongly 
marked ones from the Pecos Valley, and the paler specimens from the 
Rio Grande Valley, indicate color forms comparable with the sub- 
species of horned larks found breeding in regions of corresponding 

Phrynosoma hernandesi (Girard). 

This rusty-brown horned toad with short, stubby horns is repre- 
sented in the collection by a single specimen from Texas, collected at 
about 7,000 feet altitude in the southern end of the Guadalupe 
Mountains. Farther north it is abundant in Upper Sonoran and 
Transition zones. 

Phrynosoma modestum Girard. 

Anota modesta of Cope and ethers. 

Specimens of this little gray, short-horned horned toad from the 
west base of the Davis Mountains, 40 miles south of Alpine, 20 miles 
northwest of Toyah, Salt Valley, at west base of Guadalupe Moun- 
tains, and Big Springs carry the range of the species well over the 
arid region of western Texas in a series of localities where Upper 
and Lower Sonoran species are more or less mixed. Apparently the 
species belongs to Lower Sonoran zone and extends to its extreme 
upper limit. 


A specimen from the west base of the Davis Mountains is rusty 
brown instead of ashy gray, like those from other localities, a 
peculiarity of coloration agreeing with the brown Crotalus lepidus 
from this lava soil region. 

Coleonyx brevis Stejneger. Gecko. 

A single specimen of this odd little brown and yellow lizard was 
collected by Merritt Gary at Sheffield, August 1), 1902. 

Ophisaurus ventralis Linn. Glass Snake. 

The glass snake is represented by two specimens from Texas, one 
collected by Lloyd near Santa Rosa, Cameron County, and the other 
by H. P. Attwater and W. H. Raw son, 3 miles north of Kerrville. 
These localities help to fix a western limit for this legless lizard of 
the Lower Sonoran zone of the Southeastern States. 

Gerrhonotus liocephalu° infernalis (Baird). 

A single specimen of this glassy smooth lizard was collected in the 
Chisos Mountains at approximately f>,000 feet altitude in Upper 
Sonoran zone. It was nosing about in the dry leaves under scrub 
oaks on the mountain side in the manner peculiar to the individuals 
of the genus. 

Cnemidophorus tessellatus (Say). Whip-tailed Lizard. 

This species is represented by specimens from Boquillas, Langtry, 
Fort Stockton (35 and 45 miles west), Castle Mountains, Monahans, 
and Van Horn, all of which localities lie in the extremely arid Lower 
Sonoran zone of western Texas. They mark the eastern limit of the 
known range of the species. 

Cnemidophorus perplexus B. & G. 

Two specimens of this species were collected by Cary, one at Pecos 
and one 4 miles west of Adams, in Pecos County. Both localities are 
in Lower Sonoran zone. 

Cnemidophorus sexlineatus (Linn). 

The collection contains specimens of this eastern species of the 
whip-tailed lizard from Waskom, Long Lake, Nacogdoches, Henri- 
etta, Canadian, and Padre Island. 

Cnemidophorus gularis B. & ( i. 

This seems to be the commonest and most widely distributed of the 
whip-tailed lizards in Texas. There are specimens from Brownsville, 
Lomita Ranch (Hidalgo County), Rio Grande City, Roma, Carrizo, 
Cotulla, San Diego, near Alice, Corpus Christi, Cuero, Kerrville, 
Fort Lancaster, Fort Stockton, Devils River ( near mouth), Comstock, 
Painted Caves. Paisano, and Marfa, and up the Pecos Valley in New 
Mexico to Santa Rosa and Ribera. Among these localities Ribera is 
the only one fairly out of Lower Sonoran zone. 

Oct., 1905.] LIZARDS; SNAKES. 45 

Leiolopisma laterale (Say). 

Specimens of this little slender Eumeces-like lizard from Waskom, 
in northeastern Texas, and from Yelasco, near Columbia and near the 
month of Navidad River in southeastern Texas, do not extend the 
range of the species, which apparently covers all the eastern part of 
the State. 

Eumeces quinquelineatus (Linn). 

Hollister obtained a specimen of this species at Joaquin, near the 
eastern boundary of Texas. 

Eumeces guttulatus (Hallowell). Skink. 

Cary collected a specimen of this little skink at the east base of the 
Davis Mountains, 20 miles southwest of Toyahvale, at about 5,000 
feet, and I took one at 6,800 feet in the south end of the Guadalupe 
Mountains, well toward the upper edge of Upper Sonoran zone. 

Eumeces obsoletus (B. & G.). Skink. 

A specimen of this larger skink was collected in the southern end 
of the Guadalupe Mountains, at G,800 feet, in the same locality with 
the little guttulatus. 

Eumeces brevilineatus Cope. 

Lloyd collected a single specimen at Paisano " in a damp fernery 
at 5.300 feet." Cope records it from Helotes Creek (the type locality), 
on the front line of hills 20 miles northwest of San Antonio, and from 
near Fort Concho (across the river from San Angelo)." While these 
localities lie at the upper edge of Lower Sonoran zone the species, if 
an inhabitant of damp gulches, may well belong to Upper Sonoran. 

Diadophis regalis B. & G. Ring Snake. 

A specimen of this little spotted-bellied snake was collected in the 
Chisos Mountains at 5,000 feet, June 3, 1901. The two previously 
recorded localities for Texas — Fort Davis and Eagle Springs'' — are 
both close to 5.000 feet and, like the Chisos Mountain locality, at the 
edge of Upper and Lower Sonoran zones. 

Heterodon nasicus B. & G. Hog-nosed Snake. 

Specimens of the hog-nosed snake from Cameron County (El 
Haboncillo), Sycamore Creek, North Llano River, Washburn, and 
Amarillo carry its range over the whole north and south length of 
the State through Lower and Upper Sonoran zones in the semiarid 
region. It is not a common or conspicuous species, and with the 
exception of the specimens collected. I have not seen it in Texas. 

"Ann. Rep. TT. S. Nat. Mas. for 1808 (1900), p. GG5. 
& Ibid., p. 745. 


Heterodon platirhinos Latreille. Blow Snake. 

A single immature specimen collected by Lloyd, at Matagorda, 
does not add much to our knowledge of the range of the species, 
which apparently covers eastern Texas and reaches west to the Pecos 
and Devils rivers. All the Texas records are from Lower Sonoran 
/.one, but farther east the species also ranges across at least Upper 

Opheodrys aestivus (Linn.). Rough Green Snake, 

The little green snake is represented by 3 specimens from Corpus 
Christi, Kerrville, and Rock Springs. From a range over the whole 
eastern or humid division of Lower Sonoran zone the species appar- 
ently reaches in Texas its western limit. It does not enter the plains 
region nor the arid region except where brushy gulches enable it to 
cross the rough country south of the lower arm of the Staked Plains. 
The specimens from near Kerrville and Rock Springs were taken in 
gulches with such vegetation as pecan, sycamore, elm, black cherry, 
oak, and abundant underbrush. 

Liopeltis vernalis De Kay. Smooth Green Snake. 

A specimen of the little smooth green snake was collected at Wash 1 
burn by Gaut in July, 1904. 

Bascanion flagellum Shaw. Whip Snake. 

The coach whip or whip snake is represented in the collection by 
specimens from Matagorda, Matagorda Peninsula, Padre Island, and 
the Chisos Mountains, and by a flat skin from Devils River. While 
apparently distributed over the whole State, the species is most 
abundant, or at least most frequently seen, in the half brushy, half 
open arid region, where it is one of the commonest snakes. 

Bascanion ornatum B. & G. 

Two specimens of this rare species were collected in Texas, one at 
the head of Devils River, by Cary, the other on the Rio Grande, 8 
miles south of Comstock, by Hollister, both in July, 1902. llollister 
wrote on the back of the label of his specimen, " Up in bushes." 

Cope records the species from two localities only. " Western Texas "* 
and " Howard Springs, Texas." " 

Drymobius margaritiferus ( Schlegel ) . 

Lloyd collected a single specimen of this species at Brownsville on 
July 17, 1891. 

Callopeltis obsoletus (Say). Pilot Snake: Mountain Black Snake. 

A specimen was collected by Lloyd, near the mouth of the Nueces. 
November 21, 1891, and another by Gaut, near Sour Lake. April 1. 

a Ann. Rep. U. 8. Nat. Mus. for 1898 ( L900), p. 814. 

Oct., 1905,] 


Drymarchon corais melanurus Duni. & Bibr. 

Lloyd collected a specimen of this Mexican black snake at Browns- 
ville, July 6, 1801. 

Pituophis sayi (Schlegel). Prairie Bull Snake. 

The prairie bull snake is represented in the collection by 3 speci- 
mens from Gail, Comstock (20 miles north), and Paisano, and by a 
flat skin from the head of Dog Canyon, in the southern Guada- 
lupe Mountains. It is common over at least middle and northern 
Texas in Lower and Upper Sonoran zones. In a prairie-dog town 
near Gail I killed an unusually large individual, measuring 7 feet 8 
inches in length. It w T as about 3 inches in diameter — large enough 
to have readily swallowed a full-grown prairie dog. Near Rock 
Springs a smaller individual was found in the act of swallowing a 
freshly killed squirrel {Citellus m. parvidens). 

Lampropeltis getula holbrooki Stejneger. King Snake. 

Lloyd collected two specimens at Matagorda in January and Feb- 
ruary, 1802, and I collected one at Arthur in June of the same year. 

Rhinocheilus lecontei B. & G. 

A single specimen of this beautiful yellow and black ringed snake 
was collected about 30 miles west of Rock Springs, where a tongue of 
Lower Sonoran runs up into the Upper Sonoran plains. If the 
published records can be trusted, the species ranges over the whole 
arid Lower Sonoran zone of Texas. 

Chionactis episcopus isozonus Cope. 

A single specimen of this little, bright-colored, pink and black 
ringed snake was collected in the Chisos Mountains at about 0,000 
feet altitude, in Upper Sonoran zone. 

Natrix fasciata transversa (Ilallowell). Water Snake. 

Specimens from Lipscomb, the Nueces River (near mouth), mouth 
of Devils River, the Pecos River (55 miles northwest of Comstock), 
and from Carlsbad, N. Mex., together with previously published rec- 
ords, indicate for the species a range in most of the rivers of the 
western half of Texas, excepting the Rio Grande. Lipscomb is 
apparently the only locality where the species has been found outside 
of pure Lower Sonoran, and this is just at the edge of the zone. 

Natrix clarkii (B. & G.). Striped Water Snake. 

A specimen of the striped water snake was collected by J. D. 
Mitchel at Carancahua Bay, Calhoun County, Tex., in January, 
1892, and the National Museum collection contains 5 specimens from 
Indianola, including the type, and one specimen from Galveston. 


The following letter from Mr. Mitchel accompanied the specimen 
and 8 of the well-developed embryos: 

This snake was captured with '.'> others in a salt marsh on Carrancahua Bay, 
Calhoun County. It took to the salt water freely. One had 4 small mullets in 
its stomach, another some tiddler crabs. The other inclosnre is part of the 
womb of one of the snakes, showing embryos. She had 4 on one side and 10 on 
the other, 14 in all. 

Storeria dekayi Holbrook. 

Lloyd collected a specimen of this little brown snake at Barnard 
Creek, west of Columbia, March 4, 181)2, and Gaut collected one at 
Hour Lake, March 14, 1905. 

Eutainia elegans marciana (B. & (}.). Garter Snake. 

There are specimens of this plain little striped snake from Browns- 
ville, Santa Rosa Ranch (Cameron County), Corpus Christi, Vic- 
toria, Seguin, Sycamore Creek, Devils River, Paisano, and Boquillas. 
It is the common garter snake of the whole arid Low T er Sonoran zone 
of western Texas, apparently reaching its eastern limit at Victoria. 

Eutainia proxima (Say). Spotted Garter Snake. 

The collection contains 12 specimens of this garter snake from 
Brownsville, Lomita Ranch (Hidalgo County), Sycamore Creek, 
Corpus Christi, and San Antonio River, near San Antonio. The 
species apparently has a wide range, including most of Texas. 

Eutainia cyrtopsis Kennicott. 

One specimen of this beautiful garter snake with black nuchal 
spots was taken in the Davis Mountains, July 12, 1901, at about 5,700 
feet, in Upper Sonoran zone. 

Tropidoclonium lineatum Hallowell. 

Gaut collected a specimen of this little striped snake at Hemp- 
stead, February 28, 1905. 

Tantilla gracilis B. & G. 

I collected a specimen of this tiny brown snake at Lacey's Ranch, 
near Kerrville, May 5, 1899. The species has been recorded from va- 
rious localities in eastern and southern Texas in Lower Sonoran zone. 

Elaps fulvius (Linn.). Coral Snake. 

Four specimens of the coral snake from Brownsville, Corpus 
Christi, Cleveland, and Kerrville nearly double the list of definite 
localities for the State. Cope records the species from India'nola. 
San Diego, Fort (Mark, and Hempstead, but his records for Cameron 
County, Rio Grande, and Rio Pecos are too indefinite for practical 
purposes in outlining distribution. A live specimen sent to Doctor 
Stejneger from Beaumont, December 4, 1903, carries the range of the 

Oct., 1905.] SNAKES. 49 

species nearly across the State in both humid and arid Lower Sono- 
ran zones, but the Cleveland and Beaumont specimens are much 
darker and richer in coloration than those from farther west. 

Fortunately this is not a common species in Texas. I have found 
it but once in the State. From its beautiful colors and harmless ap- 
pearance it is likely to be handled carelessly, and its bite is dangerous. 

Agkistrodon piscivorus (Lacepede). Cottonmouth ; Water Moccasin. 
A single specimen of the water moccasin, collected by William 
Lloyd at the mouth of Devils River, September 2-f, 1890, slightly 
extends the known range of the species. (Indianola and Eagle Pass 
are the westernmost records given by Cope.") A specimen collected 
in the Big Thicket of Liberty County was lost, but I could not have 
been mistaken in its identity. 

Agkistrodon contortrix (Linn.) Copperhead. 

A specimen of the copperhead collected by H. P. Attwater near 
San Antonio and three others collected near Kerrville, Arthur, and 
Sour Lake help to fill out the range of the species in the State. Cope 
records it from Cook County, Sabinal, and between Indianola and 
San Antonio.'' All of these localities are in Lower Austral zone. 

Sistrurus catenatus consors (B. & G.). Massasauga. 

There is a single specimen of the massasauga in the Biological Sur- 
vey collection, from Santa Rosa, Cameron County, Tex., collected by 
Lloyd in 1891. 

Crotalus horridus Linn. Eastern Rattlesnake. 

Gaut collected a specimen of thfs rattlesnake in the Big Thicket, 8 
miles northeast of Sour Lake, April 1, 1905. 

Crotalus atrox B. & G. Western Diamond Rattler. 

This, the largest of the Texas rattlesnakes, ranges throughout at 
least the arid part of Lower Sonoran zone of Texas. In the collec- 
tion there are specimens from Corpus Christi, Japonica, Devils River, 
Comstock, Sycamore Creek, Eagle Pass, Langtry, and Boquillas, and 
from as far up the Pecos Valley as Santa Rosa, N. Mex. Mr. Gary 
also saved a flat skin from Pecos, Tex., and Doctor Fisher one from 
Colorado, Tex. Specimens recorded by Cope c from Indianola, San 
Antonio, and Brazos River apparently mark the eastern border of 
the known range of the species. I have never found it in eastern 

Throughout its Texas range this is the commonest rattlesnake. 

a Ann. Rep. U. S. Nat. Mus. for 1898 (1UU0), p. 1135. 
6 Ibid., pp. 1137 and 1138. 
c Ibid., p. 1166. 

3ST3— No. 25—05 m- 


While it is often reported as excessively abundant, I have never found 
more than a dozen individuals in a season's field work of four or five 
months in its favorite haunts. Over most of the range we do not see 
more than an average of one or two in a month's field work. On an 
18-days' camping and collecting trip — April 24 to May 11, 1000 — 
from Corpus Christi to Brownsville and return, we saw only five 
rattlesnakes, where Ave had been led to expect hundreds ; and in this 
region of dense cactus beds and thorny thickets they find perfect pro- 
tection and probably reach their maximum abundance. Specimens 
from extreme southern Texas are reported by the residents as reach- 
ing a length of 11 to 13 feet; but the largest specimen I have seen 
alive measured only 50 inches in length. 

Crotalus confluentus Say. Plains Rattlesnake. 

This small, dull-colored rattlesnake is represented in the Biological 
Survey collection from Texas by one specimen from Amarillo, on the 
Staked Plains, in Upper Sonoran zone. I am familiar with the 
species on Upper Sonoran plains of New Mexico and Nebraska, but 
have not found it elsewhere in Texas. The specimen collected by 
Captain Pope (No. 4962, U. S. N. M.), and labeled "Pecos River, 
Texas," has not even a date by which to locate the place where 
obtained ; but as it is Avell known that Captain Pope's specimens from 
the top of the Staked Plains on the east and from the Guadalupe 
Mountains on the west were labeled " Pecos River,'' this record can 
have no zonal significance. The specimen recorded by Cope a from 
San Antonio, Tex., is entered in the Museum catalogue as collected 
" between San Antonio and El Pa*o," and the one recorded from Rio 
San Pedro (Devils River) is catalogued from "between Ash Creek 
and Rio San Pedro." Mr. Brown's record for Pecos, 6 based on a 
specimen collected by Meyenberg, can not, as Mr. Brown admits, be 
used for " minute zone work," as Meyenberg's specimens, while said 
to have been collected somewhere " within a day's journey by team of 
Pecos," may have come from much farther away. In 1902, at a place 
75 miles northwest of Pecos, I met one of his men bringing in a 
wagonload of live animals, among them numerous snakes and lizards 
which had been collected along the base of the Guadalupe Mountains, 
mainly in Upper Sonoran zone, but probably also in Transition. As 
these specimens apparently were sent out as collected at Pecos, in 
Lower Sonoran zone, the difficulty of using Meyenberg's material for 
zonal work is apparent. 

Crotalus molossus B. & G. 

This is the common rattlesnake of the Guadalupe Mountains in 
Upper Sonoran zone on both sides of the Texas and New Mexico line. 

a Ann. Rep. U. S. Nat. Mus. for 1898 (1900). p. 1172. 
&Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 1903, p. 551. Am—ican Fjuji No 25 

Oct., 1905.] SNAKES; MAMMALS. 51 

Specimens were collected near the edge of Transition zone on the east 
and west slopes of the mountains at 6,300 and 0,800 feet, but I assume 
that the species belongs to Upper Sonoran. A flat skin collected by 
Cary at a point 25 miles west of Sheffield is apparently this species. 

We found this snake in August, 11)01, in the gulches high up on 
the range. It is pugnacious, quick to sound its rattle and throw 
itself on the defensive. Because of its prevailing color of olive green, 
we always referred to it in the field as the " green rattlesnake." 

Crotalus lepidus Kennicott. 

Five specimens of this little rattlesnake from western Texas, the 
mouth of the Pecos, Paisano, Chisos Mountains, and Davis Moun- 
tains, indicate a range confined to the most arid and rocky part of the 
State in both Upper and Lower Sonoran zones. The specimen from 
the mouth of the Pecos was in Lower Sonoran zone on the gray lime- 
stone ledges at the east end of the High Bridge. In color it is pale 
ashen gray, with the pattern faintly indicated in dusky lines. The 
color has not changed materially in the alcoholic specimen from that 
of the live animal collected May 20, 1900, when I called it the ' white 
rattlesnake ' to distinguish it from anything previously known to me." 
Mr. Cary reports several seen on limestone ledges along the Pecos 
Canyon at Howard Creek and Sheffield, all of which were whitish in 
color like the lime rock on which they were found. One specimen 
from the Chisos Mountains at about 6,000 feet, one from Paisano, 
and two from 5.700 feet in the Davis Mountains, were all taken in 
Upper Sonoran zone. Others were seen in both the Chisos and Davis 
mountains at similar altitudes, but none lower. All of these speci- 
mens in life or when freshly killed, and the others seen but not col- 
lected, were dark rusty brown with a pinkish tinge, heavily marked 
with velvety black crossbars. The brown has faded considerably in 
the alcoholic specimens, as shown by comparison with a careful color 
study of the fresh snake made in the field by L. A. Fuertes. 

These little brown rattlers were fairly common about our camp 
near the head of Limpia Creek, in the Davis Mountains. On the 
dark brown lava soil they were very inconspicuous, and they had a 
way of suddenly springing up between our feet that made us slightly 


The following report on the mammals of Texas is based mainly 
on my own field notes and those of the other members of the Biolog- 
ical Survey who have worked in the State, supplemented by records 
from local naturalists and ranchmen. 




Tatu novemcinctum texanum subsp. nov. Texas Armadillo. 

Type from Brownsville. Tex.. No. fffff $ ad., U. S. Nat. Mus., Biological 
Survey Coll. Collected by F. B. Armstrong. June 10, VMY1; original No. 4. 

General characters. — Similar to mexicanum from Colima, but with 
relatively heavier dentition, larger and more acutely triangular 
lachrymal hone, and with larger epidermal plates on forehead and 

Measurements of type. — Total length, 800; tail, 370; hind foot, 
100. Skull of type: Basal length, 81; occipito-nasal length, 100: 
nasals, 30; greatest zygomatic breadth, 43; mastoid breadth, l".>: 
alveolar length of upper molar series, 27; of lower molar series, 27. 


-Skull of armadillo (Tutu novemcinctum texanum) from Brownsville, Texas. 
(Natural size.) 

Specimens examined. — Brownsville, 12; El Blanco, near Hidalgo. 
1 ; Corpus Christi, 2 ; Nueces Bay, 1 skull ; Kerrville, 2 skulls." 

Armadillos are common in southern Texas from the Lower Rio 
Grande to Matagorda Bay, the mouth of the Pecos, and north to 
Llano. A few are reported farther up the Pecos Valley, at old Fort 
Lancaster, Grand Falls, and Loving County, and one from 22 miles 
north of Stanton, while a specimen in the National Museum is labeled 
'" Breckenridge.'" They have been taken in Burnet County and at 
Austin and Elgin, and reported from Inez, Seguin, Columbus, Xava- 
sota, and as far east as Antioch on Nevils Prairie. The belief is 

"A series of 9 specimens, collected at Colima, Mex.. by Nelson and Goldman. 
agrees in respect to the small quadrate lachrymal and light dentition with the 
excellent figure of a skull of Tatusia merit-ami (PI. II. tig. :!) in Cray's Hand 
List of the Edentate. Thick-Skinned, and Ruminant Mammals in the British 
.Museum. As no locality more definite than Mexico is assigned to either the 
type of Dasypus novemdnctus var. mexicanus Peters or the specimen figured by 
Gray, the type locality may he fixed by considering the Colima specimens 
typical. The exact relationship hetween mexican tun and novemcinctum, of Bra- 
zil, remains to he worked out. 

Oct.. 1905.] 



general that they are spreading eastward and northward, but whether 
this belief is founded on a real extension of range or on an increase 
in numbers throughout an established range is not entirely settled 
by the data at hand. 

In 1890 Streator reported armadillos as rare on Raglans Ranch, 32 
miles southeast of Eagle Pass, where two had been taken within ten 
years. In 1891 Lloyd reported them as common north of Browns- 
ville and " much sought after for eating purposes." One taken at 
La Hacienda, 10 miles southeast of Hidalgo, he says, " was very ten- 
der, without any gamy smell,' 1 and he adds, " they eat small coleop- 
tera and ants, greater quantities of the latter.' 1 He says that a cow- 
boy saw an armadillo near the center of Padre Island, and at Nueces 
Bay he reported finding the remains of one and traces where others 
had been digging. 

6. — Skull of armadillo (Tata novemcinctam mexicanum) from Colinia. Mexico. 
(Natural size.) 

In 1900 Oberholser reported them at Port Lavaca as not common, 
though occurring on the rivers at the head of Matagorda Bay and in 
the timber along small creeks west of there; at O'Connorport as not 
found except several miles back in the country, where quite rare ; at 
Beeville as common at a little distance from town and frequently 
brought in by the Mexicans; at San Diego as common, living chiefly 
in timber along creeks and in chaparral about ponds; at Laredo as 
rare immediately south of town, but said to be common in places 
toward the north; at Cotulla as abundant, inhabiting principally 
the timber along the Nueces; at Uvalde as occasionally found along 
the Nueces; at Rock Springs as tolerably common in places. In 1901 
he reported them at Fort Lancaster as said on good authority to 
occur on Independence Creek, 25 miles down the Pecos; at Langtry 
and the Pecos High Bridge as rare, but said to be occasionally found 
along the river; at Del Rio as reported to be common along the Rio 
Grande; at Comstock as rare. In 1902 he reported armadillos of 


occasional occurrence at Austin, where one was taken a few years ago, 
and as rare at Elgin, where there are well-authenticated instances of 
their capture along some of the creeks. 

Near Antioch, Houston County, in 1002, Hollister obtained two 
records of the capture of armadillos on Nevils Prairie, the last about 
1800, where one wandered into a smokehouse and was caught and 
kept alive for some time. Cary in his reports for 1002 records the 
capture of an armadillo by John Hutto, a sheep man living 22 miles 
north of Stanton, in 1802. Mr. Finnegan, the hotel proprietor at 
Stanton, saw the animal at the time. At Monahans Can' was told 
by Landlord Holman that armadillo shells were rarely found in the 
sandhills, but that he had seen a specimen killed at Grand Falls in 
1800. In February, 1002, Mr. Royal H. Wright, of Carlsbad. X. 
Mex., wrote me that he had picked up an old armadillo shell in 
Loving County, Tex., close to the New Mexico line. At Llano, in 
1800, I was told that armadillos were frequently killed around there 
or brought into town alive. In 1004 a few armadillos were reported 
at Seguin, and Mr. Samuel Neel told me that a few years ago he had 
found one in the garden under the vines of his cowpeas. At Colum- 
bus Mr. Henry Ma thee told me of two armadillos killed there during 
the fall of 1004, and Mr. J. F. Leyendeker wrote me that one was 
taken near Frelsburg. At Navasota Mr. Charles Hardesty told me 
of one caught near there during the summer of 1004. In a letter of 
June 4, 1004, Mr. H. P. Attwater furnishes the following note: 

When in Port Lavaca last week I obtained some notes in regard to armadillos 
which may be of interest. Mr. J. M. Boquet, a very intelligent and reliable 
ranchman, says that these animals were first noticed in Calhoun County in 1886 
or about that year ; that they are now very common, and that he has no doubt 
there are hundreds of them in the county to-day. He say's their favorite resort 
on the prairie ranches is in the long Cherokee-rose hedges, which have been 
grown in many parts of that and adjoining counties as a wind-break in winter 
for cattle. During the last few years since armadillos have become so common 
in the southwest and south central Texas I see baskets made of armadillo skins 
or shells in the curio stores at San Antonio and other places. The legs are cut 
off and the tail fastened to the mouth, forming the handle of the basket. At a 
curio shop in San Antonio two or three days ago I was informed that they sold 
for about $1.50 to #2 each. 

The armadillos are strictly Lower Sonoran, but in the rough coun- 
try between Rock Springs and Kerrville they range fairly into the 
edge of Upper Sonoran Zone. As a rule they do not extend east of 
the semiarid or mesquite region, nor to any extent into the extremely 
arid region west of the Pecos, but occupy approximately the semiarid 
Lower Sonoran region of Texas, north to near latitude 38°. They 
are partial to low, dense cover of coarse grass, thorny thickets, cactus 
patches, and scrub oaks, under which they make numerous burrows 
and trails, or root about in the leaves and mold, where the}' enjoy 

Oct., 1905.] 



comparative safety under the double protection of leafy screen and 
armor plate. But they thrive best in a rocky country, especially 
where limestone ledges offer numerous caves and crevices of various 
sizes, from which they can select strongholds that will admit no 
larger animal. Almost every rock-walled gulch along the head- 
waters of Guadalupe Eiver has one or more dens with smoothly worn 
doorways from which much traveled trails lead away through the 
bushes or to little muddy springs, where tiny hoof-like tracks and the 
corrugated washboard prints of ridged armor suggest that the arma- 

Fig. 7. — Distribution area of armadillo ( Tatu novemcinctum tcxanum). 

dillos not only dig and nose about in the soft ooze for their insect 
food, but. pig-like, enjoy also a cooling mud bath. Other trails lead 
along rocky shelves, up the sides of gulches, and away from thicket 
to thicket, and are easily followed sometimes for half a mile till they 
branch and scatter or connect with cattle trails, where the rope-like 
prints of dragging, horny tails are visible among the dusty cow 
tracks. Late in the afternoon one occasionally meets an armadillo 
trotting vigorously along a trail on his stumpy little feet, his tail 


dragging after him in a useless sort of way as he hurries nervously 
across the open spaces and stops in the thickets to nose about under 
the leaves in search of dainties from the fragrant soil. At such times 
the long, pointed nose seems to be the keenest organ of sense. The 
little eyes, half the time buried in rustling leaves, rarely detect an 
object not close by and in motion. I have followed one of these 
preoccupied little animals for half an hour, often within 20 or 30 
feejt, moving only when it was rustling in the leaves, and Avatching its 
motions without being discovered or creating alarm. Hunters say 
that if you stand still the armadillos will sometimes bump against 
your feet without discovering you, so short sighted are they and so 
intent on their own business. But when alarmed, they get over the 
ground with a rush that is surprisingly rapid considering their 
turtle-like build. If the first rush does not carry them to cover and 
an enemy overtakes them, they curl up in an ironclad ball that is not 
easily uncurled. In autumn, during the deer hunting months, when 
the young of the year are full grown, they are especially numerous 
and particularly obnoxious to the still hunters, who repeatedly mis- 
take their rustling in the leaves for the noise of feet of bigger game. 
Where a dozen or twenty armadillos are met in a day's hunting, as 
sometimes happens, and possibly no deer are seen, the nervous strain 
and disappointment on the part of the hunter sometimes result in 
serious consequences to the innocent armadillo. 

The excrement of the armadillos found scattered along the trails 
in the form of clay marbles and with the texture of baked mud gives 
some clue to the food habits of the animals. Careful examination 
shows only the remains of insects, mainly ants and a few small 
beetles, embedded in a heavy matrix of earthy matter. 

Didelphis virginiana Kerr. Virginia Opossum. 

Specimens of opossums examined from northern and middle Texas, 
Gainesville, Vernon, Brazos, Mason, and Kerrville, have the light- 
gray coat, white ear tips, and comparatively short tail of virgin- 
iana. To the west the species does not extend much beyond the 
one hundredth meridian, except along some of the stream valleys, 
up which it reaches as far as San Angelo, Colorado, and Tascosa. 
I have seen no specimens from extreme eastern Texas, except from 
near the coast, where they are referable to pigra. 

The Virginia opossums are more or less abundant throughout their 
range, and live mainly in the woods and brush along streams. In 
the daytime they sleep in hollow trees or logs, in holes in the ground, 
oi- merely curled up in the brush or weeds or sometimes on a large 
branch of a tree, and if disturbed appear stupid and dazed. At 
night they prowl about in search of food, and. not being epicureans, 
usually find it in abundance. They are especially fond of chickens 

Oct., 1905.] 


and eggs and do considerable mischief in the henhouse. They will 
eat any kind of meat, even when it is old and stale, and often per- 
sist in getting into traps baited for more desirable game. Through 
the summer they feed extensively on fruit, and are usually lean and 
rangy. In the fall they become very fat and by many are then 
considered a great delicacy. Their importance as food and game 
animals and the value of their fur make up for the inconsiderable 
losses they now and then occasion poultry raisers. Winter skins in 
prime fur are quoted at 55 to 60 cents, and they usually constitute 
a large share of the fur harvest of local trappers. 

Didelphis v. pigra Bangs. Florida Opossum. 

Specimens of the opossum from the coast region of Texas east of 
Matagorda Bay are generally a little darker than typical virginiana, 
with more dusky about the face. While not typical, they are nearer 
to pigra than to virginiana? from which there is no sharp line of 
separation. They are merely the darker southern form inhabiting 
Florida and the South Atlantic and Gulf coast region, with habits 
modified by local conditions and environment. On the coast prairies 
of southeastern Texas they live much in the open, wandering along 
the margins of ponds and bayous, sleeping under fallen grass or 
low bushes and feeding extensively on crawfish and other small 
crustaceans. In the stomach of one taken near Galveston I found 
a horned toad and bird's feathers, besides the meat used for trap bait. 

Gaut found them abundant in the Big Thicket northeast of Sour 
Lake, where he caught them in a line of traps set along Black Creek 
in the timber. He reports two females, caught March 18, carrying 
in the pouches young apparently four or five days old, one with five 
young, the other with six. He found the stomachs of two individ- 
uals filled with crawfish, one full of carrion of a dead hog, and in 
another traces of maggots and carrion. 

Didelphis marsupialis texensis Allen. Texas Opossum. 

This subspecies of a widely distributed Mexican form is easily dis- 
tinguished from both virginiana and pigra by its longer and blacker 
tail, the wholly black ears of adults, and by its dichromatism, about 
half of the individuals being entirely black instead of light gray. It 
inhabits the southern part of Texas, from Brownsville to Nueces 
Bay and San Antonio, and up the Rio Grande to Del Rio and the 
mouth of the Pecos. Doctor Allen, in his monograph of the genus 
Didelphis, considers the species distinct from virginiana and records 
specimens of both from San Antonio. 6 

" Doctor Allen refers these coast specimens rather doubtfully to virginiana 
(Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.. XIV. 166, 1001), but all. with possibly one exception, 
seem to me nearer to pigra. 

& Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. Vol. XIV. 140-188, June 15, 1901. 


The habits of this opossum are peculiar only in so far as they have 
been modified to adapt it to the country in which it lives, a more or 
less open region of mesquite, brush, and cactus, with few hollow logs 
or stumps. For home and shelter the animals depend largely on bur- 
rows, which apparently they dig for themselves. In setting traps 
where fresh earth was being brought out of the burrow or out of sev- 
eral of a group of burrows each night, hoping to get a badger or 
armadillo, I have on several occasions been disappointed to find in 
my trap next morning only an old black opossum. 

A female caught at Del Rio January 30, 1890, had nine tiny young 
in her pouch, each clinging to one of the slender teats and grasping 
the moist, crinkled, brown hair of the pouch lining with all four of 
its little hands. If forcibly pulled loose they would immediate^ 
regain their hold, the only instinct of their embryonic life being to 
hold on tight and get nourishment. They were too small to notice- 
ably distend the pouch, and I discovered them only in preparing the 
specimen on the following day. I then noticed that the nine teats, 
arranged in two semicircular rows with one in the center, were not 
the full set. The anterior pair were functionless, but as the mother 
was not fully grown these probably would have developed with the 
next and larger litter of young. While in the trap this female 
showed no disposition to fight or defend herself, but an old male 
caught a day or two later fought viciously, growling and biting any- 
thing that came within reach, actually cutting deep gashes in the 
hard-wood stock of my gun. Another female, caught by James H. 
Gaut at the mouth of Sycamore Creek, 12 miles east of Del Rio, June 
1 , 1903, was carrying six very small young in the pouch. 

Tayassu angulatum (Cope). Texas Peccary; Javeline; Musk Hog. 

Peccaries are still more or less common in southern Texas and along 
the Rio Grande to above the mouth of the Pecos, thence up the 
east side of the Pecos Valley into the unsettled sandhill region of 
southeastern New Mexico, and east along the broken edge of the 
plains to San Angelo and Kerrville, and along the coast to Corpus 
Christi. A few may remain here and there still farther cast and 
north, where they once ranged, but they have been pretty thoroughly 
driven out by the settlement of the, country, and arc now merely 
clinging to existence in regions of deep rocky canyons or dense thorny 
cactus and chaparral and in an uninhabited waste of sand dunes. 
They are extremely wary, depending for protection mainly on caves 
in the rocks and impenetrable cover, and so may be able to hold their 
own for a few years longer. They are usually hunted with dogs and 
horses, as it is almost impossible to discover or get near them in any 
other way. The cowboys occasionally rope one. but claim that many 
good horses are ruined by being ridden over boars, which never fail 
to cut and gash the horses 1 leers in a dangerous manner. 

Oct., 1005.1 



In October, 1904, I was told that a half-grown peccary in the San 
Pedro Park, at San Antonio, had been captured in Nueces County 
within a month. 

The following reports by Merritt Cary were made in September, 
1D02 : 

The peccary is common in Castle Mountains and on sand ridges northwest 
of there. Along Castle Gap I went into several caves beneath the rim rock 

Fig. 8. — Distribution area of peccary {Tayassu angulatum). 

and found the ground all tramped up hy them, where they had evidently made 
their dens. 

A peccary was killed 2 miles northeast of Odessa about September 1, 1002, 
but was very thin and evidently a wanderer. The animals are said to be com- 
mon in the western portion of Gaines County. 

Peccaries range throughout the sand along the Texas Pacific Railroad west 
to about Quito station and east rarely as far as Odessa. North they follow 
the sand belt well up into New Mexico, according to report, while to the south 
their range is continuous through the Castle Mountains and down the valley 
of the Pecos. From what I could learn, their center of abundance in the sand 
belt is some 10 to 15 miles north of Monahans. where the ' shinrick ' is densest, 
and their principal food, the acorns, most plentiful. They are said to hide 


in the 'oats-claw ' (Acacia) during the day and range out into the sand hills 
for acorns at night or in cloudy weather. One was killed while we were at 
Hawkins's ranch, but the hide and skull were spoiled before we could secure 
them. Several peccaries have been killed at San Angelo in years past. 

Cervus merriami Nelson. Merriam Elk. 

There are no wild elk to-day in the State of Texas, but years ago, 
as several old ranchmen have told me, they ranged south to the 
southern part of the Guadalupe Mountains, across the Texas line. 
I could not get an actual record of one killed in Texas, or nearer 
than 6 or 8 miles north of the line, but as they were common to 
within a few years in the Sacramento Mountains, only 75 miles far- 
ther north, I am inclined to credit the rather indefinite reports of 
their former occurrence in this part of Texas. Specimens of horns 
and a part of a skull from the Sacramento Mountains indicate that 
the species was very similar to and probably identical with the 
Arizona elk described by E. W. Nelson who has aided me in making 
the comparisons. 

In his field report for May, 1904, from the Wichita Mountains, 
Oklahoma, Gaut says: 

Mr. A. T. Hopkins, of Lawton, killed an elk in 1881 on Rainy Mountain, about 
40 miles west of Lawton. This apparently is the last specimen recorded from 
that region. Several antlers have been picked up within the last few years 
on Rainy Mountain, a high ridge about 12 miles west of Mount Scott, and Mr. 
O. F. Morrisey, the forest ranger, informed me that he frequently runs across elk 
antlers while on his rides through the reserve. 

In 1852 elk were reported " by Captain Marcy from the Wichita 
Mountains, Indian Territory, and if they ever were common there 
they would naturally at times have strayed across the interval of 
less than 50 miles to the border of northern Texas. This report may 
have led to the inclusion of ' moose ' with the game of Texas in Mary 
Austin Holley's History of Texas, 1836, but it is by no means certain. 
The particular form of elk which inhabited the Wichita Mountains 
will probably never be known, although it may have been referable 
to ('. canadensis. 

That northern Texas is well adapted to elk is shown by the perfect 
condition in li)0'2 of a herd of nine owned by Mr. Charles Goodnight. 
of Goodnight, Tex. 

Odocoileus virginianus texanus Mearns. Texas White-tailed Deer. 

Specimens of the white-tailed -deer from Corpus Christi, Kerr 
County, Rock Springs, and Langtry agree with the type and topo- 
types of texanus from Fort (Mark, and indicate for this form a wide 
range over the semiarid part of southern and middle Texas, but do 
not in any way define the limits of its range. In the open and arid 

" Explorations of Red River (if Louisiana, p. ISC. 1S.*>4. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 61 

region west of the Pecos white-tailed deer are rare. The skull of an 
old buck from San Elizario, on the Rio Grande, just below El Paso, 
has abnormally large molars and large audital bullae, and can only 
provisionally be referred to temanus. The few once inhabiting the 
Davis and Guadalupe Mountains have been almost exterminated, and 
they may have been the little couesi instead of texanus. Excepting 
a part of the trans-Pecos region and, possibly, the open top of the 
Staked Plains, the whole of Texas is or has been occupied by some 
form of the white-tailed deer." 

A few imperfect specimens from Liberty, Hardin, and Jasper coun- 
ties in extreme eastern Texas are apparently texanus, but more and bet- 
ter specimens from this region may show that they are nearer to vir- 
ginianus. They certainly are not the large, dark louisianw, which, 
from geographical considerations alone, they might be supposed to be. 
In the Big Thicket region of Liberty and Hardin counties deer are 
still common, owing to the dense forest and the tangle of vines, 
briers, palmettoes, and canes which afford them almost impenetrable 
cover. They are now hunted mainly with hounds, but formerly 
when more abundant night hunting with a headlight was the favorite 
method, and deer were wantonly slaughtered in great numbers. One 
hunter told me that he had no idea how many deer he had killed for 
their skins, but that in the fall of 1880 he remembered selling 69 skins 
of deer, the carcasses of which were left in the woods. Even at the 
present time the law in this region is rarely enforced, and deer are 
killed without regard to season. With the natural advantages offered 
by extensive tracts of unoccupied forest and swamp land, dense cover, 
and abundance of acorns and other food, deer with some slight pro- 
tection would soon become abundant again. 

A collection of about 350 pairs of deer horns at Rock Springs is 
especially interesting, as all the horns came from deer killed in the 
vicinity, wdiich is near the type locality of texanus. and consequently 
show the local variation. As usual in a large collection, there are 
some abnormal sets, and a number of very small sets which seem to 
be of either young or imperfectly developed individuals and not of 
the little Sonora deer. Through the courtesy of Mr. Fleischer I 
obtained photographs of a large number of the horns. It is to be 
hoped that the collection will eventually find its way to some museum, 
where it would be of considerable scientific interest. 

At the edge of the little town of Rock Springs Doctor Richardson 
had six tame deer in a small inclosure — a 3-year-old buck, a 2-year-old 
doe, and four yearling does. They were all in the red coat when 

« The group of white-tailed deer is sadly in need of revision, but the material 
at hand is too scanty for final conclusions in regard to the several described 


examined July 15, 1902, and the nearly grown horns of the buck 
were in full soft velvet. All these deer were perfectly tame, and 
would push and crowd the Doctor as he fed them bran from a basin. 
Bran and hay constituted their main food. Though in good health 
and spirits they were thin, and I urged the Doctor to give them some 
of their natural food — the leaves of live-oak brush, acorns, mesquite 
and other bean pods. 

On many of the large ranches between Corpus Christi and Browns- 
ville, where the oak and mesquite thickets are interspersed with prai- 
rie and grassy openings, deer find ideal conditions, with abundant 
food and cover. The nature of the ground is such as to protect them 
from wolves and other natural enemies; but it is well suited to 
either hunting on horseback or still hunting, which, if freely allowed, 
would soon exterminate them. With protection, however, they in- 
crease rapidly, and in many places are abundant. Fresh tracks were 
common in the trails and even along the stage road in places, and 
the ranchmen usually know where to find a* deer when needed. 
Similar conditions are reported over most of southern Texas, al- 
though varying greatly on the different ranches. From Kerrville 
west to Devils River and the Rio Grande deer are more or less 
abundant, both in the half-open mesquite valleys and over the rough 
juniper and oak-covered ridges. On certain large ranches they are 
still numerous, while on others they have become extremely scarce 
and would be entirely exterminated but for the recruits from sur- 
rounding and better protected ranches. Some of the ranchmen do 
not consider it worth while to protect the deer, while others leave the 
matter to indifferent foremen or else allow so much hunting by their 
friends that few of the animals escape. But such indifference is 
unusual. Almost every ranch gate we passed through bore the sign 
" Posted;' 

In spite of the protection of State laws and ranch owners there are 
still remote sections of rough, uncontrolled range where every year 
hunters kill wagonloads of deer for the market, or worse, kill the 
deer for the hides only, leaving the carcasses to rot. I was told that 
in the winter of 1901-2 hundreds of deer skins were brought out of 
the country west of Kerrville. 

No part of the United States affords more perfect conditions for 
deer than southern Texas, and all that is required for their mainte- 
nance and rapid increase is efficient protection. In the past this has 
not been provided by the game laws; and the fact that the deer have 
not been wantonly destroyed over the entire region is due to the 
practical, business-like methods of the large ranch owners, who con- 
trol the hunting on their ranges, and would as soon think of depleting 
their herds of cattle as the game under their control. On some of 

Oct., 1905.] 


the larger ranches mounted rangers are regularly employed to ride 
over the country and protect both stock and game, and to see that 
fences are kept up and that there is no hunting. But usually this is 
an important part of the business of the regular cowboys. As a 
practical business proposition the protection of deer can not be urged 
too strongly. Their presence on the range does not interfere with 
the cattle and horses. The deer rarely, if ever, eat grass or any 
forage plant eaten by horses and cattle, but live on the leaves and 
twigs of bushes, seeds, pods, and flowers of a great variety of plants, 
including acorns and the pods of the numerous kinds of bean bushes. 
Opposition to private control of game was never more groundless 
than in this open country where without such control the deer would 
long ago have been exterminated over extensive areas where they are 
now common. 

Odocoileus macrourus? (virginianus) (Rafinesque). Plains White- 
tailed Deer. 

Two specimens of white-tailed deer from the sandhills 20 miles 
north of Monahans, and 3 from Beaver Creek where it crosses the 
Texas and Oklahoma line at the north edge of the Panhandle, can not 
be referred to texanus or virginianus. On geographic grounds they 
should be macrourus, described from the " plains of the Kansas 
River," so provisionally, at least, I refer them to this form." 

The two specimens from north of Monahans are fully adult. A doe, 
collected September 18, is in the pale yellow summer coat with traces 
of the fall ' blue coat ' showing through, and a large buck taken 
November 12 is in full, fresh winter pelage. These specimens are 
larger than corresponding sexes of typical texanus, with relatively 
heavier, wider skulls. The doe is apparently lighter and brighter 
colored, with no trace of black on the tips of the ears, and the buck is 
much lighter colored around the face and ears than strictly com- 
parable specimens of texanus. The three specimens in the United 
States National Museum collection from Beaver Creek, collected by 
Hornaday in 1889, are in faded, late winter pelage, very pale and 
yellowish. The three imperfect skulls without horns from the same 
locality agree in a general way with the Monahans skulls. 

In September. 1902. Merritt Gary reported the white-tailed deer as 
common in the sandhill region south and north of Monahans, and as 
feeding principally on the acorns of the little shin oak which covers 
this region. At Canadian, in the northeast corner of the Panhandle, 
in July, 1903, A. H. Howell reported white-tailed deer as occurring 

"At present I do not know of a specimen of the white-tail doer from the 
Plains near enough to the type locality of macrourus to he safely assumed to be 
typical of that form, and until typical specimens are obtained the status of 
the form must remain somewhat in doubt. 


in small numbers in the brushy bottoms; and in July, 1904. Gaut 
reported them as common in the region about Mobeetie. 

Odocoileus couesi Cones and Yarrow. Sonora Deer. 

This little deer is the smallest of the white-tailed group found in 
the United States, an old buck rarely being estimated at over 100 
pounds, while the does are variously estimated at from 50 to 75 
pounds. The horns are small and closely curved in, with usually 
three or four points to a beam; the ears are considerably larger 
than in specimens of texanus weighing nearly twice as much. The 
young, after losing the spots, are light yellowish brown until after 
the change to the gray coat, which apparently takes place with the 
fall molt of the third year. The adults, after about two and a half 
years old, are light gray at all seasons, without black on ears or tail. 

The species is widely distributed through the desert mountains 
of southern Arizona and northern Mexico and probably reaches its 
eastern limit in the Chisos Mountains of western Texas. Here 
these little deer range from 5,000 feet at the upper edge of Lower 
Sonoran zone through Upper Sonoran and Transition to the top 
of the mountains at 9,000 feet. They are closely associated with the 
oaks, junipers, and nut pines, and depend much on the cover of 
brush and timber. During the day they are usually found lying 
under a low, branching juniper tree or in a thicket of oak brush, 
and when started are more often heard bounding over the rocks 
than seen in the open. They are most numerous on the plateau top 
of the mountains, at 8,500 feet, where a steep 3,000-foot slope pro- 
tects them from most hunters and where the sweet acorns of the little 
gray oak are abundant. Between rains the only water on this 
plateau is held in the rock basins, but it is usually ample for the 
needs of the deer. A few springs around the base of the mountains 
are permanent and alw T ays accessible in case of drought. The deer 
on the plateau are so little disturbed that they are often seen feed- 
ing or wandering about during the day. While sweeping the slopes 
with a field glass I often located deer and watched them without 
arousing their suspicion. At 11 o'clock one warm day I watched 
three does come down from an open sunny hillside and select cool 
beds in the shade of bushes along a deep gulch. At another time I 
watched a doe and two yearling fawns feed until they were satis- 
fied and then scatter to make their beds under different trees on an 
open grassy slope. On several occasions, by moonlight, the flash of 
their white tails at close quarters was seen with startling effect, the 
gray bodies being quite invisible. 

The food of the deer in June consisted mainly of leaves, flowers, 
green seeds, and capsules or pods of a great variety of shrubs and 
plants, including the leaves of the little gray oak (Quercus grisea)^ 

Oct., 1905.] 



leaves and wide, flat pods of several bean bushes (Acacia roemeriana 
and others), leaves and berries of sumac (Schmaltsia micro phylla), 
leaves and capsules of a large Pentstemon, and flowers and stems of 
bear grass (Nolina lindheimeriana) . The prints of the deer's teeth 
were often found on the half-eaten green stalks of the century plant 
(Agave wisliseni). Much-used trails and abundance of winter 
' sign ' among the oaks showed that acorns were the great attraction 
during fall and winter. No trace of grass could be found in any of 
the three stomachs examined. 

Odocoileus hemionus canus Merriam. Gray Mule-deer. 

Two skins (with skulls) of mule-deer and 8 skulls (or horns with 
parts of skulls) from the region about Samuels. Langtry, and the 

Fig. 9. — Yearling buck of gray mule-deer, Langtry, Texas. 

mouth of the Pecos River, a head and horns from Alpine, and a few 
old horns from the Chisos Mountains agree in a general way with 
the type and topotypes of canus. The skins show the same light 
gray color, and the skulls are small, the forehead flat, and the horns 
usually low and widespreading. I have seen no specimens from 
the northern end of the Staked Plains, but should expect the deer 
in this region to be hemionus. A skull of an old buck from the 
Guadalupe Mountains north of the Texas line in the collection of 
Royal H. Wright is not of the canus type ; and a very large buck that 
I saw at 8,500 feet on the side of Guadalupe Peak was of the full 
size of hemionus. In the outlying desert ridges west and south of 
these mountains, where the deer are most abundant, the country is 
typical of the Lower Sonoran desert region inhabited by canus. 

3873— No. 25—05 M 5 


The mule-deer is still more or less common in many parts of west- 
ern Texas, in the Guadalupe, Diablo, Franklin, Davis, Santiago, and 
Chisos mountains, and eastward to Devils River and the rough coun- 
try along the east side of the Pecos River as far as Fort Lancaster 
and the Castle Mountains. A few are found in the deep canyons and 
gulches cutting into the edges of the northern part of the Staked 
Plains as far east as Washburn and Mobeetie, but it is much more 
probable that these range from the Rocky Mountains through the 
extremely rough country along the south side of the Canadian River 
than that they have a continuous range southward to meet those of 
the lower Pecos country. Still, it is not improbable that they range, 
or have ranged in the past, all along the east escarpment of the 
Staked Plains. None were found in the timbered part of the Chisos 
Mountains, but they were common in the barren foothills and out- 
lying desert ranges at long distances from any known water. In 
the Guadalupe Mountains the same distribution was conspicuous, 
the mule-deer being far more numerous in the barren foothills on the 
west side of the range where no water has been found than in the 
high central timbered part. The deer apparently can go for a long 
time without water, getting an occasional supply from the rock 
basins after each rain, or, in cases of long drought, possibly making 
journeys of 20 or 30 miles to permanent springs. It is commonly 
believed by ranchmen and hunters, and on good grounds, that these 
deer can live indefinitely without water, getting all the moisture 
required from juicy plants. They eat the green stalks of the big 
century plants (Agave wislizeni and applanata) and paw open the 
cabbage-like caudex of the sotol (Dasylirion texanum) for its 
starchy and juicy center. Sheep are often herded on green feed for 
from three days to a month without water, and where there is snow, 
dew, or rain, for a much longer time. It is not strange that in a 
country where most of the springs are utilized for ranch use the 
deer should adapt themselves to desert conditions, especially as they 
offer them the greatest possible protection. In this open country, 
however, they are entirely at the mercy of hunters and unless pro- 
tected by laws strictly enforced will be exterminated as soon as the 
country is settled. 

At Langtry, in March and April, 1903, Gaut reported deer as 
"very plentiful a few years ago." and said: 

I visited the localities where old hunters claimed to have seen large numbers 
a few years back, and it is safe to say the large numbers are not there now. 
A young buck and a very large doe were seen. The heads of small rough 
canyons seem to be their favorite feeding grounds, and at this time of year 
they seem to feed to a great extent on the blossoms of Yucca macrocarpa and 
Dasylirion texanum. 

Oct., 1905.] 


At Mobeetie in 1904 Gaut was told by Mr. Long, a thirty-two-year 
resident of the locality, that the only mule-deer he could remember 
having seen in that country was killed in 1896. In the Franklin 
Mountains in February, 1903, Gaut reported a few mule-deer, but 
said they were scarce and very wild. On February 12 he saw the 
track of a small buck at 4,500 feet altitude on the east slope of the 
mountains about 10 miles north of El Paso. 

Antilocapra americana (Ord). Antelope. 

In traveling by wagon from Ringgold Barracks to Corpus Christi 
in December, 1852, Bartlett found abundance of antelope on the 
plains of southern Texas. On January 1, 1853, he says of the prairie : 

Thousands of deer and antelope were scattered over it. Never before had 
we seen such numbers. Droves of mustangs also appeared. The deer and 
antelope were usually grazing in herds of from ten to fifty, and as we 
approached they leisurely trotted off to a short distance and again stopped. 
We shot none, for I was desirous of reaching Corpus Christi before night." 

A few antelope still remain, scattered over the plains of western 
Texas, mainly west of the one hundredth meridian. 

In 1899 they were frequently seen along the stage road 30 miles 
south of Colorado City and 10 miles north of Sterling, and were said 
to be common near Gail. Thirty miles north of Gail I saw three 
antelope and the tracks of others, and along the road to Lubbock the 
next day saw several more small bunches and many tracks. A few 
were reported near Tascosa, while from the train I counted 32, singly 
or in little bunches, scattered over the prairie from Canyon, Tex., to 
Portales, X. Mex. 

In 1900 ranchmen told me that a few still remained on the prairies 
west of Alice, where they were once numerous; a few were reported 
to Oberholser 40 miles northwest of San Diego, a few 20 miles west 
and a few 25 miles southwest of Cotulla, a small herd 30 to 40 miles 
northwest of Rock Springs, and another small herd 35 miles north- 
west and another 50 miles southwest of Henrietta ; while they were 
said to have entirely disappeared within a few years from the country 
about Laredo and from the big valley in which Alpine is located. 

In 1901 a bunch of about a dozen antelope was reported near Bone 
Spring, 50 miles south of Marathon. Oberholser reported them as 
fairly common in bunches of 3 to between Sherwood and Fort 
Lancaster, as occasionally seen in the open country a little north of 
Comstock and Langtry, and as common on the plains about Hereford 
and Mobeetie. In 1890 they were common about Sierra Blanca and 
Marfa and the base of the Davis Mountains, but in 1901 these bands 
mainly had disappeared, as they had also from most of the open, 
uncontrolled stock range in that section. 

a Bartlett's Personal Narrative. Vol. II, 52G, 1854. 


In 1002 a few were said to be still found on the open plains north 
of Rock Springs, and a few on the plains between Valentine and 
the Davis Mountains, where Mr. John Finley reported 3 in his 
pasture. At Van Horn within a few years they had disappeared 
from the valley near the station, but a few were still found in the 
region farther back from the railroad. At Sierra Blanca, August 
8. I saw 3 young antelope which had just been brought in and pick- 
eted near the station. Late in August, Hollister and I saw a fine 
old buck and tracks of a few others on the high plateau at the south 
end of the Guadalupe Mountains, and on October 2, Hollister saw 
two small bunches near the railroad between Dalhart and Texline. 
In crossing the Staked Plains in September I saw from the train 5 
antelope near Hereford and 9 near Canyon City, and Mr. Goodnight 
told me that about 30, which until the previous year had been pro- 
tected in his pasture, had escaped to neighboring ranches. Cary 
obtained reports from resident ranchmen of a few on the mesas 15 
miles east of Sheffield, of others a short distance to the northeast of 
Ozona, of a few to the west of Fort Stockton and in the vicinity of 
Grand Falls, and of others on the east and west sides of the Castle 
Mountains. He reported them as occasionally seen in the vicinity 
of Odessa, as common 25 to 50 miles north of Stanton and in 
smaller numbers 10 or 20 miles south of that place, and as occurring 
15 miles north of Abilene, in Jones County. He reported also a 
bunch of 10 or 12 on the plains 10 miles northwest of Clyde, and a 
number in the vicinity of Pecos City, but mainly in fenced pastures, 
■where the stockmen protected them and strictly prohibited hunting. 

In August, 1003, Howell saw a bunch of 8 or 9 antelope on the 
prairie 15 miles west of Texline. In February of the same year 
Gaut reported a few in the valley east of the Franklin Mountains 
and was informed by Mr. Thomas Robinson, foreman of a large cat- 
tle ranch, that these antelope were being protected in one of the 
ranch pastures. 

In 1904 Gaut reported antelope as still common on the plains near 

It is greatly to be hoped that the Texas State law prohibiting the 
killing of antelope for a period of five years will be extended indefi- 
nitely, as without it both the antelope in the open range and those 
on the big fenced ranches will soon be exterminated. In no other 
part of America, with the exception of the Yellowstone and a few 
private parks, can antelope be expected to last many years, and it is 
to be hoped for the credit of the State and nation that Texas will 
protect them for all time. 

Bison bison (Linn.). Buffalo; American Bison. 

Buffalo once ranged over almost the whole of the present State of 
Texas, and were exceedingly numerous from the coast prairies north 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 69 

over the prairies and plains of the middle part of the State. They 
were slowly driven back until in 1870 their range, as defined by 
Doctor Allen." was limited to the plains of the northwestern part of 
the State. In the next five years they were mostly killed or driven 
back to the top of the Llano Estacado, where a few remained in the 
northwest corner of the Pan Handle until 1889, when W. T. Horna- 
day estimated their number at 25. b In 1901 Oberholser was informed 
by local ranchmen that the last buffalo were seen in 1889 in the Devils 
River country, and that a few were seen 20 miles north of the mouth 
of the Pecos the same year. In 1903 Gaut found well-preserved 
skulls and skeletons of two bulls and a cow in a shallow cave about 10 
miles east of Langtry, and saved the skulls for specimens. 

In 1894 numerous reports were published in the local Texas papers 
and copied in Forest and Stream and other journals, describing a 
herd of buffalo variously estimated at from 30 to 00 head in Val- 
verde County, near the Rio Grande. Later this herd was supposed to 
have crossed the river and disappeared in Mexico. These reports 
were shown by Mr. H. P. Attwater to be wholly fictitious/ Again, 
in 1897, a herd of about 80 was reported from Presidio County and 
the Great Bend of the Rio Grande. In 1901 I could find no one in the 
Great Bend country who had ever heard of buffalo in that region, nor 
could I find any evidence to indicate that they ever inhabited the 
extremelv rough and arid country along that part of the Rio Grande 
Valley. ' 

In 1902 Cary made the following report from Monahans, in the 
sand-hill region east of Pecos: 

Landlord Holman, of the Monahan Hotel, who is an old-timer here, informs 
me that the last buffalo in the sand-hill region was killed in the winter of 1885 
by a professional hunter, George Cansey, who is credited with having killed more 
buffalo than any other man in Texas. In the fall and summer of 1884 Cansey 
killed several near the southeast corner of New Mexico, and finally, in January, 
INS.".. while riding to Midland, came up with the last two remaining animals, a 
cow and calf, near the Water Holes. Cansey shot the cow and roped the calf, 
which he finally turned over to Mr. C. C. Slaughter, of Fort Worth, who eventu- 
ally had it killed for a large barbecue. From the same source I learned that 
the last bull buffalo in the San Angelo region was killed in the fall of 1883, in 
the southern part of Green County, by a Mr. Mertz, of San Angelo. 

At Stanton, Cary says : 

I heard from a number of reliable sources that Will Work, who lived at 
Marienfeld (now Stanton) in the early eighties, killed several buffalo near the 
New Mexico line, in the western part of Gaines County, Tex., in the winter of 

a The American Bison. Living and Extinct; J. A. Allen. Geol. Survey of 
Kentucky. Vol. I, pt 2, 1876. 

6 Extermination of the American Bison. W. T. Hornadav. Rept. U. S. Nat. 
If us. 1889. 

c Dr. J. A. Allen in Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., VIII. p. 53, April 22. 1896. 


In 1899, while crossing the top of the Staked Plains from Gail to 
Amarillo and Tascosa, I found a few old, much-weathered buffalo 
horns, hut the bones had mostly disappeared. In places the old 
deeply worn trails leading to water holes were a conspicuous feature 
of the plains, hut where not kept open by range cattle they were 
heavily sodded over. Farthei west on the slope, toward the Pecos 
River, the outcropping layers of soft limestone are deeply furrowed 
by hundreds of parallel trails trending toward the river valley. 
These are the last traces of the wild buffalo in Texas. The well- 
known herd of Mr. Charles Goodnight, at Goodnight, Tex., numbered 
in September, 19G2, about 50 full-blooded buffalo and TO crosses of 
various grades with polled angus cattle. The buffalo are in good 
condition, quiet and contented, breed freely, and are very hardy. 
The cows bear only full-blooded calves, and the crosses are made from 
buffalo bulls to polled angus cows, and then from these half-bloods 
to three-quarters and seven-eighths buffalo and to three-quarter 
polled angus, which last cross Mr. Goodnight believes gives promise 
of establishing a very superior grade of cattle. 

Ovis mexicanus Merriam. Mexican Bighorn; Mountain Sheep. 

Two 5-year-old rams and one 4-year-old from the southern end of 
the Guadalupe Mountains, Texas, and one 7-year-old ram from the 
mountains north of Van Horn agree in almost every detail of char- 
acter with the type and topotypes of Oris mexicanus" from Santa 
Maria, Chihuahua. They are older and a little larger than the type, 
and serve to accentuate some of the characters of the species. 

Mountain sheep inhabit the Upper Sonoran and Transition zones 
of the desert ranges of extreme western Texas. They are found in 
the Guadalupe Mountains. A few have been killed in the Eagle and 
Corozones mountains and on the northwest side of the Chisos Moun- 
tains. They come into the Grand Canyon of the Rio Grande mainly 
from the Mexican side. Mr. R. T. Hill reports specimens killed in 
the Diablo Mountains, '25 miles north of Van Horn. The sheep are 
by no means confined to isolated mountain ranges. In several valleys 
I saw tracks where they had crossed from one range to another 
through open Lower Sonoran country. In this way they easily wan- 
der from range to range over a wide expanse of country in western 
Texas, and might be considered to have an almost or quite continuous 
distribution between the Guadalupe Mountains and the desert ranges 
of Chihuahua. Most of the ranges are steep, extremely rugged, and 
barren, with deep canyons and high cliffs. Here the sheep find ideal 
homes on the open slopes of terraced lime rock or jagged crests of old 
lava dikes, and, thanks to the arid and inaccessible nature of the 
country, they have held their own against the few hunters of the 

aQvis mexicanus Merriam, Proc. Biol. Sue. Wash.. XI v. •_".». Apr. •""«. 1901. 

Oct., 1005.] MAMMALS. 71 

region. An old resident of one of the canyons, who has supplied his 
table with wild mutton for many years, considers them fully as 
numerous now as fifteen years ago. He has seen as many as 30 in a 
herd, but says they usually go in small bunches of 3 to 10, sometimes 
all rams and sometimes all ewes and lambs, but usually in mixed 
bunches. They come down the sides of the canyon in sight of the 
ranch, and are shot only when needed. 

"While sweeping the slopes with the glass one evening near our 
camp in one of the big canyons opening into the Guadalupe Moun- 
tains, I located three sheep halfway up the face of the rocky slope, 
1,000 feet above me. To the unaided eye they were invisible among 
the ledges and broken rocks, whose colors they matched to perfection, 
but through the glass they were conspicuous as they moved about 
feeding and climbing over the rocks. There were an old ram, a 
young ram, and a ewe. It was too near dark to make the long round- 
about climb necessary to reach them, so I returned to camp and early 
the following morning started my camp man up the slope to the spot, 
while I went back up the canyon to get beyond them if they should 
run up the ridge. As I swept the slopes with the glass I heard a 
shot up where the sheep had been the evening before, and soon locat- 
ing the hunter, watched him shoot two of them, while three others 
which were above climbed the cliff and finally disappeared over the 
crest of the canyon wall. The three that escaped were not much 
alarmed by the shooting. They jumped from rock to rock, pausing 
to look and listen, and turned back in one place to find a better way 
of retreat. They made some long leaps to reach the ledges above, 
but made no mistakes in their footing. Their motions were deliber- 
ate, and there was a moment's pause before each bound. I was 
amazed at the strength of the old ram, as, slowly lifting his massive 
horns, he flung himself with apparent ease to the rock above. The 
two lighter animals followed more nimbly, but with less show of 
power and without the splendid bearing of their leader, who often 
paused with head high in the air to watch the hunter below or to plan 
his way up the next cliff. While from below they seemed to be 
mounting the face of a steep cliff, I found later that it was not difficult 
to follow where they had gone. 

It was interesting to note that these sheep had remained almost 
exactly where they were seen the night before. The two others may 
have joined them during the night, but more likely were all the time 
somewhere near, either lying down or hidden by the rocks. 

The stomachs of the two sheep killed were full of freshly eaten and 
half-chewed vegetation, and most of the plants composing the con- 
tents were easily recognized by the stems, leaves, and fruit. The 
leaves, twigs, and carpels of Gercocarpus parvifolius formed a large 
[tart of the contents, while the leaves, twigs, and seed pods of Phila- 


delphus microphyllus were present in less abundance. The seeds, 
stems, and leaves of the common wild onion of the mountain slopes 
were abundant and conspicuous in the mass, giving it a strong odor, 
while the black onion seeds, still unbroken and often in the capsules, 
were especially noticeable. A few bits of stems and leaves of grass 
were found in each of the stomachs, but they formed probably not 
over 2 per cent of the total mass. 

Both of these sheep were in good condition, and the meat was 
tender, juicy, and delicious, with no strong or unpleasant taste. 
While it lacked the peculiar gamy flavor of venison, it came as near 
equaling it in quality as the meat of any game I know. 

On August 22, in another range in which the bighorns were 
reported, I left the ranch accompanied by an old resident hunter. 
Riding hard up one gulch and down another we were soon 10 miles 
back in the mountains in a canyon with steep terraced walls rising 
from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the open bottom. As we crossed the 
bottom a band of 12 or 15 mountain sheep bounded from the farther 
edge and started up the rocky slope in a long line of conspicuous 
bobbing white rumps led by three magnificent old rams. They had a 
quarter of a mile start, but in a very short time our hard-hoofed 
little horses had covered the stony gulch bottom and landed us at 
the base of the rocky slope within 250 yards of the sheep, which, 
having gained a point of sharp rocks above and feeling more secure, 
stopped to look down. As the king of the bunch suddenly paused 
on a sharp point and with a ponderous swing of his heavy horns 
turned to face us, my little 32-20 sounded weak and ineffective and 
only served to make him seek a higher ledge. But at the more 
spirited crack of the old ranchman's 30-30 the next in line, a buck 
with almost as heavy horns, rolled off the cliff with a broken neck 
and came sliding and tumbling to the base of the rocks a hundred 
feet below. The rest had scampered around the point of rocks, and 
as they came out again farther up and climbed cliff after cliff that 
from our base level seemed smooth and sheer a few more shots were 
wasted at long range. The herd divided and passed around both 
sides of the high peak. Following both trails for a mile or so to 
see if any of the sheep had been wounded, I found that I could go 
wherever they had gone. The cliffs were not so steep or so smooth 
as they had looked from below. In one place the animals had fol- 
lowed a narrow shelf above a sheer drop of 300 feet. Although they 
had jumped from point to point, striking their feet within an inch 
of the edge, I could not resist the impulse to lean close to the wall 
and keep my feet as far from the edge as the narrow shelf, which in 
places was not a foot wide, would allow. Bui some of the rocks 
crossed sloped at a steep angle, and the sheep had made daring jumps 
from rocky point to sloping surface, where their lives depended on 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 73 

their sure-footedness. The farther I followed the more I admired 
their skill and nerve. I asked my companion if he had ever known 
sheep to go where a man could not. He said he thought that they 
would sometimes make longer leaps down a sheer ledge than a man 
could attempt with safety, but that otherwise a man could go where 
they could. 

I w r as especially interested in examining the feet of the old ram 
we had secured, and was struck first of all by the difference between 
the front and the hind feet — the front being fully twice as large as 
the hind, much squarer in form, with deeper, heavier cushioned heels, 
and lighter and less worn dewclaws. As the hind quarters of the 
sheep are light and fully two-thirds of the animal's weight comes 
over the front feet, this difference in size is not surprising. The 
greater wear of the hind dewclaws is easily accounted for by their 
constant use in holding back as the sheep goes down hill. While the 
points and edges of the hoofs are of the hardest horn, the deep, 
rounded heels are soft and elastic — veritable rubber heels — with a 
semihorny covering over a copious mass of tough, elastic, almost 
bloodless and nerveless tissue. AVhile fresh, before the specimen is 
dried, these cushioned heels may be indented slightly with the thumb. 
It is easy to see how they would fit and cling to the smooth surface 
of a sloping rock where wholly hard hoofs like those of a horse would 
slip, just as you can turn your back to a steep slope of glacier- 
polished granite and walk up it on the palms of your hands where 
you can not take one step with the roughest hobnailed shoes. The 
dewclaws are also heavily cushioned beneath, but have fairly hard, 
horny points — mere movable, boneless knots. Among other peculiar- 
ities noticed in the fresh specimen were the pads of the breast and the 
knee, where the skin had developed to an almost cartilaginous shield 
over a quarter of an inch thick and so hard that it was not easily 
cut through with a sharp knife. The whole sternum and front of 
the knees were thus protected, and for very evident reasons. The 
beds where the sheep had been lying were found on rocky or stony 
shelves, usually above a sharp cliff and below a high wall of rocks, 
sometimes on a bare surface of rock and almost always with at 
least a foundation of rough stones. If possible the sheep paw out a 
slight hollow, but they do this apparently more to make an approxi- 
mately level bed than for the sake of the softness of the little loose 
dust they can scrape up among the stones. The hair is worn short 
over the knee and the breast pads, but the skin is unscratched either 
by rocks or thorns. 

The legs of the sheep secured were filled, especially below the 
knee, with cactus and agave thorns that had gone through the skin 
and broken off in spikes half an inch to an inch long and lodged 
against the bone or the inner surface of the skin. A large share of 


these thorns were the terminal spikes from the leaf blades of Agave 
lecheguilla, which grows in great abundance over the hot slopes of the 
mountains, and which the horses avoid with even greater care than 
they do the numerous species of cactus. 

The glandular disks under the eyes of this ram were more conspicu- 
ous than in any other specimen I have ever examined, probably on 
account of his mature age, which his horns showed to be 6 or 7 year-. 
The gland is an elevated rim of thickened, black, scantily haired skin, 
with a depressed center, and measures about an inch across. It 
stands out prominently on the surface, and appears from the flesh 
side of the skin as well as from the front as a round thick pad. It 
has an oily or waxy secretion and a rank, sheepy odor. 

In color the old rams were decidedly darker than the ewes and 
younger members of the herd, but all blended with astonishing har- 
mony into the browned, rusty, old, weathered limestone of their chosen 
hillsides. Even the soiled white rump patches were just the color of 
freshly broken faces on the rocks seen here and there over the slopes. 
As the band of sheep sprang away up the slope the white rump patches 
were so conspicuous that I could not believe at first that the animals 
were not antelope; but higher up, as they stopped among the rocks 
to face us, they could easily have been mistaken for a group of rocks. 
As they appeared again farther away on the ridge beyond the gulch, 
the bobbing, white rump patches were conspicuous signal marks so 
long as the animals were running away from us, but when they turned 
their forms were completely lost in the background. 

These sheep did not appear to run very fast, but probably few ani- 
mals save the panther can catch them in a race over the rocks. A few 
days later, while hunting panther in these same hills, it was demon- 
strated that deerhounds can not catch nor tire out the sheep over 
their own trails, although my companion claimed that they were not 
very swift runners on open ground. 

The meat of our 7-year-old ram was rather tough and dry. but 
without any bad flavor. The people at the ranch where I was stay- 
ing, who had eaten young sheep, considered the meat superior to 
venison. Although shot at I p. m., our sheep had a full stomach and 
must have been feeding for an hour or two. His teeth were imper- 
fect. One or two molars were missing in the lower jaw, and. as a 
result, the contents of his stomach were rather coarse, and many of 
the plants were easily recognized. Over half of the contents was 
composed of the green stems of Ephedra trifurcata, which 1 at first 
mistook for grass, but which could not be mistaken on careful exam- 
ination. The steins, leaves, and flowers of Tecoma stans, a beautiful 
yellow-flowered bush, were conspicuous, as also were the leaves, stems, 
and berries of Garrya wrighti. A few twigs with leaves and fruit 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 75 

pods of Pentstemon were found, and a quantity of ripe fruit of 
Opuntia engelmanni, including the chewed-up pulp and seeds of at 

least half a dozen of the large pear-shaped berries. Some other 
Leaves and stems were found that I could not recognize, but a careful 
search failed to reveal a trace of grass in the stomach. Part of these 
plants are Lower and part Upper Sonoran species, and the sheep 
seem to inhabit the two zones freely. The cold slopes and upper 
benches of the mountains are Upper Sonoran, however, and probably 
are to be considered the animals' real home. Transition zone does 
not occur in this range. 

It is with some hesitation that I make public these facts as to the 
abundance, distribution, and habits of mountain sheep in western 
Texas, and only in the hope that a full knowledge of the conditions 
and the importance of protective measures may result in the salvation 
instead of extermination of the species. It would not be difficult for 
a single persistent hunter to kill every mountain sheep in western 
Texas if unrestrained. Not only should the animals be protected by 
law, but the law should be made effective by an appreciation on the 
part of residents of the country of the importance of preserving for 
all time these splendid animals. 

Sciurus ludovicianus " Custis. Western Fox Squirrel: Louisiana Fox 

In eastern Texas the fox squirrels are large and richly colored like 
those of Louisiana, and a small proportion of their numbers are melan- 
istic. Of 7 specimens taken at Arthur one was almost black, and the 
hunter with me said that among 1-f squirrels killed on a previous 
hunt -t were black or very dark. Hollister saw a black squirrel at 
Antioch and reported many at Rockland. A few black individuals 
among many of the others were reported at Tarkington. To the west 
the animals grade without any abrupt change into the smaller, paler 
colored limitis. Specimens from Gainesville and Matagorda county, 
while intermediate, are in size and color nearer to ludovicianus than 
to typical limitis. 

Fox squirrels are reported by Loring, Oberholser, and Hollister as 
more or less common at Texarkana, Waskom, Joaquin, Antioch, Long 
Lake, Troup, Milano, Brenham, Rockland, Conroe. Jasper, near Beau- 
mont and Sour Lake; and I have found them at Tarkington, Lib- 

« If a type locality can be established for Sciurus rufiventer E. Geoffroy 
(Cat. Mus. Hist. Nat, 1803, p. 174) within the range of the form known since 
1806 as Sciurus ludovicianus Custis, or if the type specimen sent to Geoffroy 
by Miehaux from America can be identified as the Louisiana form, it will 
become necessary to revert to the name rufiventer. Meanwhile I prefer to use 
a long-established name in preference to one three years older, the application 
of which is still open to question. 



[No. 25. 

erty, Richmond, Cuero, Jefferson, Gainesville, and Arthur. Others 
reported from Elgin, Austin, Decatur, Brazos, and Wichita Falls are 
probably intermediate between ludovicianus and Ihnitis. 

At Arthur in northeastern Texas, and in the Big Thicket region 
of southeastern Texas, they inhabit the hickory and oak covered 
ridges, and leave the dense river bottoms and swamps entirely to the 
gray squirrels; but farther west in the more open country they inhabit 
both the timbered river bottoms and the oak ridges. They live 

Fig. 10. — Distribution areas of fox squirrels (Sciurus ludovicianus and S. I. limitis). 

mainly in hollow trees, but also make bulky nests of leaves and 
twigs out on the branches. When alarmed these squirrels run to the 
nearest hollow tree or up the first tree with branches leading to 
one, and are soon safely hidden inside, but if they do not reach some 
safe retreat they are so skillful at hiding that they often escape the 
hunter by keeping on the farther side of trunk and branch. Their 
food consists mainly of nuts and acorns, but fruit, berries, and lichens 
also are eaten. When feeding on nuts their flesh has a delicious 
nuttv flavor. 

Oct., 1905.] 


Sciurus ludovicianus limitis Baird. Texas Fox Squirrel. 

Sciurus texianus Allen. Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist, XVI. p. 166, 1002. (Not 
of Bachman, 1838.) « 

The Texas fox squirrel differs from the Louisiana animal in 
smaller size and paler coloration. So far as I can learn, it is never 
black. It inhabits the semiarid part of the Lower Sonoran zone, 
on the west reaching; the canyon of the Pecos, the Rio Grande at 
the mouth of Devils River and at Del Rio, and farther south, extend- 
ing- across into Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. To the east it 
grades into ludovicianus, but specimens from the mouth of the Nueces 
River. San Antonio, Seguin, Brownwood, and Henrietta are referable 
to limitis. There are specimens from Devils River, Del Rio, Rock 
Springs, Japonica. Ingram, Kerr County, San Antonio, San Antonio 
River in Victoria County, near the mouth of Nueces River, Cotulla, 
Mason, San Angelo, Brownwood, Henrietta, and Vernon; and Ober- 
holser reports a few 12 miles north of San Diego and in the Pecos 
Valley near Fort Lancaster. 

In this half- forested mesquite region the little fox squirrels inhabit 
the timber along the streams, where the pecan, hickory, oak, and 
little walnut trees furnish their favorite food and a few hollow trees 
afford protection, but nowhere within their range do they get the 
deep shade of the forests farther east. Wherever the pecan tree is 
found along the streams from Kerrville to the Rio Grande they are 
abundant. Specimens were collected on the Guadalupe at Ingram 
and Japonica, on the Hackberry near Rock Springs, and on Devils 
River. A few were seen on ridges between rivers, but they keep 
mainly to the bottoms. They are closely associated with the pecan 
tree, in the branches or hollow trunks of which they build their nests, 
living mainly on its nuts, and rarely wandering away from its shade. 
Along the Devils River, where these magnificent old trees reach their 
greatest perfection and form a miniature forest overarching the 
river with their spreading branches and shading its cool banks for 
miles, the little fox squirrels abound. Their leafy stick nests are 
common among the branches, but their safe retreats are the numerous 
hollows in the gnarled old trunks, the openings of which have been 

o In using the name texianus in place of limitis for the little pale west Texas 
fox squirrel Doctor Allen seems to ignore Bachman's excellent description 
(P. Z. S.. 1838. 87) and to base his decision on the fact that one of the specimens 
mentioned by Bachman was said to have come from Mexico, one from Texas, 
and one from southwestern Louisiana. It is necessary only to read Bachman's 
description, with specimens of both species in hand, to be convinced that it 
applies strictly to the large dark -colored ludovicianus and not to the little pale 
limitis. His measurements are the maximum for ludovicianus. I find nothing 
to indicate that Bachman had ever seen limitis, unless it be his statement that 
a specimen of an apparently undescribed species seen in the Museum at Paris 
was said to have been received from Mexico. 



[No. 25. 

worn smooth by ages of use as doorways. Usually, however, no pro- 
tection is needed beyond their quick ear for detecting an approaching 
footstep, their natural skill at hiding on the farther side of a trunk 
or branch, and their rapid retreat among the branches from tree to 

Late in July we found the squirrels beginning to cut off many of 
the green pecan nuts, apparently just to test if they were nearly ripe. 
The last year's crop of nuts was probably exhausted, as the squirrels 

Fig. 11. — Distribution area <>f gray squirrel (Sciurus cnrolinensis). 

were feeding on various other things. Along the Guadalupe River, 
July 4 to 7, they were eating seeds of the cypress cones, and had their 
hands and lips covered with pitch, while the ground was strewn with 
half-eaten cones. It was then too early for them to begin barking 
much, but a few soft barks of warning were heard near our camp on 
Devils River late in July. 

Sciurus carolinensis (Jmelin. Gray Squirrel. 

Gray squirrels inhabit the timbered region of eastern Texas as far 
west as the mouth of the Colorado, Cuero. Austin, and Brazos. 

Oct.. 1905.] 


Specimens examined from the month of the Colorado, Sour Lake, 
Liberty, Long Lake, Jasper, Troup, Arthur, and Joaquin are almost 
typical carolinensis, which seems to have a continuous range from 
the Atlantic coast west through Lower Sonoran zone to its extreme 
western limit in central Texas. Gray squirrels are reported from 
Texarkana, Jefferson, Waskom, Antioch, Long Lake, Jasper, Con- 
roe, Rockland, Tarkington, Saratoga, near Beaumont, Brenham, 
Aledo, and Benbrook, and except along the western edge of their 
range are usually said to be common or abundant. 

They seem to prefer the tall timber of the river bottoms and not to 
extend west into the lower and more open woods. At Arthur I 
found them abundant on the flats of the Red River, but found none 
on the upland ridges, where the fox squirrels were common. The two 
species seemed to keep entirely apart, and old hunters claim that 
the gray squirrels choose their ground and keep the fox squirrels 
away from it. In the Big Thicket of Hardin and Liberty counties, 
in November and December of 1904, the grays were numerous 
throughout the heavy timber and dense swamps of the bottoms, while 
the few fox squirrels were found in scattered groves along the edge 
of Tarkington and Liberty prairies. Acorns and nuts furnish abun- 
dance of food and countless hollow trees offer safe retreats. The 
squirrels also build numerous branch nests of twigs or Spanish moss 
or a mixture of the two. The perfect blending of the pelage of a 
gray squirrel with the gray moss which loads the branches of the 
trees saves many a squirrel from the hunter. 

Sciurus fremonti lychnuchus Stone & Rehn. Pine Squirrel. 

Several people in the Guadalupe Mountains claimed to have seen 
a small, dark-colored tree squirrel, which they said was very rare. I 
failed to find any traces of it, however, although the timber and coun- 
try are well adapted to squirrels. Pine squirrels are common in the 
Sacramento Mountains, a little farther north, and it is not improba- 
ble that a few may find their way south along the crest of the range 
and across the Texas line. 

Sciuropterus volans querceti Bangs. Florida Flying Squirrel. 

Texas specimens from Texarkana, Gainesville, Troup, and Tark- 
ington agree perfectly with the Florida subspecies and differ from 
typical volans in slightly darker coloration, dusky instead of whit- 
ish toes of the hind feet, and in slenderer nasals and muzzle and 
larger audital bulla?. 

Flying squirrels are reported from numerous localities over east- 
ern Texas, where they seem to be fairly common and to have a con- 
tinuous distribution throughout the forested region. The Avestern- 
most records are from Elgin, where Oberholser reported the species 



[No. 25. 

as tolerably common; and from Aledo and Benbrook (just west of 
Fort Worth), where Cary saw a stuffed specimen which came from 
that place, and was told of a family of 8 taken in 1901 from a hole 
in an elm a mile west of Aledo. They have been reported from Gua- 
dalupe River, Richmond, Brenham, Long Lake, Antioch, Rock- 
land, Saratoga, Sour Lake, Conroe, Jasper, Waskom, Jefferson, and 

Flying squirrels are among the most strictly nocturnal of mam- 
mals and are rarely noted except by timber cutters, who see them 

Fig. 12. — Distribution area of flying squirrel (Sciuroptcrus vohicella querceti). 

flying from their nests in falling trees. While every wood chopper 
in the east Texas region is familiar with them, it is difficult to get 
specimens. They are not easily trapped and often live in hollows in 
the large trees, where pounding with an ax does not start them from 
their nests. While hunting in the Big Thicket of Liberty and Har- 
din counties I often heard their fine, whistling squeak from the 
branches over my head at night, and occasionally the rustle of their 
feet on the bark of a tree close to the trail T was following. 
At Mike Griffin's place, 8 miles northeast of Sour Lake, Gaut was 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 81 

shown a dead pine out in the field where flying squirrels were said to 
live in a deserted woodpecker's hole. By pounding on the base of the 
tree two flying squirrels were driven out and secured. A few days 
later two more were driven out of the same tree and secured, and 
again a few days later two more, making in all six specimens from 
one woodpecker's nest. 

Eutamias cinereicollis canipes Bailey. Gray-footed Chipmunk. 

The gray-footed chipmunks are common in Transition zone 
throughout the Guadalupe Mountains, from 7.000 feet in Dog Canyon 
and 6,000 feet in Timber Canyon up to at least 8,500 feet and prob- 
ably to the top of the peaks at 9,500 feet, at which altitude they are 
common in the Sacramento Mountains a little farther north. While 
none were found in the lower part of the range, between the Guada- 
lupes and the Sacramentos, they seem to be identical in the two ranges 
and may easily have a continuous distribution between. In the 
Sacramento Mountains they occupy the whole width of both the 
Transition and Canadian zones. In the Guadalupe Mountains they 
range from the lower edge of the Transition zone upward with the 
yellow pine and Douglas spruce, but in September they are more 
closely associated with the shrubby oaks, several species of which are 
abundant over the upper slopes of the mountains. They were occa- 
sionally seen in the densest timber, but more often in the open oak 
scrub, gathering the little sweet acorns in the tops of the bushes, or 
sitting on logs or rocks eating them. Both logs and rocks were 
covered with acorn shells. Occasionally these chipmunks were seen 
in the lower branches of a tree, but when alarmed they always ran to 
the ground and disappeared among rocks, logs, or brush. They were 
very shy, and in the thick cover it was difficult to get specimens. 
Their light k chipper ' was often heard from the bushes, and on a 
few occasions I heard their low ' chuck-chuck-chuck,' repeated slowly 
from a log or rock or the low branch of a tree, but it always ceased as 
soon as danger was suspected. 

Ammospermophilus interpres (Merriam). Texas Antelope Squirrel. 

The Texas antelope squirrel is common along the Rio Grande from 
El Paso to the mouth of the Pecos, but less common up the Pecos 
Valley to the Castle Mountains and in the country between the Rio 
Grande and Pecos valleys in Texas. Specimens collected at El Paso, 
Boquillas, Pecos High Bridge. Fort Lancaster, Castle Mountains, 
south end of Guadalupe Mountains, and Sierra Blanca carry the 
range of the species over the extremely rough and arid Lower 
Sonoran region of western Texas, but indicate a very irregular range 
along the course of canyons and the foothills of barren, desert moun- 

3873— No. 25—05 m 6 



[No. 25. 

tains. In fact the presence of canyons, hare cliffs, and rocks, with 
which the species is closely associated, seems to be the determining 
factor of its range within its zone. 

Near El Paso and in the Great Bend of the Rio Grande, near 
Boquillas, these little squirrels live along the steep banks of the river 
or in the narrow side gnlches that cut hack into the barren mesas. 
Along the Pecos Canyon they are found on the rock shelves of the 
canyon walls; and around the Castle and Guadalupe mountains, and 

Fig. 13. — Distribution area of Texas antelope squirrel (Ammospermophilua interpres). 

at Sierra Blanca they occur in rocky gulches or along low cliffs. 
They burrow under the edge of a bowlder or around the base of a 
bunch of bushes or cactus, and are usually seen either running from 
bush to bush, sitting on a point of rock, or running over the rocks with 
their short, bushy tails curled tight over their rumps. Sometimes 
they climb to the top of a cactus or low bush, apparently in search of 
food, but at the first alarm they rush for a burrow or the nearest 

Near Boquillas in May the half-grown young were out with the 
others getting their own food from the various seeds and fruits, and 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 83 

climbing the acacia and mesquite bushes to secure the ripening bean 
pods, which were found scattered in abundance about their burrrows. 
The stomach of one shot in September in the Castle Mountains by 
Gordon Donald was full of the fruit of Opuntia engrelmanni, which 
Gary, who examined the specimen, thinks must have been the squir- 
rel's steady diet for some time, as its flesh was tinted throughout 
with the purple color of the fruit. 

In autumn these little fellows become very fat and probably hiber- 
nate during the coldest weather. At El Paso in December, 1889, I 
found them out on warm days, although very Lazy and sluggish. 
They were then feeding on various seeds, including those of the creo- 
sote bush. They were in the beautiful long silky winter fur, very 
different from the short, harsh summer coat. Along the east base of 
the Franklin Mountains, in February, 1903, Gaut found them run- 
ning about in a drizzling rain when the temperature was close to 

Citellus variegatus couchi (Baird). Couch Rock Squirrel. 

These black-headed, or often entirely black, rock squirrels are com- 
mon throughout the Chisos and Davis mountains and along the 
canyons of the Rio Grande, Pecos, and Devils rivers. While varying 
in color in the gray phase from entirely dark gray to the usual gray 
back and black head or crown, no specimens I have seen show the 
combination of black back and gray rump of buckleyi, nor the light 
gray head and shoulders of grammurus. A specimen collected at 
Boquillas and one on the Rio Grande near Comstock are entirely 
black, exactly like Baird's type of couchi. Several other entirely 
black individuals have been seen along the Rio Grande and near the 
mouth of the Pecos in company with the gray ones, while seven 
entirely black specimens collected at Santa Catarina, Mexico, the 
type locality of <-<m<-lii. by Nelson and Goldman, seem to prove com- 
plete dichromatism for the species. 

In the Davis and Chisos mountains the rock squirrels range with 
the oaks and junipers in canyons and over rocky slopes throughout 
the Upper Sonoran zone; while along the river canyons they are 
confined to the Lower Sonoran zone with the modifying influence of 
canyon walls and narrow gulches. Along the canyons they are 
usually found sitting on the prominent points of rocks, and their 
loud whistle often reverberates from side to side. When alarmed 
they disappear among the rocks or climb to the tops of the tallest 
cliffs. In the mountains they live mainly among the rocks, cliffs, 
and ledges, but range out among the oaks and junipers for food. 
They climb the trees for acorns and berries, but when surprised in 
the branches they always rush to the ground and scamper away to 
the nearest rock pile or burrow. During early summer thev feed ex- 


tensively on the old juniper berries and acorns of the previous year, 
digging for them under the trees and in many places keeping the 
ground well stirred. By the middle of July they begin on the nearly 
matured acorns of one of the black oaks (Quercus emoryi) and also 
on the new crop of juniper berries (Juniperus pachyphlc&a ). Some 
of those shot were feeding- largely on green foliage, the leaves of 
clover and various plants, and along the Rio Grande mainly on the 
juicy fruit of Opuntia engelmanni. None of those taken in summer 
were very fat, but in January, L890, in the Davis Mountains, I found 
them excessively so. They were then keeping very quiet and came 
out of their rocky dens only on warm days. 

Citellus variegatus buckleyi (Slack). Black-backed Rock Squirrel. 

This, the handsomest of' the rock squirrels, with glossy black head 
and shoulders, inhabits a restricted area in the rough and semiarid 
mesquite country along the eastern slope of the southern arm of the 
Staked Plains, from Mason and Llano to a little west of Austin and 
San Antonio, and again west to Kerrville and the head of the Nueces 
River. Specimens examined from Mason, Llano, near Austin, near 
Kerrville, Japonica, and Rock Springs (39 in all) do not vary to 
any great extent, except that in a few the black extends over the 
back to base of tail. 

Along the upper branches of the Guadalupe and Nueces rivers these 
squirrels are common in rocky places. I saw them near Ingram ajid 
collected specimens near Japonica and on Hackberry Creek near 
Rock Springs, while the ranchmen reported them as common in all 
rocky gulches throughout Ihis strip of rough country. West of Rock 
Springs we did not find any trace of rock squirrels, there being no 
suitable country, until couchi was found in the lower part of Devils 
River Canyon. Apparently the open divide between the headwaters 
of the Nueces and the headwaters of the streams flowing into the 
Rio Grande separates the ranges of buckleyi and couchi with a neutral 
strip in which neither occurs. Near Camp Verde, in Kerr County. 
Cary found them common in the rocky cliifs, where he secured speci- 
mens, and was told by the ranchmen that the squirrels had a habit 
of appearing in considerable numbers on the cliff just before a storm. 
They did this with such regularity that the ranchmen depended on it 
as a sure sign of rain. 

Mr. J. II. Tallichet, of Austin, sent a specimen from Hull Creek. 
Travis County, and wrote, under date of September L8, L893: 

I send te you by this mail a specimen of the spermophile which occurs in 
this part of the State. * * * The specimen is an immature male which I 
killed while camping last year. His cheek pouches were tilled with corn and 
melon seeds. These rock squirrels live in the dehris at the fool of the canyon 
walls and are very wary. Pull-grown specimens are nearly as large as tree 
squirrels and are eaten by the country people. 

Oct., 1905.] 


111 habits buckleyi is a true rock squirrel, and is never seen at any 
great distance from cliffs or broken ledges. At Llano I found one 
pair near a cliff living in a hollow oak tree which they entered by holes 
in the branches 15 or 20 feet from the ground. They climbed the 
tree and disappeared — as quickly as any tree squirrel could have 
done — and did not show themselves at the openings for half an hour. 
Generally, however, the squirrels are found sitting on the rocks doing 
picket duty, ready at the slightest alarm to slide noiselessly over the 
edge of a rock into a burrow, under a bowlder, or into a break in the 
cliff. They are exceedingly shy and have to be stalked as carefully 
as an antelope. By the middle of May the half-grown young are out 
caring for themselves and feeding in the same manner as the adults. 

Piles of acorn shells near the burrows indicate that acorns, when 
obtainable, are the principal food of the squirrels, which in summer, 
however, feed mainly on flowers, fruit, and green vegetation. The 
stomach of one examined contained mostly pulp of green cactus 
fruit (Opuntia engelmanni) , together with parts of the big yellow 
cactus flower, while several of these flowers with the green berry 
attached were found on the rocks where the squirrels were in the 
habit of sitting. The stomach of another was tilled with the white 
starchy pulp from the base of young leaves of Yucca stricta. Most 
of the yucca plants near the dens of the squirrels had part of their 
leaves cut out, and on examination I found the base of these leaves 
tender, sweet, and starchy, with a rather pleasant flavor. Another 
individual had the steins and leaves of a little stonecrop in its 
pouches. Flowers seemed to be a rather common food, and the con- 
tents of the stomachs often showed spots of red, yellow, and blue 
from the various species eaten. A squirrel shot on Hackberry Creek 
at the edge of a little corn field July 14 had its cheeks stuffed full of 
green corn, and the field showed many ragged ears. 

Most of the squirrels collected in May were lean and muscular, but 
one that happened to be in good condition proved as good eating as 
any tree squirrel, while the young of the year were always tender and 

Citellus variegatus grammurus (Say). Rock Squirrel. 

The rock squirrels of the southern Guadalupe Mountains and the 
Franklin Mountains near El Paso, Tex., are typical grammurus, with 
light gray head and shoulders. In the Guadalupe Mountains they 
are common, together with the junipers and oaks, from 4,000 to 7,000 
feet throughout the LTpper Sonoran zone. They usually live along 
the rocky canyons, but are sometimes seen in the open woods, where 
they climb the trees for the sweet berries of Juniperus pachyphlcea 
and the little acorns of the gray oak, or dig acorns of the previous 
year from the ground under the trees. Down in the foothill canyons 


we found them feeding on cactus fruit (Opuntia engel/manni and 
Cereus stramineus) and walnuts {Juglans rupestris). One specimen 
shot in Dark Canyon had thirteen of these little walnuts of the size 
of small cherries in its cheeks and a lot of cactus fruit in its stomach. 
They are shy and usually silent, but when danger threatens, their 
loud, vibrant Avhistle rings back and forth from the canyon walls. 

Citellus mexicanus parvidens (Mearns). Rio Grande Ground Squirrel, 
The Rio Grande ground squirrels show no important geographic 
variation over a wide range in western Texas. Specimens from 
Brownsville are a little larger than typical individuals, and those 
from Altuda are of minimum size. They inhabit approximately the 
whole mesquite region or arid Lower Sonoran zone, of Texas; are 
common at Brownsville, Rockport, Mason, Colorado, and Gail, in 
the Pecos Valley north to Roswell, and westward to the Rio Grande 
and beyond. Wherever the scrubby mesquite tree grows their bur- 
rows arc sure to be found under its shade, or, if in the open, near 
enough to it for them to feed on the sweet pods, pieces of which are 
often seen scattered around their holes. They are strictly ' ground 
squirrels,' and climb only into low bushes for seeds and fruit, and 
depend entirely on their burrows for protection. Like most of the 
smaller ground squirrels of the arid regions, they usually burrow T 
under the edge of a cactus or some low, thorny bush, where they 
obtain shade and the protection of thorny cover. They apparently 
do not hibernate, but during the cold weather have the unsquirrel-like 
habit of closing their burrows and remaining inside. I have caught 
them in these closed burrows at Del Rio in January and at Dryden 
on the 9th of May, when my traps were set, as I supposed, for pocket 
gophers or moles. Also near Rock Springs in July I found closed 
burrows that I attributed to this species. The habit of closing the 
entrance of the burrow is unusual in the squirrel family, but may 
probably be accounted for as a protection against enemies, and espe- 
cially snakes. Near Rock Springs I took a half-grown squirrel from 
a bull snake which had killed and just begun to swallow it. 

Like other members of the genus, these ground squirrels feed on 
seeds, grain, fruit, green foliage, lizards, and numerous insects, and 
often gather around gardens and grain fields, where they do con- 
siderable damage in spring by digging up corn, melons, beans, and 
various sprouting seeds, and, in summer and fall, by feeding on the 
ripening grain. Specimens examined at Roswell. N. Mex., in June 
were 1 feeding on about equal proportions of seeds and insects. 

Citellus tridecemlineatus texensis (Merriam). Texas Ground Squirrel. 

This southernmost form of the 13-striped ground squirrel occupies 

a narrow strip of half prairie country through the middle part of 

North American Feuna. No 25 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 87 

Texas, where the timber and plains intermingle — from Gainesville 
and Vernon on the north to Richmond and Port Lavaca on the south. 
Apparently its range is more or less broken and scattered, although 
the animal is common in places. A little colony was found at Rich- 
mond, and Oberholser saw a mounted specimen at Port Lavaca, said 
to have been killed near the town, where they were reported as 

In habits, voice, and general appearance they do not differ much 
from tridecemlineatus. They live in the open grassy prairies or 
around fields and depend on their burrows for shelter and their 
striped brown coats for protection. They feed largely on grass- 
hoppers and other insects, together with seeds, grain, fruit, green 
herbage, and flowers. 

Citellus tridecemlineatus pallidus (Allen). Pale Ground Squirrel. 

The little, pale striped ground squirrel is common in Upper 
Sonoran zone over the top of the Staked Plains, where it is often seen 
running through the short grass or standing erect and stake-like at 
the edge of its burrow. A number of specimens collected in August 
at Washburn had been feeding mainly on grasshoppers, which were 
abundant over the plains. A few other insects were noted in the 
stomachs examined, and one of the spermophiles had been eating the 
fruit of the small prickly pear (Opuntia macrorhiza?) , the seeds of 
which were stored away in his pouches. 

Citellus spilosoma major (Merriam). Large Spotted Ground Squirrel. 

The spotted spermophiles from Lipscomb, Canadian, Miami, Mo 
beetie, Colorado, Pecos City, and Monahans. Tex., and Carlsbad, 
Roswell, and Santa Rosa, N. Mex., agree in their large size and 
coarse, indistinct spotting with major from Albuquerque, X. Mex., 
but show slight variation with almost every change of soil and sur- 
roundings. The foregoing localities, which completely surround the 
Staked Plains, lie near the junction of Upper and Lower Sonoran 
zones, but as the species ranges north to Las Animas and Greeley, 
Colo., it apparently belongs to Upper Sonoran. 

These quiet, shy, inconspicuous little ground squirrels live in bur- 
rows under the edge of clumps of bushes or on open, grassy plains. 
Their fine, trilling whistle is often heard from behind a bush or weed 
patch. I have found their stomachs full of grasshoppers and beetles 
and their pouches full of seeds of sand bur (Cenchrus tribuloides) , 
and have seen little heaps of the empty bur shells scattered about 

a Two specimens recorded by Doctor Allen from Bee County. Tex. (Bui. Am. 
Mus. Nat. Hist, III, p. 223, 1890), as Spermophilus tridecemlineatus, eight years 
before tewensis was described, I assume to be referable to this form. 


their burrows. Usually they are not sufficiently numerous in agri- 
cultural regions to do serious damage in the grain fields. 

Citellus spilosoma marginatus (Bailey). Brown Ground Squirrel. 

This little brown, sharply spotted ground squirrel is apparently 
an Upper Sonoran form, living on the dark lava soil of the Davis 
Mountain plateau. The type was caught in the open valley near 
Alpine, and others were seen on the mesa at Fort Davis and along 
the east base of the mountains. Specimens from Valentine, Presidio 
County, Van Horn, and Toyahvale are referred to the species, though 
not all are typical. The Toyahvale specimens show some of the 
characters of major. 

In no part of their range have we found these spermophiles com- 
mon, but like other members of the group they are inconspicuous, 
shy little fellows, rarely heard or seen. They burrow in the open 
or under the edge of a bush or cactus and usually keep close to their 
homes. They often live under the dense, spinescent bushes of 
Microrhamnus, which is' common in this region. 

Citellus spilosoma arens (Bailey). Spotted Sand Squirrel. 

These little sand-colored ground squirrels are common in the open 
part of the valley bottom below the town of El Paso, where they 
make their burrows in the sand banks among scattered bushes of 
Atriplex, Suaeda, and mesquite, with little protection from the 
glaring light and scorching heat of summer. Their coloration is 
wonderfully protective, and being shy little animals and not very 
abundant they are rarely seen unless located by their fine bird-like 
whistle. They seem sensitive to a slight degree of cold and appar- 
ently hibernate early in winter, for I could find no trace of them in 
December about the same holes where I had caught them the previous 
July. Doctor Fisher found them common in May, but says that a 
windy day kept them in their burrows. 

Citellus spilosoma annectens (Merriam). Padre Island Ground Squir- 

A number of specimens, including the type of annectens, were taken 
by William Lloyd near the two ends of Padre Island, and others by 
H. P. Attwater on Mustang Island." In August, L891, Lloyd says thej 
were abundant, but in November, when the island was again visited, 
only one was seen. Apparently they were keeping mainly in their 
burrows. He reported them also from the mouth of the Rio Grande 
and at Rio Grande City, but secured only one specimen on the main- 
land — on the sandy beach at the mouth of the Rio Grande. He says 
that they seem to live in the crab burrows and are very shy. but their 
call note, similar to that of a grass finch. i> occasionally heard. 

a Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.. VI, 1'. 182, 1894. 

Oct., 1005.] 



Cynomys ludovicianus (Ord). Prairie Dog. 

The prairie dogs inhabit an area comprising more than one-third 
of the State of Texas. Their range extends from Henrietta, Fort 
Belknap, Baird, and Mason west almost to the Rio Grande, north 
over the Staked Plains and the Pan Handle region, and sonth to the 
head draws of Devils River, to 10 miles south of Marathon and 25 
miles south of Marfa. While to the northward inhabiting mainly 
Upper Sonoran zone, in Texas they extend well into the upper edge 


Fig. 14. — Distribution area of prairie clog {Cynomys ludovicianus). 

of Lower Sonoran. So far as I can learn, they are not found in the 
immediate valley of the Rio Grande or nearer to the river than 
Sierra Blanca, except one little colony 2 miles east of Fort Bliss, nor 
do they occur elsewhere in the Lower Sonoran zone much beyond the 
scattered traces of Upper Sonoran species of plants. Normally they 
belong to Upper Sonoran zone, but their strong tendency to expan- 
sion carries them slightly beyond its bounds. In the Davis Mountains 
they range up to 5,800 feet in an open valley on Limpia Creek at a 
point where the first yellow pines appear, while on the main ridge 


of. the Guadalupe Mountains and in Dog Canyon, which is named 
for them, they straggle up to 6,900 feet, or to the very upper limit 
of the Upper Sonoran zone. Usually they are found in scattered 
colonies or ' dog towns,' varying in extent from a few acres to a few 
square miles, but over an extensive area lying just east of the Staked 
Plains they cover the whole country in an almost continuous and 
thickly inhabited dog town, extending from San Angelo north to 
Clarendon in a strip approximately 100 miles wide by 250 miles long. 
Adding to this area of about 25,000 square miles the other areas occu- 
pied by them, they cover approximately 00,000 square miles of the 
State, wholly within the grazing district. It has been roughly esti- 
mated that the 25,000 square mile colony contains 400,000,000 
prairie dogs." If the remaining 65,000 square miles of their scattered 
range in the State contains, as seems probable, an equal number, the 
State of Texas supports 800,000,000 prairie dogs. According to the 
formula for determining the relative amount of food consumed by 
animals of different sizes (Yearbook Department of Agriculture, 
1901, p. 258), this number of prairie dogs would require as much 
grass as 3,125,000 cattle. 

In many places the prairie dogs are increasing and spreading over 
new territory, but on most of the ranches they are kept down by the 
use of poison or bisulphid of carbon, or, better, by a combination of 
the two. As a Texas cattle ranch usually covers from 10,000 to 
100,000 acres, the expense of destroying the prairie dogs in the most 
economical manner often means an outlay of several thousand dollars 
to begin with and a considerable sum each year to keep them down.'' 

The increase of prairie dogs is plainly due to the destruction of 
their natural enemies, badgers, coyotes, foxes, ferrets, hawks, eagles, 
owls, and snakes, many of which are destroyed wantonly. 

The prairie dog is a plump, short-eared, short-legged, short-tailed 
little animal of the squirrel family, cleanly in habits, good-natured, 
and eminently social in disposition. If there are only a dozen in a 
big valley they will be located on an acre of ground where they can 
visit back and forth among the burrows, play or fight, and take turns 
in standing guard. If there are thousands of them their burrows will 
be found close together over the plain to the edge of the ' dog town." 
beyond which none will be seen for perhaps 10 or 20 miles. On a 
trip from San Angelo north over the Staked Plains we were with them 
for weeks, both in the region of their continuous range and among 

" yearbook T T . S. Department of Agriculture, 1901, p. 258. 

& For methods of destroying prairie dogs see 'The Prairie Dog of the Great- 
Plains; by C. Hart Merriam (Yearbook 1'. S. Department of Agriculture, 1901, 
Pit. 2.")7-27( 1 1 , and 'Destroying Prairie I >ui:s and Pocket Gophers,' by D. E. 
Lantz (Bui. lie. Experiment Station, Kansas state Agricultural College, Man- 
hattan, Kans.). 

Oct., 1905.1 MAMMALS. 91 

scattered colonies. In places they were comparatively tame, and 
would sometimes let us drive within 20 feet, and even then they would 
not go entirely down their burrows. From a distance they could be 
seen watching us. A few were always sitting on top of their mounds 
barking an alarm, but on our nearer approach all scampered for the 
nearest burrows, while those farther ahead took up the alarm. "When 
once half within the funnel-shaped entrance of the burrow the cour- 
age of the prairie dog revives, and with hands braced across the door- 
way, and with erect, flipping tail, the animal keeps up a steady bark- 
ing at the intruder, sinking lower and lower, until finally with a 
quick dive, a shrill chatter, and a farewell twinkle of the tail, it 
vanishes down the hole. Frequently when you reach the burrow the 
animal can still be heard sputtering and chuckling deep down in the 
earth, and when once driven into its hole it does not soon reappear. 
It takes no little patience to await an hour or more the reappearance 
of the little black eye that cautiously peeps over the rim to see if the 
coast is clear. 

Promptly with the rising sun the prairie dogs come out for their 
breakfasts, at which time a 'dog town 'is as animated as any metrop- 
olis, but with the setting sun they retire to their burrows. Break- 
fast lasts for a good share of the day. with intermissions for work 
and play and a good long midday nap. There are always burrows 
to be dug deeper or new ones to be started, rims to be built higher, 
and in clamp weather the crater-like mounds to be molded. Imme- 
diately after a shower, often before the last drops have fallen, the 
prairie dogs are out scraping up damp earth on the rim around the 
burrow and pressing the funnel-shaped inside into proper form with 
their stubby noses. In this way an effectual dike, sometimes a foot or 
two in height, is formed around the entrance of the burrow. But 
during a cloud-burst I have stood in a dog town and seen all of the 
burrows with rims not over 6 inches high fill with water; and in the 
track of an unusually violent downpour have seen the bodies of dozens 
of drowned prairie dogs scattered along the gulches. 

The food of the prairie dog is mainly grass. Not only are the 
leaves and stems eaten, but the roots are dug up until the circles of 
bare ground around the burrows become wider and wider. Many 
other plants, some seeds, and a few insects are eaten, but to a less 
extent than grass. After a long season of drought or a succession of 
dry years it often happens that every green thing is exterminated in 
a prairie-dog town and the animals are forced to move on to new 
pastures. In a dry season I have ridden over long stretches of barren 
and deserted dog towns; and, again, after a year of abundant rain, 
have found this same ground growing up to worthless weeds, or, if 
to grass, only to the equally worthless foxtail. 


In autumn the prairie dogs become fat, but in Texas they do not 

regularly hibernate as they do to some extent in the North. If 
their fur should become fashionable, or roast prairie dog an epi- 
curean dish, the problem of keeping them in check would be settled, 
and there is no reason, save their name, for not counting them. 
properly prepared and cooked, a delicacy. While owing their name 
to a chirping or l barking ' note of warning, they are in reality a 
big, plump, burrowing squirrel of irreproachable habits as regards 
food and cleanliness. An old stage driver expressed the idea in 
graphic words one day: ""If them things was called by their right 
name there would not be one left in this country. They are just as 
good as squirrel and I don't believe they are any relation to dogs." 

Mus musculus Linn. House Mouse. 

Common house mice are found practically over all the settled part 
of Texas, even at most of the isolated ranches at a distance from rail- 
roads and towns. They were caught at deserted adobe cabins in the 
Great Bend of the Rio Grande, 100 miles south of the Southern 
Pacific Railroad. They are by no means confined to houses and out- 
buildings, but over much of the country have become established in 
the fields, meadows, hedgerows, and weed patches, from which they 
collect in the stacks of hay and grain, and are ready to attack each 
crop as it matures. 

Mus norvegicus Erxl. Wharf Rat." Brown Rat. 

Wharf rats are common in most of the towns of Texas and on some 
of the ranches, but they are not so generally distributed in thinly 
settled regions as the house mouse, nor do they take so readily to the 
fields and country. In the years 1880 and 1890 there 1 were reports 
of swarms of rats overrunning parts of the State, but the species 
are uncertain, nor is it known whether the wharf rat was one of them. 
At Seguin, Guadalupe County, in November, 1904, I found wharf 
rats in great abundance around farm buildings and along fences 
and weedy borders of fields, wherever sufficient cover was offered. 
Their runways and burrows resembled those of the cotton rats, but 
were larger and did not extend so far out from cover. Along the 
edi^o of a cornfield numerous cobs were scattered under the fence. 
where the corn had been eaten off. In Mr. Neel's tomato patch the 
ripe tomatoes were being rapidly devoured, and I caught a rat in 
the midst of the patch by using a ripe tomato for bait. 

" Mus rattus Linn. Black Hat. A black rat collected by Lloyd at Browns- 
ville proves to be a melanistic Mus norvegicus, closely resembling l/. rattus in 
color. I find no specimens or records of the latter species from Texas, but as it 
is found farther east and west it undoubtedly will he taken in the State. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 93 

Mus alexandrinus Geoffroy. Roof Rat. 

Two specimens of the roof rat, caught in July, 100:2, on the Guada- 
lupe River, at Ingram, Kerr County, constitute, so far as I can learn, 
the second record of the species for the State. It seemed strange to 
find this exotic mammal, which is usually found near the coast, 
so far in the interior of a thinly settled country, but the explana- 
tion is simple. The Guadalupe River is subject to violent floods, 
sometimes rising suddenly to 50 feet above low water. The enormous 
heaps of drift rubbish deposited along the bottoms and in the 
branches of trees have evidently furnished a highway for the dis- 
tribution of the rats from the coast up the river. The two individ- 
uals secured were living in these drift heaps and were caught in 
traps set for Neotoma attwateri. ( )ne was caught on the ground at the 
edge of a drift heap ; the other on a pole reaching across from one heap 
to another. A specimen reported by H. P. Attwater in 1894 was 
caught on a boat that made trips between St. Charles Peninsula and 
Rockport, and was said to have been on the boat about a year. 

Onychomys longipes Merriam. Texas Grasshopper Mouse. 

This large dull-colored form of the grasshopper mouse occupies 
the semiarid Lower Sonoran zone of southern Texas, and, so far as 
known at present, reaches its eastern limit at Rockport, its northern 
limit at San Angelo, and its western limit at Comstock and Sycamore 
Creek, and extends south of Brownsville into Mexico. As it occupies 
so much of the brushy, half-open cactus and mesquite country, its 
apparent absence from the region of San Antonio and Austin and 
north to the Red River on the east side of the Staked Plains is prob- 
ably due to the fact that this strip of country has not been thoroughly 
worked. Unlike most species of Onychomys, longipes inhabits weedy, 
grassy, brushy land, and specimens are found in the woods as well as 
the open. It is strictly nocturnal, and its shrill little whistle is often 
heard not far from our camp fires in the evening. 

Onychomys leucogaster pallescens Merriam. Pale Grasshopper Mouse. 

Throughout most of its range this pale, plains form of the grass- 
hopper mouse is found in the Upper Sonoran zone and crowding into 
the edge of both Transition and Lower Sonoran. In Texas it extends 
over the Staked Plains, meeting or overlapping the range of torridus 
in the Pecos Valley at Monahans and Fort Lancaster, Tex., and Carls- 
bad. X. Mex. Specimens examined from Lipscomb, Texline, Miami, 
Mobeetie, Washburn, Amarillo, and Hereford are fairly typical pal- 
lescens, and one specimen from Fort Lancaster, not fully adult, is 
referable to pallescens rather than longipes. 

At Texline, Howell caught a series of 12 specimens in the valley 
of a small dry creek, where he found that they preferred sandy soil 

a Bui. Am. Mus. Nut. Hist., VI, p. 174, 1894. 


with a good growth of sagebrush {Artemisia fllfolia). They make 
few holes, though two were taken at the mouths of small burrows. 
A turtle ate the head of one specimen and a rattlesnake tried to 
swallow another, but was prevented by the trap. 

Throughout a wide range these little animals live on the short- 
grass plains or in the sagebrush country, and are caught at all sorts 
of burrows, an old badger, prairie-dog, or spermophile hole being a 
favorite resort, probably on account of the insects to be found within. 
They are strictly nocturnal, and while never seen by daylight, their 
long-drawn, Hue whistle is often heard in the grass between dusk and 
early dawn. The morning round of a line of traps usually reveals 
one or more specimens that have been attracted by the oatmeal bait, 
and just as often shows some half-eaten Perognathus, Peromyscus. 
kangaroo rat, or other small rodent that happened to be in the trap 
when this forager came along. The Onychomys stomachs usually 
contain, besides finely chewed seeds and grain, an interesting assort- 
ment of grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, scorpions, and small insects, 
and occasionally parts of a lizard or mouse. 

Onychomys torridus (Coues). Arizona Grasshopper Mouse. 

Onychomys torridus arenicola Mearns. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XIX, Advance 

Sheet, May 2.1. 1896, i>. :'.. Type from El Paso." 

These little long-tailed grasshopper mice occupy the arid Lower 
Sonoran zone of western Texas from El Paso to near the mouth of 
the Pecos, and up the Pecos Valley to old Fort Lancaster and Mona- 
hans, and Carlsbad, N. Mex. They are found on the open, barren 
mesas among stones and cactus and the characteristic desert vegetation. 
or in the sandy mesquite bottoms of the Rio Grande and Pecos rivers. 
Like all the genus they are strictly nocturnal, and while prowling 
about at night get into traps set at the burrows of various other 
mammals. About all that we know of their habits is gained from 
examination of their stomachs, which usually contain, besides a small 
portion of seeds or grain, a larger share of scorpions, grasshoppers, 
crickets, beetles, and various other insects. 

Peromyscus leucopus (Rarinesque). White-footed Mouse. 

The dark-colored Peromyscus from the coast region of south- 
eastern Texas, while not quite typical leucopus, seems to be nearer to 
it than to mearnsi. There are specimens from near Alvin, near Gal- 
veston, Velasco, Elliott, Arcadia, Matagorda. Deming Station, and 
east Carancahua Creek. To the west apparently it grades into 

« Specimens in the Biological Survey collection from El Paso, Sierra Blanca. 
Marfa. and Alpine do not differ so far as I can sec from the type of torridus 
and from specimens taken around the type locality, when corresponding pelages 
are compared. It is a little, dark, richly colored species, becoming pale in late 
winter and spring. Neither in the dimensions nor in the skulls can 1 find any 
character by which to recognize the subspecies arenicola. 

Oct.. 1905. 1 

MAMMALS. ( .)f) 

mearnsi, while immature specimens from Gainesville, Decatur, and 
Benbrook suggest intergradation with the same form. 

Lloyd reports these mice at Deming Bridge, Matagorda County. 
" as found only where a quantity of brush had been cut down to fill 
a gap in the road." Near Matagorda he saw- "they live in trees, 
both in nests in the moss and in hollows in the roots/' At Velasco 
he records one from " edge of creek " and another from " edge of old 
field." At Austin Bayou, near Alvin, he collected an old female 
containing -1 fully grown embryos, March 17, 1892. Beyond these 
fragmentary notes by Lloyd nothing is known of the habits of the 
species in this region, where apparently it inhabits the timbered 
and brushy bottoms with the palmetto and Spanish moss. 

Peromyscus leucopus texanus (Woodhouse). Texas White-footed 
Peromyscus tornillo Mearns. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., Vol. XVIII, Advance 
Sheet. March 25, 1S9»;, i>. 3. Type from Rio Grande 6 miles above 
El Paso. Tex. 

This is a common species over the arid Lower Sonoran zone of 
western Texas from El Paso to Del Bio, Rock Springs, and Fort 
Lancaster. To the south it grades into mearnsi. Specimens from 
Del Rio, Rock Springs, and San Antonio are not typical of either 
animal, but combine enough of the characters of both to be con- 
sidered fairly intermediate. A series of 11 specimens from Lips- 
comb, 4 from Canadian, -2 from Miami, and 3 from Mobeetie, on the 
plains of the northern Panhandle, and one from Henrietta, while 
not typical texanus, can be referred to it better than to leucopus. 

In this arid region these mice take the place of leucopus and other 
members of the leucopus group, to which they belong. They have 
the general habits of the group and in places live among rocks, but 
more often on the weedy and brushy bottoms under rubbish or dense 
vegetation, where they are often the most abundant mammal. At El 
Paso and Juarez, Loring says : " Common on both sides of the river. 
They w r ere caught in traps set at holes and in the brush along irriga- 
tion ditches and baited with oatmeal and small pieces of meat. 1 "' At 
Sierra Blanca I found them only in an old Neotoma house in a 
bunch of yuccas in the open valley, while eremicus occupied the near- 
est cliffs and the little blandus lived out on the open plain. At Fort 
Lancaster Oberholser reported them as u abundant in the chaparral," 
and at Langtry as " not common." The two specimens taken at 
Langtry were caught under logs and among dead leaves and rubbish 
near water in a deep side canyon. At Del Rio I found them com- 
mon in holes in the creek bank, under thick brush, and in old houses; 
and Gaut collected two specimens " in high grass along the main irri- 
gation ditch west of town." 

At Lipscomb Howell took specimens only " in brushy places along 


the creek bottoms." At Canadian he caught one kk in the grass along 
an irrigation ditch" and another "in a deserted cabin." At Miami 
he caught two " in the rocky bluffs near town and one on the sandy 
bottoms," and at Mobeetie others kk along the sandy creek bottoms in 
traps set for Perognathus and Perodipus." 

Like other members of the genus, they are strictly nocturnal, and 
during the day keep safely within their burrows in the ground or in 
some other dark retreat. As a result they are almost never seen alive 
except when they get their tails instead of their necks in our traps. 
Very little is known of the habits of this species. 

Peromyscus leucopus mearnsi (Allen). Mearns White-footed Mouse. 
Peromyscus renins Mearns. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., Vol. XVIII, Advance 
Sheet, March 25, 189G, p. 3. Type from Fort Clark, Tex. 

The Mearns white- footed mouse ranges over southern Texas from 
Brownsville north to Eagle Pass, Fort Clark, and San Antonio, and 
east to Rockport, grading into leucopus on the east and texanus 
along its northern boundary. There is certainly not room for an 
intermediate form between texanus and mparnsi, which canus proves 
to be. 

The region inhabited by mearnsi is semiarid chaparral and cactus 
plains in Lower Sonoran zone. At Brownsville, the type locality 
of the species. Lloyd collected a large series of specimens and 
reported the species as " very common out to the sand belt.'' He 
also caught a few on Padre Island and around Nueces Bay. Another 
series was collected at Brownsville by Loring, who says of the mice : 
" Quite common. Found in the willows along the river bank and 
under logs and brush near the overflows. Several were caught in 
traps baited with meat." At Hidalgo, Loring says: "They were 
taken in traps baited with oatmeal and set by hedge fences, cactus 
beds, and underbrush." In writing () f specimens obtained at San 
Lorenzo Creek and Santa Tomas, Lloyd says : " They prefer an 
arid region where grass is scant among the cactus." At Corpus 
Christi the mice were very scarce, and I caught but one in a long 
line of traps. It was at a hole in the bank just back of the beach. 
At Beeville Oberholser reports them as " evidently not very common. 
as all my trapping failed to reveal more than a single individual." 
At San Diego he says: "This animal does not appear to be more 
than tolerably common. It lives only in the damp thickets border- 
ing the ponds and water holes in the chaparral: at least my trapping 
in all kinds of situations failed to reveal its presence anywhere else." 

Peromyscus michiganensis pallescens Allen. Little Pale Peromyscus. 
This pale little mouse is represented in the collection by speci- 
mens collected at San Antonio and one from near Alice. The one 

Oct., 1905.] 


from Alice was collected by Lloyd 12 miles southwest of the town 
on open prairie. San Antonio specimens were caught by H. P. 
Attwater in traps set for harvest mice around brush piles." . 

Peromyscus sonoriensis (Le Conte). Sonoran Peromyscus. 
A few specimens of this little Peromyscus from Washburn, Tex., 

seem to be nearer to typical sonoriensis than to any of the subspecies 
in the group. One specimen was caught at a tiny burrow on the 
short-grass plains, miles from any cover that would conceal even a 
mouse, and others were caught on the prairie at the edges of fields. 

Peromyscus sonoriensis blandus Osgood. Frosted Peromyscus. 

This pale, silky-haired little mouse is common in western Texas 
over the rough and arid region between the Pecos and Rio Grande 
valleys. There are specimens from the Franklin Mountains (15 miles 
north of El Paso), Sierra Blanca, Valentine, Onion Creek (Presidio 
County), and Bone Spring (53 miles south of Marathon). All the 
above localities are in rough country near the junction of Upper and 
Lower Sonoran zones, where more or less mixture of the two occurs, 
so that the zonal range of the species is not perfectly determined by 

Although in a rough country, broadly speaking, these white-footed 
mice inhabit the smooth spots in the bottoms of open valleys. At 
Sierra Blanca they were on the broad flats southeast of the station, 
where the principal vegetation was low, scattered, composite shrubs 
{Gutierrezia microcephald? and Crassina grandiflord) , among which 
they burrowed in the mellow soil, and the seeds of which furnished in 
winter a large share of their food. So far as their own genus was 
concerned, they held this ground by themselves, the larger P. texaniis 
being caught in an old woodrat's nest under a yucca and the long- 
tailed P. eremicus in the nearest cliff of tilted rocks. At Onion 
Creek they were found living in holes in the soft, level ground of the 
creek valley, where none of the other species of Peromyscus were 
taken. At Valentine, out in the middle of a big open valley, I caught 
one of these little fellows under the doorstep of the house where I 
boarded, on the edge of town, and near Bone Spring, 50 miles 
south of Marathon, I caught another under a mesquite out in the open 

Peromyscus gossypinus (Le Conte). Pine Woods Peromyscus. 

Specimens of this large, dark-colored Peromys'cus from Texarkana, 
Jefferson, Long Lake, Joaquin, Jasper, and Sour Lake, indicate an 

a Bui. Am. Mns. Nat. Hist, VIII,, p. 64, 1896. 
3873— No. 25—05 m 7 



extensive range for the species over the timbered region of eastern 

Apparently it is not an abundant species anywhere in this region, 
and much trapping is necessary to procure a few specimens. At 
Jefferson Hollister caught two in the woods near Big Cypress Creek, 
and at Joaquin one under a log on heavily timbered creek bottoms. 
Oberholser caught one in a canebrake along the Red River at Texar- 
kana, one in heavy woods on the edge of McCracken Lake, near Long 
Lake, in Anderson County, and several in a cabin and one along a 
stream in the woods north of Jasper. In the heart of the Big Thicket, 
7 miles northeast of Sour Lake, I caught several in and around old 
tumbledown buildings, and Gaut caught them around old logs and 
stumps in the woods. 

Peromyscus boylei rowleyi (Allen). Rowley Peromyscus. 

Peromyscus boi/lii penicillatus Mearns. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., Vol. XIX, 
Advance Sheet, May 25, 1896, p. 2. Type from El Paso. 

A large series of this big, long-tailed Peromyscus from the Frank- 
lin and Organ mountains is typical rowleyi, as apparently are also 
six other specimens taken in Dog and McKittrick canyons in the 
Guadalupe Mountains. In this region and farther north they range 
throughout Upper Sonoran zone, being closely associated with juni- 
pers and nut pines, as well as with rocks and cliffs. In places they 
follow the cliffs slightly below the junipers, but only where canyon 
walls offer especially favorable haunts. In the Guadalupe Moun- 
tains they range to the upper limits of junipers, where the yellow 
pines begin on dry, hot slopes at 7,800 feet, and down in the north- 
east gulches near Carlsbad at the east base of the mountain slope at 
3,100 feet. While usually found along cliffs or among rocks, they 
are often common among junipers, nut pines, and oaks at considerable 
distance from any rocks. In such places they live in hollow trees or 
logs or take advantage of any convenient cover. I have occasionally 
found them curled up in a soft nest in a hollow tree, and have often 
found a nest that I attributed to this species in a knothole or under 
a loose layer of bark. At one of our camps on top of the Guadalupe 
Mountains, in a beautiful orchard-like park of junipers, one took 
possession of the camp wagon and made its nest among boxes and 

The food of these mice consists largely of juniper berries, or at 
least the seeds of juniper berries, of which there is usually an abun- 
dant supply at all times of the year, but acorns and pine nuts are 
eaten while they last. The empty shells of seeds and nuts and acorns 
show the favorite feeding grounds to be under the hollow base or low 
spreading branches of a j uniper. 

Oct.. L905.] MAMMALS. 99 

Peromyscus boylei laceyi " subsp. nov. Lacey Peromyscus. 

Type from Turtle Creek, Kerr County, Tex. Adult male, No. !)L , 74*;, U. S. 
National Museum. Biological Survey Coll. Collected by II. P. Attwater, 
Dec. 4, 1897. No. 1372, N Catalogue. 

(lateral characters. — Size and proportions about as in rowleyi, to 
which it is most nearly related. Color decidedly darker; under sur- 
face of tail more grayish. 

Color. — Adults in winter pelage dull, dark ochraceous, brightening 
on sides; ankle and upper surface of long hairy tail blackish; lower 
surface of tail, dusky gray; belly and feet, pure white. Summer 
pelage, brighter in the rufescent phase; paler in the gray phase; 
lower surface of tail less grayish. 

81 all with interpterygoid fossa generally narrower than in either 
boylei or rowleyi. 

Measurements. — Type not measured in the flesh, but the hind foot 
measures 24 when dry. Average of four topotypes: Total length, 
188 ; tail vertebra?, 97 ; hind foot, 23.2. 

Skull of type. — Total length, 28; basioccipital length, 23.3; nasals, 
10; zygomatic breadth, 14; width of braincase, 13; mastoid breadth, 
12 ; alveolar length of upper molar series, 4. 

This big rufescent species of the group of long-tailed Peromyscus 
inhabits the Upper Sonoran, rocky, juniper-covered hills of Kerr 
and Edwards counties, the Davis Mountains, and the Chinati Moun- 
tains. Specimens from Turtle Creek and Ingram, Rock Springs, 
the Davis Mountains, Paisano, and the Chinati Mountains show 
some variation, but may all be included under one name. Three 
specimens from Ozona and one from Big Springs, at the edge of the 
plains, are very pale. From attwateri, the only similar species with 
which they are associated, laceyi may be easily distinguished by 
larger size, darker color, black ankle and heel, and gray underside 
of tail, as also by good cranial characters. 

At Lacey's ranch, near Kerrville. I caught them in cliffs and 
gulches with attwateri, without noting any difference in habits or 
habitat of the two species. At Rock Springs and in the Davis 
Mountains also they occur with attwateri, and apparently have very 
similar habits. They are largely cliff dwellers, but live also in open 
woods, on oak and juniper covered ridges, and in brushy gulches. In 
the central part of the Davis Mountains they were the only species 
of Peromyscus that we found at 5,500 to 6,500 feet in the basalt cliffs 
and over the timbered slopes, but down near the east base of the 
mountains Cary caught one specimen in the same cliff with an att- 
wateri. Lloyd caught them among the rocks at Paisano and in the 

o Named for Mr. Howard Lacey, at whose ranch the specimens were taken. 


Chinati Mountains, 35 miles south of Marfa. At Ozona and Big 
Springs they were taken in cliffs in the comparatively open country. 

Peromyscus attwateri Allen. Attwater Peromyscus. 

The Attwater peromyscus inhabits the cliffs around the edges of 
the lower arm of the Staked Plains from Big Springs, Llano, 
Austin, and Kerrville, west to Comstock and Langtry, and up the 
Pecos Valley to Fort Lancaster and Sheffield, the cliff and canyon 
country along the Rio Grande, and at least the lower slopes of the 
Davis and Chisos mountains, and extends westward into Mexico. 
Most of these localities are so near the edge of Upper and Lower 
Sonoran zones that the species might belong to either, except that 
among the cliffs and canyons it probably gets the cooler temperature 
of the higher zone. 

At Howard Lacey's ranch, near Kerrville, where the type of the 
species was collected in 1895 by H. P. Attwater, I found these ani- 
mals abundant in 1899, and caught them in crevices along the cliffs, 
under logs in the woods, and under fallen grass and weeds on the 
creek bank in the bottom of the gulch. At Ingram, also near Kerr- 
ville, Cary and I caught them in the rocks along the bluffs and 
under the heaps of flood drift on the river bottoms. At Camp 
Verde Cary caught a few under rocks and logs. One was taken on 
the crest of a juniper ridge near Rock Springs; Gordon Donald 
took one in the cliffs near Devils River Station, and N, Hollisler 
caught a series in a little canyon near Comstock and one in the cliffs 
of the Rio Grande Canyon 8 miles south of Comstock. • Lloyd caught 
one at the Painted Caves and Gaut collected 12 specimens in the 
canyons around Langtry. Oberholser caught 5 among the rocks at 
Fort Lancaster. Cary and Hollister found them in the cliffs along 
the Pecos Canyon as far up as Sheffield, and Cary took one indi- 
vidual of this species, together with laceyi, in a canyon at the east 
base of the Davis Mountains. In the Chisos Mountains a few Avere 
taken in Upper Sonoran zone from 0,000 to 7,000 feet. A small 
series taken among the rocks at Llano is typical attivateri, but a 
series of 13 specimens collected in the cliffs near Austin, where Ober- 
holser reported them as the commonest small mammal of the locality. 
is not typical. 

Peromyscus eremicus (Laird). Desert Peromyscus. 

Peromyscus eremicus arenarius Mearns. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mas., XIX. 
Advance Sheet. May -J.".. 1896, ]>. 2. Type from El Paso. Tex. 

This wide-ranging desert species inhabits the arid Lower Sonoran 
zone of western Texas from the Pecos Valley to Fl Paso. Specimens 
from Comstock and vicinity and from Carlsbad (Eddy), X. Mex., 
mark the eastern limit of its known range. There are specimens in 

Oct.. 1905.] 


the Biological Survey collection also from El Paso, Franklin Moun- 
tains, Sierra Blanca, Presidio County, Boquillas. Terlingua, 20 miles 
south of Marathon, Langtry, Painted Caves, and 65 miles northwest 
of Tovah. The slight variation in specimens from Texas localities 
does not warrant separation from typical eremicus of Fort Yuma, 


At El Paso the species is common in the cliffs just back of town, and 
at Sierra Blanca two were caught in a cliff near the station. At 
Lloyd's ranch, in Presidio County, 30 miles south of Ma fa, it was 
common in the cliffs, and a few were taken in cliffs at Terlingua, 
Boquillas, 20 miles south of Marathon, at Comstock, and along the 
canyons of the Rio Grande at Langtry and Painted Caves. At Carls- 
bad, X. Mew. it occupied a limestone cliff near the river with 
rowleyi, which belongs to the zone above, and in this same cliff I 
caught both Neotoma micropus and albigula, belonging, respectively, 
to Lower and Upper Sonoran zones. Of the habits of the desert 
peromyscus little is known save what our traps reveal of its choice 
of homes on the dusty rock shelves of cliffs and caverns, where lines 
of tiny footprints lead to and from cracks and small openings in the 
rocks. I have never known o'f its being found away from rocks. 
and this peculiar habitat may have some connection w T ith the wholly 
naked sole of the foot. 

Peromyscus taylori (Thomas). Taylor Baiomys. 

Specimens of this tiny, short-tailed Peromyscus from Brownsville. 
Beeville, and San Antonio do not show any appreciable variation, 
and are assumed to be typical taylori, as they come from both north 
and south of San Diego, the type locality of the species. 

At Brownsville Loring reported them as " common in weeds and 
brush and along fences in meadows and a few in small willows near 
the river; " but Lloyd found them " only in open fields and meadows, 
where they have very small, round holes.'' At Beeville Oberholser 
caught one " at the edge of. a clump of O pant hi engelmanni in 
the chaparral." H. P. Attwater collected a series of specimens at 
Watson's ranch. 15 miles south of San Antonio, and furnished the 
following interesting notes on their habits: 

The specimens sent were taken under a pile of dry weeds and rubbish in an 
orchard, where the two nests sent were also found. There were several others 
with then] which escaped. The two specimens taken in March were kept alive 
till May 129. They were fed on sugar-cane seed. oats. corn, and bran. They 
used to drink water when I put it in the cage, hut appeared to do just as well 
without it. * * * 

One of the nests sent was found by Mr. Watson while digging up a small 
pecan tree in the river bottom near his ranch. The nest was ahout a foot below 
the surface of the ground, among the roots of the tree, and several passages led 



[No. 25. 

down into the ground below the nest. In one of these holes a number of pecan 
nuts were found. The nest contained an old female and three half-grown young. 

Peromyscus taylori subater subsp. no v. Dusky Baiomys. 

Type from Bernard Creek near Columbia, Brazoria County, Tex. No. 
|ff$! 9 ad., T T . S. Nat. Mus., Biological Survey Coll. Collected by Win. 
Lloyd Feb. 25, 1892. Original No. 1 lliJ. 

Characters. — Size and proportions of P. taylori, but much darker 
colored. Upper pa its blackish or sooty gray, belly buff v. 

Measurements of type. — Total length, 91; tail, 37; hind foot, 15. 
Average of 7 topotypes: Total length, 95; tail, 39; hind foot, 14.8. 

Skull of type. — Basal length, 14.8; nasals, 6.3; zygomatic breadth, 
10; mastoid breadth, 8.4; alveolar length of upper molar series, 3. 

Fig. 15. — Distribution areas of the two forms of the subgenus Baiomys (Peromyscus 

taylori and subater). 

This dusky form of the little Baiomys inhabits the coast prairies of 
Texas east of Matagorda Bay. Specimens from Matagorda. .Matagorda 
Peninsula, Bernard Creek (12 miles west of Columbia). Richmond, 

"Allen. Mammals of Bexar County. Tex. Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., VIII. 
p. 66, 1896. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 103 

Virginia Point, Alvin, and Sour Lake are referred to it, although the 
Matagorda specimens are a little grayer and evidently tend toward 

At Virginia Point on the mainland opposite Galveston. I caught 
two of these little mice in a grassy orchard at a ranch on the broad 
prairie. They were trapped in the grass-covered runways of sig- 
niodons. At Richmond these mice were fairly common under the rich 
carpet of grass on the open prairie. Their tiny runways, leading 
from one little burrow to another, wound about over the surface of 
the ground among the plant stems and indicated habits so similar to 
those of Microtus that at first I thought I had discovered traces of a 
diminutive species of that genus. At Sour Lake Hollister collected 
one specimen " on the open prairie.' 1 On Matagorda Peninsula 
Lloyd found these mice living under logs near the Gulf shore where 
he collected both old and young. One young, about two weeks old, 
was found in a nest under a log February 11. In another nest two 
young were found, and an old female taken the same day contained 
two fully developed embryos. On the mainland near Matagorda 
Lloyd " caught them in the long grass skirting the edges of fields," 
and a nest containing three young was plowed up in the field Feb- 
ruary 2. 

Oryzomys palustris (Harlan). Rice Rat. 

Oryzomys palustris texensis Allen, Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.. VI. p. 177, 
May 31, 1894. Type from Rockport. Aransas County, Texas. 

The rice rats inhabit the coast marshes of Texas as far south as 
Corpus Christi and a little reef near the north end of Padre Island. 
Apparently they have not been found farther from the coast than 
Wharton County, some 40 miles up the Colorado River, and they seem 
to be common only in the salt marshes. At Port Lavaca, Ober- 
holser says, " they are common inthe tall grass bordering the bayous 
and are apparently confined to such places. The ground where they 
live is quite wet, but still out of reach of ordinary tides, though the 
whole area was flooded during part of my stay. The runways are 
not covered and not plain, though there are usually fresh signs at 
intervals." On Matagorda Island he says the rice rats are " toler- 
ably common in the tufts of coarse grass bordering bayous, making 
conspicuous covered runways where the grass is thickly matted, but 
are not found more than a short distance back from the bayous." 
At Matagorda Bay, Lloyd says, ,k they occur along the shore of the 
bay and also on Selkirk Island and Peninsula, where they were found 
in the high, rank grass near the shore ;" and at Nueces Bay, he says, 
>- they are common out in the low grass on the marshes, where they 
take to water readily. Several were found drowned while held down 
by my traps. On a small island reef about 100 yards off the north 


end of Padre Island they were found in patches of marsh ' cranberry.' 
Two of their round cup-shaped nests, composed of fine rootlets, were 
found under old hoards." At Virginia Point, opposite Galveston, I 
caught them in runways under the grass and rushes along the edge 
of the salt marsh. At that time, in April, they were rather scarce, 
but the people say that occasionally they become very numerous, 
especially in and around the rice fields. 

Oryzomys aquaticus Allen. Rio Grande Rice Rat. 

This species is known only from the vicinity of Brownsville, near 
the mouth of the Rio Grande. 

Loring reported it as common in grassy spots in the mesquite brush. 

Reithrodontomys intermedius Allen. Rio Grande Harvest Mouse. 

Reithrodontomys laceyi a Allen, Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., VIII, p. 235, Nov. 
21, 1896. Type from Watson's ranch, 15 miles south of San Antonio, 

This long-tailed harvest mouse inhabits the Lower Sonoran zone 
of southern Texas from Brownsville to Corpus Christi, San Antonio, 
Kerr County, and Del Rio, and extends south into Mexico. 

At Brownsville Loring reported that he caught several specimens 
of this species in traps baited with meat and set among small willows, 
weeds, and high grass near the river. At Del Rio I caught them at 
little burrows on the brushy flats, and near Kerrville found them 
common around fields and in weedy places generally and caught 
them at burrows and runways under the fallen grass. Lloyd reported 
one found on Padre Island in an old cow's horn, and two dead ones in 
an old barrel. Between Laredo and Rio Grande City he reported 
two as living in old nests of the cactus wren, and near Corpus 
Christi he found one in a nest in a catsclaw bush. In April, 11)00, 
I found what looked like an old verdin's nest in a bush of Momesia 
pallida near Corpus Christi. The nest was about 4 feet from the 
ground, a globular structure of grass, lichen, and short gray moss 
(Tillandsia recurvata), with a small opening at one side. As I 
touched the side, two black eyes appeared at the doorway, but after 
watching me for a moment were withdrawn. At a slight shake of the 

a Specimens of Reithrodontomys Uiceyi from San Antonio and Kerr County 
agree perfectly with specimens of comparable age and pelage from Brownsville, 
Matamoras, and Santa Tomas, and I see no way hut to consider them typical 
intermedius. The slightly smaller and grayer specimens arc evidently young 
of the year. The difference in size indicated by Mr. Attwater's measurements 
does not appear in comparison of skulls or hind feet and may he due to a 
slight difference in the methods of measurement. .My own measurements of 
Kerrville specimens and Goldman's of his Matamoras specimens agree almost to 
a millimeter. While all of the small series of topotypos of laceyi can he matched 
from the large series of intermedius from Brownsville, there are none in as 
bright summer pelage as some specimens in the Brownsville series. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 105 

hush, out popped a trim little long-tailed harvest mouse, which sat 
undecided on the branch for a moment and then nm gracefully along 
branches and stems from one hush to another and finally down to 
the ground, where it disappeared in the tall grass. On examining 
the nest I found a firm base, evidently an old bird's nest that had 
been arched over with a substantial roof which left an opening- at the 
side only large enough for my finger. It was neither a verdin's 
nor a cactus wren's nest, and evidently had been built or remodeled 
by the present tenant. When I returned the next day, the mouse was 
at home, but so sleepy that I merely disturbed him enough to make 
him come out and sit for a moment on the branch, after which I 
withdrew and let him go back to finish his nap. Further search 
revealed two more similar but old and unoccupied nests in the 
bushes near by, but no trace of runway, burrow, or other signs of 
the mice on the damp sticky soil beneath. A good line of traps set 
among the bushes and under the adjoining prairie grass remained 
untouched until the bait grew moldy. Even at the base of the bush 
under the occupied nest nothing was caught in several days' trapping, 
and after a trip of two weeks I returned to find the little fellow still 
occupying his nest. 

Along the Medina River 15 miles south of San Antonio, Mr. H. P. 
Attwater says he occasionally came across these mice in 1889 and 1890 
while hunting for birds 1 nests. He says they were found singly in the 
daytime in little round nests made of grass and placed in the lower 
branches of small trees. 

Reithrodontomys aurantius Allen. Louisiana Harvest Mouse. 

This largest and richest colored of the Texas harvest mice inhabits 
eastern Texas, and extends along the coast region as far west as 
Matagorda Bay, and in the interior north to Hempstead, Nacogdo- 
ches, Joaquin, and Texarkana. There is every reason to suppose that 
it inhabits the whole of eastern humid Texas, as usually it is not an 
abundant or easily captured species and is often overlooked by 
collectors. At Texarkana Oberholser caught one and reported the 
species as rare about thickets on the edge of cleared ground. Hol- 
lister caught several at Joaquin on grassy ground along the railroad 
and at the edge of a cotton field, and at Sour Lake a few in tall grass 
at the edge of the woods. At Hempstead Gaut caught them in 
brushy woods between cultivated fields. In southern Louisiana I 
found them in runways among weeds and tall grass on low ground 
at Iowa Station, and caught one in a trap where an Oryzomys was 
caught the preceding night. In Matagorda County, Lloyd reported 

o Mammals of Bexar County, Tex., J. A. Allen, Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist, 
VII 1. pp. 66-67, 189(3. For further interesting notes on habits of this harvest 
mouse in Bexar County by H. P. Attwater, see also page 236, same volume. 


them under old logs and in low brush, where numerous nests were 
seen with holes leading into the ground beside them. He called this 
species the " tree mouse," but does not speak of any nests in bushes 
or anywhere except on the ground. At Hempstead, Gaut caught a 
few in traps set at the bases of trees in a brier thicket between two 
cultivated fields, and in the Big Thicket, northeast of Sour Lake, he 
reports it as the most abundant mouse, living under the dead grass 
wherever there was dry ground. 

Reithrodontomys megalotis (Baird). Big-eared Harvest Mouse. 

This pale, desert harvest mouse comes into western Texas between 
the Rio Grande and the Pecos, as shown by specimens from Fort 
Stockton, Pecos City, Alpine, and the southern parts of the Guada- 
lupe and the Franklin mountains. 

Gary secured a single specimen on the grassy plain 25 miles west 
of Fort Stockton, and another under matted grass near a flowing well 
at Pecos City, but was unable to catch any more in either locality. 
Gaut caught one in a patch of high grass about two miles north of 
Alpine, and another on a grassy flat in the foothills of the Franklin 
Mountains, 15 miles north of El Paso, at 4,400 feet. One was caught 
in a Microtus runway at 8,400 feet altitude on top of the ridge at 
the head of Dog Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains. It was among 
grass, shin oak, and other low brush, and in a most unexpected 
locality for a Reithrodontomys. No other specimens were secured, 
although considerable trapping was done in the vicinity. 

Reithrodontomys merriami Allen. Merriam Harvest Mouse. 

This little dusky harvest mouse, the smallest species in the State, 
inhabits the coast prairies of southeastern Texas west to Richmond, 
but apparently is nowhere common. Near Richmond I caught two 
under the grass on the open prairie in the same runways where 
Peromyscus taylori subater was caught. Both of these specimens 
while in the traps were eaten by some other mouse, so that only the 
skull of one and the ragged skin of the other could be saved. At 
Austin Bayou, Lloyd caught the species in " rank grass on the 
prairie,' 1 and at Lafayette, La., R. J. Thompson caught one in " tall 
meadow grass on the prairie." 

Reithrodontomys griseus sp. nov. Little Gray Harvest Mouse. 

Type from San Antonio, Tex., No. 87S">2, $ ad., U. S. Nat. Mas.. Biological 
Survey Coll. Collected March 4, 1897, by II. 1'. Attwater. Collector's 
number iocs (X Catalogue No. 371). 

General characters. — Size small, tail short and sharply bicolor; 
color butty gray with indistinct dorsal streak of dusky: brain case 
short and wide. 

Color. — Upper parts dark buffy gray, darkened especially along the 

Oct., 1905.1 MAMMALS. 107 

dorsal lino with black tipped hairs; ear with a large black spot on 
upper outer surface and another on lower inner; feet and whole lower 
parts white; tail white with a narrow blackish line above. 

Cranial characters. — Compared with that of merriami, the geo- 
graphically nearest neighbor in the group, the skull is larger with 
relatively lower, shorter, wider brain case, and flattened instead of 
circular foramen magnum, smaller bullae, and wider basioccipital. 
From albescens it differs as from me rein mi in relatively 'shorter, wider 
brain case. 

Measurements. — Type: Total length, 120; tail vertebrae, 56; hind 
foot, 11.5 (15 measured dry). Average of six adult males from type 
locality measured by H. P. Attwater: Total length, 111; tail verte- 
bra 1 , 55 ; hind foot, 11.0. 

Skull of type. — Occipitonasal length, 19.2; basal length, 10; nasals, 
7; zygomatic breadth, 10.4; mastoid breadth, 9; greatest breadth of 
brain case, 9.8; interorbital constriction. 3. 

Distribution. — Specimens examined from San Antonio, Mason, San 
Angelo, Clyde, and Gainesville, Tex., indicate a rather unusual distri- 
bution along the eastern edge of the plains. At San Angelo, Ober- 
holser caught one at a hole in the grassy margin of a cultivated field ; 
at Clyde, Cary caught one in a patch of sand burs in the corner of a 
sandy cotton field. Another specimen was taken at Gainesville on 
open prairie, but in all of these localities they seemed to be extremely 

Remarks. — The present species holds its characters with surpris- 
ingly little variation over an extensive area from San Antonio north to 
southeastern Nebraska, where, if it grades into albescens as seems 
probable, it must do so entirely between London and Xeligh in that 
State. The smaller, darker merriami show 7 s no variation throughout 
a wide range over the coast prairies of Texas and Louisiana, and if it 
grades into g rise us the complete transition must occur between Rich- 
mond and San Antonio. 

Neotoma floridana rubida Bangs. Swamp Wood Rat. 

The common wood rats throughout the Big Thicket of eastern 
Texas are typical rubida of southern Louisiana, while a specimen 
from Texarkana possibly indicates a shading toward baileyi. The 
Big Thicket is a continuation of southern Louisiana swamp country, 
extending into Texas from the lower Sabine west to the San Jacinto 
and marking the western limit of range of many species. Wood 
rats are well known to settlers throughout its extent. They are 
reported from near Cleveland and Tarkington in Liberty County, 
and at Bragg and Saratoga in Hardin County, and I found them 
common in the thickest woods and around old deserted buildings 
near Dan Griffin's place, 7 miles northeast of Sour Lake. The first 


one secured was in a house of its own building at the base of an old 
dead pine. It had piled up pine hark and pieces of rotten wood 
around die base of the tree to a height of '1 feet, and in the cavities 
in this mound had made several soft nests of grass and hark fiber. 
There was a nest also in an old hollow log close by and several holes 
under a rotten stump not far away. As I tore the house to pieces 
in search of its builder a gray squirrel ran out of the first nest of 
grass and bark near the top and rushed up the old dead pine. A.S I 
uncovered deeper chambers one was found well filled with white-oak 
acorns and berries of the cat brier, and a cache of green leaves was 
safely stored away under a shelf of pine bark. The rat was found 
in a chamber deeper down near the bottom of the house. When 
finally uncovered it ran to the hollow log near by, then to the holes 
under the stum}), then back to the house before I got a shot at it. 
It proved to be an old female, as were two others caught the next 
night under an old log in an equally dense part of the thicket. No 
trace of the rats was found except under the protecting cover of 
dense timber, brush, or vine tangle, or in hollow logs, trees, or old 
buildings. An old log house where hay was stored was apparently 
well stocked with them, judging from the stick piles under the floor, 
tracks in the ashes of the old fireplace, piles of characteristic pellets 
in the corners, and a familiar wood-rat odor pervading the air. 
More or less evidence of their presence was noticed in other old 

In the thicket near Saratoga the Flower boys told me that a wild 
cat {Lynx) killed a short time before had been opened and its stomach 
found to be full of wood rats. The abundance of wild cats and 
barred owls throughout the Big Thicket probably accounts for the 
habit of the wood rats of choosing the most impenetrable cover. 

At Houma, La., near the type locality of the species, I found these 
wood rats common in the woods and swamps. Some of the houses 
were built at the bases of hollow trees, over old logs, or under thick 
brush mats, but just as commonly they were placed in the lower 
branches of trees or in vines 10 to 30 feet from the ground. Those 
in the branches were usually in a fork or on a large limb close to 
the body of a tree, or in a thick tangle of branchlets and connected 
with the ground by numerous vines, while those suspended in the 
vines were globular stick masses from I to 4 feet in diameter, worked 
in among a lot of ascending vine stems or into a snarl of vine 
branches and resembling magpies' nests. Slender Micks, twigs, and 
pieces of bark and gray moss formed the main body of these ele- 
vated houses, while a hole at one side afforded entrance to the sofi 
nest of bark fiber and moss within. By shaking and jerking the 
vines I drove the rat out of one of these houses and watched him 
climb up the vines and branches to near the top of the medium-sized 

OCT., 1905.] MAMMALS. 109 

tree, probably 00 feet from the ground. He climbed readily, but 
not with squirrel-like freedom and speed, and avoided the trunk of 
the tree. Another that I shook out of a house at the base of a small 
tree climbed up the vines to the top of the tree, some ^0 feet from the 
ground, but I have never seen one climb the trunk of a large tree. 
No doubt, however, they could climb a rough-barked trunk. Several 
of the houses located on the ground were examined and in each was 
found at least one nest of hue bark or moss in a chamber near the 
ground. No holes could be found entering the ground below the 
houses, probably owing to the dampness of the soil, which may also 
account for the elevated houses in this region. Some stick piles and 
nests were found in hollow logs, and on the ground inside the shell 
of an old hollow sycamore stub, that measured 1G4 feet across, the 
rats had built a good-sized house against the wall. Several holes 
entered the sides of this house, and superficial examination located 
one snug nest in a back corner. Well-marked trails sometimes were 
found leading through grass and weeds from one house to another or 
from a house to the nearest log, tree, or brush heap. 

Neotoma floridana baileyi Merriam. Nebraska Wood Rat. 

This northernmost form of the floridana group of wood rats barety 
gets into northern Texas. Two specimens in the Merriam collection 
from Gainesville. Cook County, are best referred to it, although they 
are a shade darker in color and in this respect intermediate between 
baileyi and rubida. As a larger series of specimens from across the 
line in the Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma, is more nearly typical 
baileyi, it seems necessary to refer the Gainesville specimens also to 
this species. 

Neotoma baileyi is a large, pale, bicolor-tailed form of the floridana 
group, extending up the wooded river valleys across the plains 
country from Texas to northern Nebraska. At Gainesville Mr. G. H. 
Ragsdale secured a few of the wood rats in wooded ravines, but said 
they were very scarce. In the Wichita Mountains Gaut found them 
common from the bases to the tops of the ridges. In the timber along 
Medicine Creek he occasionally found them in hollow logs or about 
the overhanging roots of a tree at the edge of a steep creek bank, in 
houses made of sticks, leaves, bones, and cow chips. Up the steeper 
slopes of the ridges they were more numerous among the rocks and in 
crevices of the bluffs. At Valentine, Nebr., where the timber is 
restricted to the canyons, these rats inhabit the cliffs and caves along 
the canyon walls, and forage in the brush and timber along the sides 
and bottoms of the canyons. In fact, over most of the range of the 
species cliff's, caves, and cut banks furnish the favorite homes. At 
Marble Cave, Stone County, Mo., I found their tracks in the deepest 
recesses of the great cave, but found the animals and their stick 


houses more common under the shelving limestone ledges along- the 
sides of the ravines. Three or four of those collected were cooked at 
the ranch where I was staying, and we all pronounced them better 
than gray squirrels. The meat was very tender and of good flavor, 
with no trace of the external musky odor peculiar to wood rats. 

Neotoma floridana attwateri Mearns. Att water Wood* Rat. 

On the juniper ridges of the southern arm of the Staked Plains 
this big buffy-brown wood rat, which appears to be an Upper 
Sonoran form of the f!<>i'i<l<unt group, lives in a rocky, half- forested 
region. It makes its house sometimes among the rocks, piling up it- 
rubbish in a broken cliff, rock pile, or old stone wall, and sometimes 
in the woods at the base of a tree, under a brush pile, in some old 
cabin, or along the river in heaps of flood drift. 

In company with Mr. Howard Lacey, on his ranch in Kerr County. 
I uncovered one of the houses in the corner of an old log cabin where 
the rats had built up a pile of rubbish among the fallen logs and 
boards. As the material was removed the rat ran out of the nest 
into a hollow log, where he was easily caught. The nest on the 
ground under the rubbish pile was a bulky mass of soft juniper bark, 
with an opening at the side. AboVe it the spaces between logs and 
boards were hi led with several bushels of rubbish, including a large 
number of cactus thorns. A quantity of green leaves of walnut and 
some pieces of green cactus stems were found near the nest, while 
scattered acorn and walnut shells, juniper berries, and cactus cap- 
sules showed part of the menu of the occupant. 

Mr. H. P. Attwater, who first collected this species, tore down 
numbers of the houses and found nests in underground burrows as 
well as in the rubbish piles. He says: 

In one of the underground passages at the nest on the oak ridge were found 
stored away about three dozen hunches of wild grapes; also many acorns and 
black haws. In another nest in the cedar brake were about two dozen small 
mushrooms, partly dry and shriveled. All the heaps in the cedar brakes con- 
tained large stores of cedar berries, most of them with the outside pulp eaten 
off and the seeds eaten out. When the very small size of the seed is taken into 
consideration, it is surprising what an immense amount of work is necessary 
before enough can be obtained for a meal, as probably a thousand would lie 
required. One nest contained shells of nuts of the Mexican buckeye (Vngnadia 
speciosa), although these nuts are reputed to be poisonous." 

Near Ingram, in the valley of the Guadalupe River, a few of 

these wood rats were caught in the cliff's and rocks bordering the 
river valley, but they were more common under the great heaps of 
driftwood and rubbish along the river bottoms. The Guadalupe, like 
many of the Texas rivers, is subject to floods, and in a sudden rise of 
sometimes . r >0 feet great quantities of driftwood are washed into the 

"Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.. 1896, pp. 61-62. 

Oct., 1905. I MAMMALS. Ill 

bottoms and left wherever the trees are close enough to hold it. In 
places among - the old cypress trees tons of this driftwood lie in heaps 
like haystacks, and in and under these the wood rats find ideal homes. 
They make holes and runways through the heaps, and hollow out 
cavities for their nests inside. Often instead of making runways 
they traverse the logs from one heap to another. A favorite place for 
a nest is in the drift lodged in vines and branches of trees and reached 
by means of the vines or rough bark. The presence of the rats in 
these drift piles is easily detected by their peculiar musky odor. In 
spite of the odor, which apparently comes from the large gland along 
the skin of the belly, the flesh of the animals is delicious, of good 
flaA T or, white, tender, and more delicate than that of the squirrel. 

Neotoma micropus Baird. Baird Wood Rat. 

This large, light slaty-gray Neotoma inhabits the arid mesquite 
country of the western half of Texas and the adjoining parts of 
Mexico, and extends north up the Pecos Valley in New Mexico to 
at least Santa Rosa, and from central Texas northward across west- 
ern Oklahoma. Specimens examined from Rockport, San Antonio, 
Brazos, Seymour, Henrietta, Mobeetie, and Lipscomb mark approx- 
imate^ the eastern limit of the species in the State, as at present 
known. Judging by the characteristic houses which I found abun- 
dant near Wichita Falls, the species ranges east to the western edge 
of the Upper Cross Timbers, while a few old houses at Tascosa and 
Logan indicate a continuous range with the low mesquite up the 
Canadian River and across to Santa Rosa on the Pecos, thus com- 
pletely encircling the Staked Plains. It is the most abundant and 
widely distributed of the Texas wood rats. It lives mainly in the 
half open country and builds houses under mesquites, acacias, zizy- 
phus, allthorn, yuccas, cactus, or anything else sufficiently thorny to 
prove an effectual protection against its enemies. Rarely it lives 
among rocks. The favorite building site, however, is in and around 
a bunch of the big flat blades of the prickly pear (Opuntia engel- 
manni), where the stack of rubbish — cow chips, sticks, bark, leaves, 
stones, bones, pieces of metal, dishes, leather, rags, or any other 
available material, well salted with bits of cactus and other thorny 
things— is often built into a dome 4 or 5 feet high. An allthorn 
bush is another choice building site, and when the house is largely 
composed of its rigid angular thorns, well mixed with cactus, a more 

a The name of black wood rat applied to this species by Professor Baird is 
as much of a misnomer as its specific name micropus. As the species is one of 
the palest of the genus, I have thought best to change its name to Baird wood 
rat. The name ' rat ' leads many people to associate with the wharf rats- 
filthy animals introduced from the Old World and naturalized around our 
stables and cellars— the wood rats, which belong to a different genus, are 
natives of America, and animals of exemplary and extremely interesting habits. 


bristling - and formidable 1 combination can hardly be imagined.. Most 
of the houses, wherever located, are so well protected with thorns 
that they are rarely molested by the larger mammals, not even by 
the tough-hided badger. But how the rats can run over these 
houses and along the trails strewn with cactus spines and never show 
a scratch on the bare, pink and white soles of their feet is a mystery. 
( )ne or more nests placed in cavities of the house or in the ground 
beneath, and entered by openings through the sides or under the 
edges of the mass of rubbish, are well protected not only from outside 1 
enemies, but from occasional violent storms and the glaring heat of 
the sun. Usually these nests are slight structures of leaves and 
grass, always kept neat and clean when in use, and quite free from 
scattered remains of food and excrement. Well-worn trails lead 
under the brush from one house to another, or away to feeding 
grounds, or to neighboring rock piles, for the rats seem to be of a 
social disposition, several usually living together and apparently 
doing much visiting. 

Their food consists of a great variety of green vegetation, espe- 
cially the juicy flesh of cactus, but mainly of seeds, nuts, and fruit. 
Cactus fruit and the sweet pods of the mesquite bean are extensively 
eaten ; also acorns, nuts, and any kind of grain within their reach. 

At times the wood rats become exceedingly numerous, and their 
houses appear in every nook and corner of brush, thicket, and cactus 
patch, while the animals crowd into fields and about ranch buildings, 
and do some mischief even in a thinly settled stock country. But 
at such times they attract great numbers of hawks, owls, and other 
enemies, and after a year or two of unusual abundance they decrease 
to, and sometimes below, their normal numbers. I have seen a 
Pardbuteo >/. harrisi come out from under the mesquite with one of 
this species in its claws, and have found the skulls of large numbers 
of the rats in and around the nest of this hawk, as well as their flesh 
and fur in the crop of the bird. The skulls are among the commonest 
bones recognized in pellets under the cliffs where the great horned 
owls roost. Being both diurnal and nocturnal, these rats are sub- 
ject to the attacks of both hawks and owls. Coyotes, foxes, and 
wild cats catch them whenever opportunity offers, and especially 
when they are numerous enough to be frequently encountered away 
from their houses. Snakes are apparently still more deadly enemies, 
as they enter the holes and houses of the rats and swallow the occu- 
pants. Rattlesnakes, bullsnakes, blacksnakes, and whipsnakes are 
often found in and around the rat houses, and at Comstock, Lloyd 
opened a rattlesnake and found a wood rat in its stomach. Under 
ordinary conditions these wood rats are of little economic importance, 
and will never prove to be a serious pest unless as a result of the 
destruction of their natural enemies. 

North American fauna Nn ?5 






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T E X A S 


Distribution of Baird and Mexican Woodrats. 



... ; .j,.i^^ 


Oct., 1905. ] 



Gary found this species abundant at Monahans, and says: 

They usually have their nests in mesquite or zizyphus thickets, but frequently 
take up their abode in the abandoned .burrows of Dipodomys spectabilis, where 
thorny branches in the mouth of the burrow give notice of their presence. 
Their stores usually consist of mesquite beans. They proved a veritable 
nuisance by continually getting j n to our small traps and running off with them. 
They took a number also of our traps home. So commonly was this done that 
on missing n trap Donald and I woidd go to the nearest rat house, where we 
were almost certain to find it. The people at Monahans, and in fact throughout 
the region, call them chicken rats on account of their supposed fondness for 
young chickens. 

Neotoma albigula Hartley. White-throated Wood Rat. 

This wood rat extends into Texas from the west, reaching its east- 
ern limit along the eastern edge of the Staked Plains at Llano, near 

Fig. 16. — Distribution area of white-throated wood rat {Neotoma albigula). 

Colorado, and in a canyon near Washburn. It apparently belongs 
to Upper Sonoran zone, but along cliffs and rocky gulches extends 
into the upper edge of Lower Sonoran, and so slightly overlaps 

3873— No. 25—05 m 8 


[No. 25 

the range of the larger and grayer micropus. Both species occur 
side by side at El Paso, Sierra Blanca, Kent, Stanton, and 
Colorado, and in Presidio County, Tex., and at Carlsbad, X. Mex., 
but each retains its distinctive characters and habits, micropus living 
mainly in its stick houses in the brush, and albigula always keeping 
among the rocks along cliffs and gulches. In a few cases I have 
caught micropus in the rocks, but have never found albigula away 
from them. Being a cliff dweller, its houses are largely provided by 
nature, and a few sticks, chips, and stones piled among the rocks 
in addition are often all that seems to be required, but sometimes 
these accumulations of rubbish in a favorite and long-inhabited den 
amount to 20 or 30 bushels. The doorways are usually plainly 
indicated by scattered remains of food and various unmistakable 
signs. A strong musky odor characteristic of the genus is the usual 
indication that the dens are inhabited. 

I have never known this species to become very abundant or very 
troublesome. It sometimes enters houses and barns located near the 
rocks and does a little mischief, but is easily caught in traps. Along 
its native cliffs and canyon walls it is the especial prey of Lynx, 
Urocyon, and Bassariscus, which, with the owls, keep its ranks 
thinned until in many places few are left. 

The remains of food scattered about the dens show a varied taste 
for fruit, seeds, and green things, and usually include pieces of 
cactus steins and fruit, mesquite, acacia, and other leguminous pods, 
juniper berries, acorns, and various seeds, green foliage, and flowers. 

Neotoma mexicana Baird. Mexican Wood Rat. 

This little dark-colored wood rat is the smallest of the species 
occurring in Texas, and, being mainly a Transition zone animal. 
has but a limited distribution in the State. It is common in the 
upper parts of the Davis and Guadalupe mountains, and probably 
occurs also high up in the Chisos Mountains, where we found old 
signs but failed to get specimens. In the Davis and Guadalupe 
mountains it lives in the rocks and cliffs where the junipers and yel- 
low pines are mixed, and also ranges to the very tops of the moun- 
tains, where Transition species predominate. In habits it does not 
differ materially from albigula, or any of the rock-dwelling species. 
Its food seems to be largely acorns and the sweet berries of Juniperus 

Sigmodon hispidus texianus (Aud. & Bach.). Texas Cotton Eat. 

The cotton rats of the eastern half of Texas, while lacking the 
rich brown color of true hispidus of the Atlantic coast, are distinctly 
darker and more brownish gray than those of western Texas. Speci- 
mens from Gainesville, Vernon, Richmond (on the west bank of the 

Oct., 1905.] 



Brazos), Sour Lake, Port Lavaca, Seguin, and San Antonio are 
fairly typical, although they become slightly paler at San Antonio. 
Along the Gulf coast and lower Eio Grande they become still paler 
without reaching the extreme of the light gray berlandieri. 

Although not often seen the cotton rats are usually common, and 
at times they become excessively numerous, living under cover of tall 
grass and weeds, in meadows, around the edges of fields, and along 
the banks of streams and ditches. They live in bulky nests of grass 

RSxXxfl Sigmodon hisp/dus tex/onus. 
V///A u •» berfand/eri 

llilillilil » ochrognafhus 

Fig. 17. — Distribution areas of cotton rats (genus Sigmodon). 

on the surface or in underground burrows, and make numerous long 
runways under cover of fallen grass and dense vegetation. Appar- 
ently they breed rapidly. Gaut records a female containing 8 em- 
bryos. For food they cut the green stems of grass and various plants 
along their runways — eating stems, leaves, and seeds — and along the 
edges of grain fields they gather to feed on both green and ripening 
grain. The amount of damage they do depends on their abundance 
and the kind of crop attacked. 
Near Seguin, in November, 1904, I found the cotton rats numerous 


around fields, in grass patches, under brush heaps and fallen wee'ds, 
in the mesquite woods, and in fact everywhere that any cover or 
concealment could be found. Thickets of thorny chaparral and 
bunches of cactus offered the most perfect protection, and even at 
midday the animals often were seen running about under the prickly 
pear. A network of their runways covers the surface of the ground 
and connects the numerous burrows wherever protecting cover is 
offered. Along the edges of cotton fields they are especially nu- 
merous, and the runways opening into the fields are often fairly lined 
with cotton that has been pulled from the bolls and dragged under 
cover where the seeds can be eaten in safety. Some cotton minus its 
seeds is also found scattered over the ground near the edges of fields 
where the animals are abundant, and a smaller amount is carried 
away for nests. The loss of cotton is not great in any one field, but 
considered over the entire range of this group of cotton rats, which 
coincides in a general way with the cotton-producing area of the 
United States and Mexico, it is considerable. 

A simple and effective remedy would be to clean out the borders 
of fields by burning the weeds, grass, and rubbish accumulating along 
the fences year after year as a harbor for various rodent and insect 
pests and a perennial source of supply of weed seeds. If these bor- 
ders were burned yearly, mowed and raked, treated with oil or chemi- 
cals to prevent weed growth, closely pastured, or thoroughly culti- 
vated, the hawks and owls would quickly dispose of the rodents, 
which would then have no protecting cover. Marsh hawks are 
abundant and constantly skim over the fields, frequently diving 
into the grass. Harris hawks sit on the mesquite trees and telegraph 
poles watching the ground below ; sparrow hawks sit on the fence 
posts, and barred owls are heard hooting every evening from the 
' moss ' laden live oaks. There is no lack of enemies eager to prey 
on the rodents, and no simpler way of reducing the number of such 
pests than by the aid of their natural enemies. 

As is the case with rabbits, and many other species of rodents, 
the abundance of the cotton rats varies greatly with the different 
localities during the same year, and with different years in the same 
locality. At times they are extremely scarce over extensive areas, 
and again so numerous as to suggest the plagues of voles that from 
time to time have overrun parts of Europe. Mr. H. P. Att water 
describes one of their invasions, and the enemies that attacked them, 
as follows: 

In the year 1889, Sigmodons appeared suddenly in this [Bexar] county in 
great numbers, and were known as "tramp rats." Where they came from, or 
from which direction. I have been unable to find out. Thousands first appeared 
about the 1st of May, and were beard from in all the region for many miles 
around San Antonio. They were most numerous in the high, dry parts of the 

©ct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 117 

country. .Hid were not noticed in the lowlands along the rivers. They were 
very numerous all through the "chaparrai," and made their nests with the 
wood rats (Neotoma) in the hunches of Opuntidi with a network of runways 
lending in every direction, through which they were often seen running in the 
daytime. They seemed to agree with the wood rats, but in the oat stacks 
and around the ranch buildings the common brown rats fought, killed, and ate 
them. Mr. Watson's boys killed over 100 in one afternoon in a brush fence. 
and for several months their cat used to bring in from 6 to 12 every night. 
He says that on one occasion, when the rats were thickest, they counted 38 
which this cat in one night had piled up in the wood box for the amusement 
of her kittens. 

The "tramp rats" played particular havoc with all kinds of grain crops, 
and corn in particular, but they were not good climbers, and consequently the 
cars on leaning stalks suffered most. Some fanners lost half their corn crop, 
and in some instances small patches were entirely destroyed. 

During the winter of 1880 and 1890 marsh hawks were very numerous, no 
doubt attracted by the rats. The hawks were seen skimming over the fields 
in the daytime chasing the "tramps." In 1890 and 1891 short-eared owls, on 
their way north in the month of March, stopped over to attend to the Sig- 
modons; in other years I have not noticed these owls during migration. 
Weasels and little striped skunks were much more common than usual in 1890 
and 1891, which I attribute to the same cause. Rattlesnakes and other snakes 
were seldom seen abroad, and when disturbed in their retreats were found 
gorged with cotton rats. The large skunks and coyotes hunted them, and dogs, 
generally in the habit of killing rats and mice and shaking them, also ate them. 

The bulk of these rats stayed for about eighteen months. After the crops 
were gathered in 1890 they began to get scarce, and gradually disappeared dur- 
ing 1891. Whether they died out or " tramped " out I am unable to say, but I 
am inclined to think many of them migrated. Old settlers say they remember 
a similar invasion about the year 1854.a 

Sigmodon hispidus berlandieri Baird. Berlanclier Cotton Rat. 

Sigmodon hispidus pallidas Mearns, Proc. r. S. Nat. Mus., XX. Advance 
Sheet. March 15, 1897, p. 4. Type from 6 miles above EI Pas... Tex. 

This pale-gray form of the cotton rat inhabits the desert region of 
eastern Mexico and western Texas along the Rio Grande and Pecos 
valleys. East of the Pecos Valley it grades into texianus so gradu- 
ally that no dividing line can be drawn. 

The habits of this species do not differ from those of texianus, 
except in so far as modified by the character of the arid desert conn- 
try in which it lives. The rats find suitable food and cover mainly 
along the more fertile stream valleys or in the irrigated sections, 
where they usually live under the fallen grass, canes, weeds, or brush, 
and they eagerly gather in fields of growing grain or alfalfa. Their 
burrows often perforate the banks of creeks and irrigation ditches, 
but their nests are found also on the surface of the ground, scattered 
through the fields and over the level bottoms.. 

"Quoted by J. A. Allen. Mammals of Bexar Countv, Tex.: Bui. Am Mus 
Xat. Hist, Vol. VIII, pp. G2-G4, 1896. 



[No. 25. 

An old female, taken at Carlsbad, N. Mex., September 9, 1001, 
contained 11 nearly matured embryos, which is probably an unusual 
number, as the old one had but 10 mammas — inguinal |, abdominal §, 
pectoral -§-. The front pair were between the arms, almost on the 
throat. Another specimen had 8 mammae. 

Fig. 18. — Cotton rat (dead) and nest in Johnson grass, Tecos Valley. 

Besides grass, grain, and alfalfa, a few grasshoppers were found 
in the stomachs of the specimens examined at Carlsbad. 

Sigmodon ochrognathus Bailey. Chisos Mountain Cotton Rat. 

These little yellow-nosed sigmodons are abundant in grassy parks 
among the oaks, nut pines, and junipers over the top of the Chisos 
Mountain plateau at 8,000 feet altitude. They live in numerous 
burrows and runways under short grass and feed on the steins of 
grass and various small plants. They are mainly diurnal, and we 
often saw them running along their little roadways in the daytime, 
while our traps were rarely disturbed at night. On June 13, 1001. 
besides young of several ages, two females were caught, one of which 
contained four small and the other four large embryos. Some old 
grass nests were found on the surface of the ground, but these 
apparently were winter nests. The runways all led to fresh burrows 
in the ground, which were at least the summer homes of the 

As the country around the Chisos Mountains is a hot, Lower Sono- 
ran desert, the species seems to be entirely isolated on top of the moun- 
tains. Its nearest relatives are on similar isolated ranges in Mexico. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 119 

Microtus mexicanus guadalupensis Bailey. Guadalupe Vole. 

These little, short-tailed, snuff-brown voles are common over the 
brushy or grassy slopes of the Guadalupe Mountains from 7,800 to 
8,500- feet in Transition zone. Unlike most species of Microtus. 
neither the presence of water nor moist nor grassy ground is required 
for their homes. In the head of McKittrick Canyon they live in the 
dry grassy parks and open places in the woods, where their runways, 
burrows, and old winter nests are abundant under the tall grass and 
weeds. Higher up on open ridges their runways wind about among 
stones and leaves under the shin oak and other low bushes of the 
driest mountain slopes, and sometimes well into the edge of the woods. 
The runways are distinct, well-worn little roads leading from bur- 
rows to feeding grounds or to other burrows. The summer homes 
seem to be entirely under ground, but unused grass nests found here 
and there on the surface appear to have been built for winter use 
under the snow. Green vegetation seems to be the principal food 
of this vole, and little, clean-cut sections of grass and various plant 
steins are found scattered along the runways on the feeding grounds. 

Several old females, caught late in August, contained embryos, 
and at the same time young of various ages were caught in the traps. 

Microtus ludovicianus Bailey. Louisiana Vole. 

At Sour Lake, in southeastern Texas, Hollister secured a single 
specimen of this little vole, previously known only from Calcasieu 
Parish, La. It was caught in a brush patch at the edge of the prairie 
in company with the cotton rat. The prairie about Sour Lake is 
very similar to that just east of Lake Charles, La., where I found 
these little voles fairly numerous, living in the peculiar, flat mounds 
that are scattered over the low, damp prairie, and making their run- 
ways through the grass from one to another. Some of the mounds 
were perforated with a dozen or more of the little round holes, from 
each of which a smooth trail led away. A colony of a dozen or less 
of the voles, in some cases all adults, in others both adults and half- 
grown young, was usually occupying a mound. One female taken 
April 8 contained three well-developed embryos, and several others 
taken on the same elate were giving milk. As usual in the females 
of this subgenus (Pedomys) the mamma? were uniformly inguinal f, 
pectoral \. A few winter nests of grass were found on the surface of 
the ground where the standing grass had burned off, but the breeding 
nests apparently were all in the burrows below the surface. 

Fire had recently run over most of the prairie and left the bur- 
rows exposed and the trails sharply defined over the blackened 
ground, but as the animals were caught as readily over the burned 
area as in the standing grass, the burrows are evidently a safe 
retreat in case of fire. 


The stomachs of those caught contained only green vegetation, and 
along the runways grass and various small plants had been cut for 
food. As rice is the principal crop over these low prairies and as the 
ground is flooded while the rice is growing, this little vole is not likely 
to do serious damage. 
Microtus pinetorum auricularis Bailey. Bluegrass Vole. 

Two specimens from Jefferson, in northeastern Texas, prove to be 
nearest to this form of the subgenus Pitymys, although differing 
slightly in the more elongated skull and larger bullae. They were 
caught about a mile south of town at the edge of a swampy run under 
a tangle of old grass and blackberry bushes. Most of their numerous 
runways, nests, and burrows were unused at the time the specimens 
were taken (June 12, 1902), which would indicate that previously the 
occupants had been much more numerous. - There were none of the 
surface ridges which are usually found marking the tunnels of pine- 
torum and allied species, probably owing to the ample cover of vege- 
tation which hid their runways. Neat little grass nests were found 
here and there on the surface of the ground under the leaves along 
the trails, and burrows entered the ground at frequent intervals. A 
few bits of grass and tender plant stems were the only traces of 
food noticed along the runways. 

A flat skin and smashed skull, apparently of this subspecies, sent 
in 1805 to the Department from Baron Springs, near Fredericksburg, 
Tex., by Fritz Grosse, formed the only previous record of the sub- 
genus from Texas, although it ranges over the southeastern United 
States and reappears in Vera Cruz, Mexico. 

Fiber zibethicus (Linn.). Muskrat. 

Nine specimens of the muskrat from Lipscomb and three from 
Canadian fail to show any cranial characters that will separate 
them from typical zibethicus, assuming that New York, Massachu- 
setts, and Minnesota specimens are typical; but size and cranial char- 
acters separate them widely from their near neighbors, ripensis, 
of the Pecos Valley. The pelage of these 12 specimens, which were 
collected June 25 to July 16, is worn, faded, and very pale, while the 
more northern specimens, collected in fall, winter, and spring, are 
comparatively fresh and dark. I have seen, however, equally pale 
summer specimens at Elk River, Minnesota. 

Lipscomb and Canadian are practically at the junction of Upper 
and Lower Sonoran zones, and apparently mark the extreme southern 
limit of range of zibethicus. At Canadian, Howell reports muskrats 
as " numerous at Clear ("reck, living in the fish ponds and irrigation 
ditches, where they cause considerable trouble by tunneling into the 
banks and thus releasing the water." At Lipscomb he says: 

They are found in small numbers in nearly all the small grassy creeks 
throughout this region. I secured two on Cottonwood Creek. 5 miles cast of 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. l2l 

here, and a man who went fishing there a few days later saw three more. lie 
approached near enough to one, which was feeding on the hank, to hit- it 
with his fishing pole, and after it had retreated into a hole in the hank he 
prodded it until it came out and swam away. I set traps at this place later, 
but caught nothing. In a creek known as First Creek, flowing into Wolf 
Creek from the north 15 miles west of Lipscomb, I found the muskrats really 
abundant, the local conditions being peculiarly favorable for them. This 
stream consists of a series of wide and deep holes, with abundance of marsh 
grass growing on their borders, and partially filled with a flowering water 
plant (Batrachium divarication) upon which the muskrats feed. Their trails 
could be seen leading in every direction through this mass of floating vegeta- 
tion, and one could hardly walk a half mile along the creek at any time of 
day without seeing one or more of the rats. Their favorite feeding times are 
about sundown and sunrise, and at these times I sometimes saw eight or ten 
in a short distance. They swim out from the bank into the water plant, 
and rest quietly on the surface while they feed. Several which I shot had 
the flowers of this plant in their mouths. These rats do not build nests, as 
their eastern cousins do, but live entirely in holes in the banks, entering either 
below or just at the surface of the water. When alarmed they dive and take 
refuge in one of these hidden retreats. When I first began to hunt them they 
were much less wary than after several had been killed, and if one were to 
sit quietly on the bank they would feed and move about unconcernedly. I 
secured seven in two evenings' hunting, besides wounding several which got 
away. I failed to catch any in traps, except one. which got away with the trap. 
I was told that they are common for miles up this stream, and, if so, there must 
be hundreds of them. (June 19 to July 10. 1903.) 

Fiber zibethicus ripensis Bailey. Pecos River Muskrat. 

This small, dull-colored muskrat lives apparently in suitable places 
along the whole length of the Pecos River and on some of its tribu- 
taries, and along the Rio Grande near the mouth of the Pecos. In 
1890 I found a few unmistakable muskrat tracks and signs on the 
banks of the Rio Grande near Del Rio, and ten years later again 
found their signs in the Pecos Canyon above the High Bridge. In 
1902 Gary and Hollister collected a series of specimens at Fort Stock- 
ton, where they were common in the rushes along the banks of 
Comanche Creek, and Gaut collected a few higher up on the Pecos at 
Santa Rosa, N. Mex. They are common near Carlsbad (Eddy), 
N. Mex., in the river and irrigation canals, where their burrows enter 
the banks below 7 the surface of the water and are high enough up 
for a dry nest chamber, often at a considerable distance from the 
brink. Grassy or tule-fringed banks are chosen, if possible, with the 
double advantage of cover and a supply of food close at hand. The 
muskrats are largely nocturnal, but usually come out of their bur- 
rows before dark and are sometimes seen swimming at midday. 
They bring up roots and stems of grass, sedges, and various aquatic 
plants, and after eating them on little shelves or niches in the bank, 
leave rejected and scattered parts behind that show the nature of 
the food. At the slightest alarm they dive with a splash and are seen 


]}o more, either coming up at some distant point or hiding under the 
banks or in their nests. 

Tn several places their burrows were found in the banks of the 
large irrigation canals, where no doubt the^ cause some of the myste- 
rious breaks that occur in the ditches. 

Castor canadensis texensis subsp. nov. Texas Beaver. 

Type from Cummings Creek, Colorado County. Tex., No. 135744, U. S. Nat 
Mus., Biological Survey Coll. Original number, 5139, X Catalogue. Made 
over from a mounted specimen purchased of A. Hambold, New Ulm, Tex. 
Caught in Cummings Creek by Florence Brune, Dec. 25, 1900, aud kept 
alive until Jan. 10, 1901. Sex not indicated. Old and large. 

Characters. — Coloration pale, as in frondator, possibly due in part 
to fading. 

Skull. — Sagittal crest short and lateral ridges lyrate or spreading 
even in extreme old age; supraoccipital crest doubly curved, nasals 
long, spatulate, and tapering to narrow 7 point posteriorly. 

Measurements. — Type: Hind foot, measured dry, 174; naked por- 
tion of tail, measured dry, 265 long, 113 wide. 

Skull of type. — Basal length, 136; nasals, 57; breadth of nasals, 
30; zygomatic breadth, 107; interorbital breadth, 29; mastoid breadth, 
67 ; alveolar length of upper molar series, 32. 

Specimens examined. — Type, skin, and skull, and two skulls from 
Cypress Mills, Blanco County, farther up the Colorado River. 

Remarks. — The characters shown by these three specimens are so 
w^ell marked and uniform as to justify describing the subspecies, even 
on so scanty material. Whether the beaver of other streams north 
and south of the Colorado Valley of eastern Texas are the same can be 
settled only by specimens; but I have grouped the scattered notes 
and records for all but the Rio Grande and Pecos valleys of Texas 
under this form. 

Beaver are still found in many of the streams of eastern Texas, 
especially in the larger rivers, where deep water and steep banks 
afford protection against relentless trapping; In 1892, at Arthur, 
in northeastern Texas, I was informed that they were fairly common 
along the Red River and that trappers caught a few each year. In 
L902, at Texarkana, Oberholser was told that a few were still found 
in the Red River, and in 1901, at Mobeetie, was informed that they 
were common in Sweetwater Creek, a branch of the North Fork of 
the Red River. In 1903 Howell reported them as still common in 
the Sweetwater and Gage creeks not far from Mobeetie: also in the 
Wichita and Canadian rivers not far from Canadian. In the Colo- 
rado River a few were reported in 1892, by B. H. Dutcher, about 10 
miles below Colorado City; again, in 1902, they were reported by 
Oberholser as rare near Austin and Elgin, while in 1892 Lloyd found 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 123 

trees girdled by them along the Colorado in Matagorda County. In 
1901 Oberholser saw a skin that was brought into San Angelo, and 
was probably taken near there on the Concho, a branch of the 
Colorado. In 1902 he reported beaver in the Brazos as rare in the 
region of Brenham; in the Trinity River as occurring at Long Lake; 
in the Neches as occurring rarely in the river and bayous in the 
region of Beaumont, and as occurring in sonic of the larger streams 
about Jasper (probably branches of the Neches or Sabine). In 1899, 
at Lake Charles, La., I was told that trappers came down the Sabine 
River every winter, and among other furs brought some beaver. In 
the Big Thicket, in 1901, Dan Griffin told me that beaver were abun- 
dant a few years before in Village Creek, Polk County. In 1900 
Oberholser was told of a colony of beaver 10 or 45 miles northwest 
of Uvalde, which would place them on the headwaters of the Nueces. 
In 1902 Mr. Gething, of Rock Springs, told me of a fine beaver skin 
that he bought the previous winter, which was obtained on the head- 
waters of the Rio Frio. 

Through the kindness of Mr. Attwater, I am able to give the fol- 
lowing interesting notes from his correspondence with Mr. J. F. 
Leyendeker, who writes from Frelsburg, Tex., under date of June 
6, 1904 : 

I have your favor of. the 3d instant and will cheerfully give you all the infor- 
mation at my command in regard to beavers in this section of Texas. I have 
heard of heavers ami seen them in the Colorado River and Cummings Creek, a 
tributary of the Colorado River, which has its source near Giddings. in Lee 
County, and empties into the Colorado River in the big bend about 2 miles 
nearly north of the town of Columbus. It is quite a large stream, with many 
deep-water holes or pools, sometimes over half a mile long and from a few to 
10 or 12 feet deep. 

The first beaver I ever saw was a very large male, weighing over 40 pounds, 
killed by my brother in said creek, in February or March. 1806. But few were 
noticed until after the big overflow of the Colorado River in 1809 and 1870, 
after which they were more numerous, especially where the creek passed 
through Mr. F. A. Rrune's plantation, about 7 miles nearly north of Columbus. 
In this place there was quite a colony of the beavers, in fact so many that 
they did considerable damage to Mr. Brune's growing corn crop by cutting off 
the stalks, and I suppose using the ears as food. About six or seven years ago 
they constructed a dam across the creek, 40 or 50 feet long, in Mr. Brune's 
field, using blood weeds mostly and seme other material for that purpose. 
This dam was perhaps a foot to 15 inches high, and strong and compact, but 
of course the first rise in the creek washed it away. 

Mr. Emil Brune, a son of F. A. Brune, was here yesterday, and, after ques- 
tioning him in regard to beavers, he said that he trapped six or seven, among 
these the one sent to San Antonio in January or February two years ago — he 
did not recollect the exact date. He also stated that while fishing he broke 
through into a beaver cave and there found four young beavers, which he 
carried home, but they soon died. I have been informed that there are still 
some beavers in Cummings Creek, near Mr. Justin Stein's place, a few miles 
nearly west of Frelsburg. It is also said that there are still some beavers in 


the Colorado River, near Mr. William Schulenburg's place, about 4 miles above 
the town of Columbus. 

In 1872, while surveying land 18 miles above Fredericksburg, I found the 
beaver quite abundant in the Perdinales and White Oak creeks, and I have no 
doubt that some may be found there yet. 

Castor canadensis frondator Mearns. Broad-tailecl Beaver. 

Beaver are still found in many places along the Rio Grande, Pecos, 
and Devils rivers. In 1891 Lloyd reported them as common on the 
Mexican side of the Rio Grande 12 miles below Matamoras^and in 
1900 at Brownsville I was told that a good many heaver wer^-xaught 
in the river above there every winter. In 1902 a fine specimen was 
taken by Goldman at Camargo, on the Mexican side of the river, and 
Mr. F. B. Armstrong told Mr. Nelson that the live beaver sent to the 
New York Zoological Gardens were caught in the Lower Rio Grande 
within 8 miles of the mouth. In the summer of 1901 w T e found fresh 
beaver ' sign ' near Boquillas, in the Great Bend, and in the fol- 
lowing winter trappers reported a good many beaver caught in the 
Rio Grande, Pecos, and Devils rivers, but stated that their numbers 
were rapidly decreasing. Still, one of these trappers assured me 
that he expected to make $500 on a trapping trip down the Rio 
Grande from Langtry to Brownsville the next winter, and was count- 
ing on getting $5 for each of his beaver skins. 

In the winter of 1902-3 one trapper was reported to have caught 200 
beaver on the Rio Grande between the Grand Canyon and Del Rio. 

In the summer of 1902 I visited a beaver pond in the Pecos River 
Canyon, where apparently a good-sized family of beavers was living. 
This pond was a natural reservoir in a deep, sheer, Availed side can- 
yon, and was filled from the river in times of flood until it formed a 
deep lake a hundred yards wide and half a mile long, held in at the 
narrow outlet by a dam not over 30 feet long and at the time of my 
visit only 2 or 3 feet high. This pond — or lake, as it is called — with 
steep earth banks on one side, overhung by willow trees, with deep 
holes, big bowlders, and little islands, is an ideal spot for a beaver 
home. The willows furnish the principal food of the beaver, and 
have for ages, as shown by the old stumps and fallen timber along the 
shore, together with the freshly cut trees and gnawed bark and 
branches. The beaver often cut a tree so that it falls into the water, 
leaving the base anchored to the stump, and then at their leisure 
gnaw off the bark and cut the branches. Many trees fall inland, 
however, and in that case are abandoned, or else are well trimmed of 
branches and bark or cut into sections and carried away. The banks 
offer such good retreats that apparently no houses have been built 
around the lake, and at the time of my visit the river was high and 
the top of the dam was 2 feet under water. The photographs taken 

Oct.. 1005.1 MAMMALS. 125 

of the pond and its surroundings showed some of the cut trees, though 
little else of the beaver's work. 

A beaver house near the head of Devils River was built on the bank 
of a deep rock-bottomed pond, where the clear, blue water spread 
out into a quiet little lake full of fish and margined in places with 
lily pads and willows. The house was placed on a rocky bank just 
above deep w T ater and was mainly composed of old beaver cuttings — 
willow stems and branches cut to a convenient length for transporta- 
tion. These were simply piled up in a mound some 8 or 10 feet wide 
and 3 or 4 feet high without mud or other filling, but when I tried 
to open a doorway to the nest I found them interlaced in a snarl 
that was not easily broken through. The house had the appearance 
of a big brush heap or a pile of driftwood on the bank, and might 
have been passed unnoticed save for its position and the gnawed ends 
of the sticks. Apparently it was either new or merely the summer 
house of one old beaver, and consequently was small and not sub- 
stantially built. Its walls were so thin that as my shoes touched the 
rocky ledge at the back I distinctly heard the beaver get up and 
slide out of his nest into the water. As he left the house I caught a 
glimpse of him deep under the water, and for some time followed his 
course of travel by the line of bubbles that came to the surface as he 
swam up and down the lake or came back near the house to watch 
for a chance to return and finish his nap. At no time did he show 
himself at the surface, and the glimpses I had of him were at a depth 
of (> or 8 feet, where he looked like a great fish dashing along with 
the speed of a racing boat. Quietly withdrawing, I returned at sun- 
doAvn to watch for his appearance. Just before reaching the house 
I saw a big head with short stubby ears rise quietly from the water 
near the middle of the lake and lie motionless for a few minutes and 
then move toward the bank a few rods below the house and disappear 
just before reaching it. A moment's stealthy creeping put me in the 
bushes close to the house, where I could watch the water, and after a 
few minutes the beaver again came to the surface with a stick in his 
mouth, apparently a willow 7 root from under the bank. He swam 
leisurely around a big bowlder and then came directly toward me. 
When about a rod from shore his head went down and his round back 
rolled up as he dived to his submarine doorway. A moment later I 
heard him enter the house beside me. For fifteen minutes I could 
hear his big chisel teeth crunch, crunch through the wood and bark 
as he munched his evening meal. AVhen the munching stopped 
there was another stir inside, followed by a gurgling of water from 
below. Then a line of bubbles spread out along the surface of the 
water for several rods from shore, and soon the familiar head rose to 
the surface. After remaining quiet for about a minute the beaver 
started back to the same feeding spot at the bank and again dived at 


the base of the willow tree. For about three minutes he remained 
below, and then came up again with food and started for the return 
trip to the house. As dusk was now deepening and as I fully realized 
the importance of securing a specimen from a river where no beaver 
had ever been collected, I dared not wait longer, but decided to 
shoot him with buckshot, as the light was far too dim for rifle sight-;. 
For fear of injuring his skull I aimed for his neck, which was deeper 
under water than I counted on. At the report a thundering splash 
told that he was not dead. A second later he leaped from the water 
close to my feet and at a single dash crossed a narrow point of land 
at the edge of his house and disappeared in the deep water, followed 
by a line of bubbles that shot up the pond. Such strength, such 
powerful bounds, and racehorse speed I had never dreamed of in the 
clumsy looking beaver. I had emptied my pockets of notebook 
and cash, to be ready to dive for the prize in case he sank, but I 
would as soon have jumped on a grizzly bear in his native gulch as 
this live beaver in the water. A little later a loud slap of his tail on 
the water far up the pond sounded like a " come on," and the old trap- 
pers tell me that this is really a fighting challenge. I waited until 
after dark without further developments, and then picked my way 
over the rocks for the long 2 miles back to camp. In the morning 
the old moon was still shining, and I was at the beaver house before 
day began to break, but there was no beaver either in the house or 
outside. He had moved, and probably had not returned to that part 
of the river since his fright. All that was left for me to do was to 
examine and photograph his house. With a good deal of difficulty 
I forced an opening through the stick wall so that I could put my 
arm in and feel the damp walls of the chamber, the big round hole 
where the water came just to the edge of his bed, and the bed of grass 
and weeds scattered over with peeled branchlets and roots of willow. 
No trace of other food was found. It was evident from the size of 
the house and the nest chamber that this was the bachelor quarters 
of an old beaver. Carefully closing the opening, I left the house as 
nearly as possible as I found it. 

In talking with John Seawel, an old beaver trapper, I asked him 
why it would not pay to protect the beaver in a pond like that above 
the Pecos Bridge and let them multiply. The idea was not new to 
him, for he had talked it over with other trappers and all agreed that 
it was not worth trying, because they considered the heaver naturally 
ferocious, to a great extent solitary, and a slow breeder. Seawel says 
that two old beavers rarely live together in one house or even in one 
small pond; that they light and chase away any newcomers; that if a 
family grows up and is undisturbed in a pond or a deep bend of the 
river, its members keep all others of the species away, and that they 
attack and kill any one of their number that is found in a trap or is 

Oct., 1005.] 


sick or crippled. While he thinks that systematic breeding for fur is 
out of the question, he admits that the beaver should be protected all 
over the country, until the few that remain increase and restock the 
rivers. There are probably more beaver in the Rio Grande and Col- 
orado rivers than in any other southern streams, and it is important 
that Mexico should cooperate with the United States in protection 
of the mammal that has played so important a part in the history of 
the development of the country. 

Liomys texensis Merriam. Spiny Pocket Rat. 

Hcteromi/s alleni Allen, Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist, III, 1891, p. 268 (in part, 
specimens from Brownsville). 

A large series of these little spiny pocket rats has been collected 
in the region about the mouth of the Rio Grande, at Brownsville, 
Matamoras, and Lomita. 

Loring reports them at Brownsville as " common in the timber 
under logs and the roots of trees; " and Lloyd says the}^ are " found 
at Lomita in the densest brush on the ridges forming the old banks 
of the river, and around old corrals." He adds : 

Their habit of throwing out a white clayey mound like the gophers attracts 
attention, and. although the mound may he a month old, by cleaning out a hole 
and putting a trap in it you will in time capture the occupant. The ordinary 
outlets are generally covered up by fallen leaves, which in some instances seem 
to have been placed there by the occupants. They are strictly nocturnal in 
their habits, and feed on the seeds of hackberry. mesquite, and various other 
shrubs. Young and old inhabit the burrows together. 

Geomys breviceps Baird. Louisiana Gopher. 

These little, dark-colored pocket gophers, usually known through- 
out their range as * salamanders,' extend from Louisiana into eastern 
Texas, and, with considerable variation, westward to Navasota, 
Brenham, Milano, Peoria, Decatur, and Gainesville, or a little beyond 
the ninety-seventh meridian, thus inhabiting most of the eastern 
humid area of Texas, to the edge of the semiarid mesquite country, 
where they grade into a larger, paler form. 

Their range is broken and irregular. Across sandy ridges their 
hills abound for miles, and then across miles of occasionally flooded 
bottom lands or wide stretches of black wax-land prairie they are 
entirely wanting. They live impartially in timber and open country, 
and are rarely found on clay or hard soil, but are most abundant on 
the sandiest and mellowest land. At the edge of flood lands they 
burrow mainly in the large flat mounds so characteristic of the region, 
and if not responsible for the construction of a certain class of these 
mounds, at least constantly add to them the earth brought up from 
below. Owing to the small size of these gophers, their scattered 
distribution and choice of poor, sandy soil for their most active 


work, there is comparatively little complaint of their mischief. In 
the heavier, better soil of cultivated fields they are not so common, 
and they throw out fewer and smaller mounds, but in pastures, potato 
fields, gardens, and orchards they sometimes do serious damage, 
besides leaving unsightly mounds over lawns and parks. They are 
easily trapped and there is no excuse for allowing them to injure 
crops or trees. A field once cleaned out will not be repopulated to 
any extent for several years, as the animals rarely travel except by 
extending their underground tunnels. 

Like all species of the genus, they are strictly vegetarian in diet 
and cleanly in habits. Their flesh is sweeter, better flavored, and 
more delicate than that of squirrel or rabbit, and their small size is 
the only objection to their use as a table delicacy. 

Geomys breviceps sagittalis Merriam. White-throated Pocket Gopher. 

This white-throated form of the breviceps group seems to have a 
very local distribution on the coast prairie west of Galveston Bay. 
There are specimens from Clear Creek, Arcadia, and Virginia Point. 
1 failed to find any trace of this gopher on Galveston Island or the 
point east of the bay at Bolivar. Along the Santa Fe Railroad from 
Virginia Point to Houston they are common most of the way over the 
prairie, where low 7 mounds furnish favorite burrowing places. In 
certain localities they are numerous, and there are many complaints 
of the mischief they do, especialty to orchards. 

On the ranch of Mr. Lee Dick, at Virginia Point, they had entirely 
destroyed an orchard of 200 six-year old fig trees in bearing. Most 
of the dead trees had been piled up over the fence, where I examinee 
them and found that all the small roots had been cut off, and in man) 
cases the tap root where it was 2 or 3 inches in diameter. A fe> 
dead trees that were still standing were tipped over and the roots 
found in the same condition — all bearing the unmistakable marl 
of the teeth of the gopher. Five hundred dollars would be a small 
cash value to place on this lot of trees, and probably a dozen gophei 
had done the mischief. Mr. Dick had wasted a good deal of time 
trying to shoot them, but he had given up and said the people might 
as well move out and let the gophers have the country. I set nine 
No. steel traps in this orchard patch, and a few hours later took out 
of them seven gophers. Not more than two or three remained in the 
field. The owner then acknowledged that with half a dozen traps 
a few hours' work might have freed his orchard of gophers, and that 
the loss of his trees was wholly unnecessary. His claim, moreover, 
that other gophers would soon come in from the surrounding prairie 
is true only to a very limited extent, and the immigration could 
entirely prevented by trapping in the immediate vicinity of the field. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 129 

Geomys breviceps attwateri Merriam. Attwater Pocket Gopher. 

This pocket gopher inhabits the islands and coast prairie between 
the month of the Colorado River and Nueces Bay and extends 
inland nearly to San Antonio. It is larger and lighter colored than 
typical breviceps and inhabits a decidedly more arid region. 

Mr. H. P. Attwater has furnished the following interesting notes 
on their habits at Rockport : " 

The animals are very abundant all over the peninsula in Aransas County 
\vherever the soil is sandy. There is hardly a foot of land that has not been 
'plowed' several times over by gophers, and I believe the fertility of some 
sections has been greatly improved by them, by bringing the poorer soil up 
to the top. I have noticed that the richer the land the richer the gophers. 
Of course they do considerable damage to vegetable crops, especially to young 
fruit trees and cuttings just rooting. The samples sent you of mulberry trees 
cut by gophers were from the Faulkners' ranch, on St. Charles peninsula, in 
the eastern part of the county. Mr. Samuel Walker, the manager of the 
ranch, told me that he killed over 2.10 gophers in his young pear orchard 
between the 1st of March and April 15, ISO:;. This orchard was set out where 
sweet potatoes had grown the year before, and they came up again and covered 
the ground, and I think the potatoes attracted the gophers in the first place 
more than the pear trees. 

Geomys breviceps llanensis snbsp. nov. Mesquite Plains Gopher. 

Type from Llano. Tex.. No. 97080, $ ad.. U. S. Nat. Mus.. Biological Survey 
Coll.. May 15, 1899. Vernon Bailey. Original No. 6912. 

General characters. — Similar to breviceps, but larger and lighter 
colored with more arched skull. 

Color.— Upper parts light liver brown, in three of the females 
much darker, with dusky over the back; lower parts creamy or bufl'y 

Skull. — Long and slender, with very narrow braincase and ros- 
trum and small bulla? as in breviceps, but with narrower and arched 
instead of convex interorbital region, nasals not sharply emarginate 
or abruptly constricted posteriorly; occiput sloping instead of 
abruptly truncate. 

Measurements.— Type: Total length, 270; tail, 88; hind foot, 32. 
Adult male topotype : Total length, 270; tail. 82; hind foot, 32. 
Adult female: Total length, 230; tail, 74; hind foot, 30. 

Skull of type.— Basal length, 44.3; zygomatic breadth, 2<).C>; mas- 
toid breadth, 25; interorbital breadth, 0.3; breadth of muzzle at root 
of zygoma, 9; alveolar length of upper molar series, 8.5. 

Remarks. — While closely resembling texensis externally and while 
the ranges of the two almost or quite meet it needs but a cursory 
examination of the skulls to show that this form has no connection 
with that species. It is a large, light-colored plains form of brevi- 

" Merriam. N. Am. Fauna No. 8. p. 130, 1895. 
3873— No. 25—05 m 9 


ceps which follows up the river valleys from eastern Texas and 
becomes differentiated as it enters the open country. Specimens 
from Colorado, Stanton, Brazos. Childress, Vernon. Newlin, Cana- 
dian, Lipscomb, and Tascosa, Tex., are referable to it. Two females 
from Brazos are clearly intermediate between the present form and 
hreviceps. In general contour of skull and especially in slender ros- 
trum it resembles phalax, but in the slender audital bullae and small 
mastoids and consequent narrow base of skull it differs widely from 
that species. 

So far as known at present the range of the form in Texas extends 
mainly along strips of sandy soil in the Llano, Colorado, Brazos, Red. 
and Canadian river valleys, in a region of scattered mesquite bushes, 
but does not reach the Staked Plains and rarely extends over the hard- 
soiled ridges between stream valleys. Gaut caught one gopher two 
miles south of Washburn, but could find no other trace of them in 
the country around there. At Lipscomb Howell says " they are 
plentiful both on the prairie and in the sandy bottoms. Their bur- 
rows are very difficult to open, as they are usually closed for a distance 
of about 18 inches below the surface, at which depth they take a 
horizontal direction." 

Owing to their scattered distribution over a sparsely settled stock 
country, these gophers are at present of little economic importance, 
but as irrigation reclaims the mellow soil of these semiarid bottom 
lands they will constitute one of the problems to be dealt with by 
the farmers. 

Geomys texensis Merriam. Texas Pocket Gopher. 

This little, brown-backed, white-bellied gopher inhabits a few 
spots in central and western Texas. A series of '28 specimens in the 
Merriam collection from Mason, the type locality, indicates its abun- 
dance there, while a single specimen from each of two sandy patches 
along the Rio Grande, at Del Rio and at the mouth of Sycamore 
Creek, suggests a scattered distribution along this part of the Rio 
Grande Valley and a probable former extension of range up the 
Devils River and across to the head of the Llano as far as Mason. 
The country immediately north and south of its range has been 
pretty thoroughly worked without disclosing any species of Geomys. 
We succeeded in catching only Cratogeomys and Thomomys along 
Devils River, so at the present time the Mason and Rio Grande col- 
onies seem to be widely isolated. 

Geomys arenarius Merriam. Desert Pocket Gopher. 

This gopher is common on both sides of the river at El Paso. 
Specimens have been taken at Las Cruces and Deming, X. Mex., and 
in 100-2 Cary caught one that is almost typical arenarius in the sand 
hills near Monahans, Tex., at the east edge of the Pecos Valley. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 131 

This last locality can hardly be considered a part of the general range 
of the species, but probably marks a long isolated colony. 

At El Paso gophers are common on the sandy river bottoms just 
below the town, where they throw up numerous and very large 
mounds of the mellow sand. I have never been able to find one in 
the irrigated orchards and fields, for there the water fills their bur- 
rows and drowns or drives them out. Loring reports them as espe- 
cially abundant in railroad grades and banks of irrigation ditches at 
El Paso, and he caught seven in one day in the railroad grade a few 
miles north of Las Cruces, N. Mex. He says : " When pulled from 
their holes they hissed violently and when two were placed together 
they fought like bulldogs." 

Geomys personatus True. Padre Island Pocket Gopher. 

This large, light-colored pocket gopher inhabits the central and 
northern part of Padre Island, a sandy belt along the mainland in 
Cameron County, and a sandy area near Carrizo, on the Rio Grande. 
Apparently it does not inhabit the lower Rio Grande Valley, as 
Lloyd did not find any trace of it between Carrizo and Brownsville 
nor between Brownsville and Sauz. On a trip from Corpus Christi 
to Brownsville I found its hills abundant across the sandy country 
between Olmos Creek and Sauz Ranch, but entirely wanting in the 
baked clay soil outside of these limits. At Carrizo Lloyd found 
I hem in only one patch of sandy soil, and there is nothing to show 
that they have a continuous range across from this point to Cameron 
County. On the light sandy soil and drifting dunes where these 
gophers abound there are no crops to be injured. 

On Padre Island, Lloyd says : 

Their habits are in some respects peculiar, owing, perhaps, to the soft sand, 
that caves in on them, for they fill up their tunnels after throwing out the 
earth to a distance of 1 and sometimes 2 yards. They can not go very deep in 
the flats or they would reach water ; in fact, the water filled some of the tun- 
nels for about a foot until they curved upward. 

Geomys personatus fallax Merriam. Nueces Pocket Gopher. 

Since this relatively small and dark subspecies of personatus was 
described I have been over its range pretty thoroughly and am con- 
vinced that it is an isolated and very local form, inhabiting the sandy 
strips near the coast between Nueces Bay and the Salt Lagoon at 
the mouth of San Fernando Creek and extending a short distance up 
the south side of the Nueces River. Except for very limited sandy 
strips along the coast and some of the stream shores the country is 
characterized by a tenacious black clay soil so sticky when wet and so 
hard when dry that no burrowing rodents inhabit it. From Corpus 
Christi west to San Fernando Creek we did not see any signs of 
gophers nor any soil that they could live in. Nueces Bay and the 
Nueces River, with its flood bottoms, cut off this range entirely from 


that of attwateri on the north, while the Laguna Madre, Salt Lagoon, 
and streams radiating from them separate as effectually the range 
from that of personatus on the south. Two females from Laredo 
agree more nearly with fallax than with any other form, but probably 
the range of this colony has no connection with that of fallax of the 
Nueces Bay region. 

In the region of Corpus Christi the sandy soil is especially desir- 
able for growing early vegetables, and the presence of the gophers is a 
source of much annoyance and considerable loss to the farmers. 

Geomys lutescens Merriam. Yellow Pocket Gopher. 

Two specimens of barely adult females from near Texline agree 
with lutescens in external characters, but possess cranial characters 
that suggest the possibility of a local subspecies. Howell reported 
numerous burrows in a range of sand hills 15 miles east of Texline, 
where the two specimens were caught, but elsewhere in the region 
none were seen. 

Cratogeomys castanops (Baird). Chestnut-faced Pocket Gopher. 

This, the largest of the Texas pocket gophers, with the single- 
grooved upper incisor, is common in Lower Sonoran zone and the 
edge of Upper Sonoran of western Texas from Eagle Pass, the head- 
waters of Devils River, Fort Lancaster, Big Springs, Hail Center. 
and Tascosa westward. A few are scattered here and there over the 
Staked Plains, but generally they inhabit valleys with fertile and 
mellow soil lower down, becoming very numerous and troublesome 
in some of the cultivated land. Their concentration on the best soil, 
together with the large size of their burrows and mounds, makes them 
one of the most injurious of the gopher family. 

In habits they do not differ materially from the various species of 
Geomys, except in being more alert and possibly more diurnal. Dur- 
ing the day they are often seen at the mouths of their burrows push- 
ing out earth, at which times their comparatively large eyes are 
conspicuous, bright, and alert. They see a person much more quickly 
and at a greater distance than do most species of Geomys or Tkomo- 
mys, and hence move about somewhat more freely at the entrance of the 
burrow. Still no protective measures are neglected, and the burrows 
are always promptly closed and packed witJi earth, sometimes for a 
distance of "2 or 3 feet back from the main tunnel. The mounds of 
these gophers often contain a bushel or more of earth, and when 
located in a meadow or alfalfa field they cover and destroy much of 
the crop, besides interfering with machinery in harvesting. The 
greatest damage caused by the gophers, however, is in cutting off 
roots, especially in such crops as alfalfa and garden vegetables, but 
most of all in the case of fruit trees. In many instances small 
orchards have been almost destroyed by a few gophers that could 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 133 

have been trapped with little trouble. They are so easily caught in 
steel traps that it would hardly pay to poison them except on a large 
ranch, though undoubtedly they could be poisoned in the same way as 
other gophers by dropping raisins, prunes, soaked corn, or small 
potatoes containing strychnine into the burrow and then closing the 
opening from above. On a cattle ranch in the foothills of the Davis 
Mountains I found where a couple of the gophers were working in 
dangerous proximity to the roots of a half dozen flourishing and 
fruit-laden peach trees growing near the windmill reservoir, while 
in the 3-acre patch of alfalfa just below, the hills of the animals were 
numerous. Under a neighboring cliff where a pair of horned owls 
had raised their young the same year I counted 20 skulls of Crato- 
geomys among bones of other rodents, but for fear these owls would 
catch the chickens one had been killed by the ranchmen and the 
others driven away. 

Thomomys fulvus (Woodhouse). Fulvous Pocket Gopher. 

The pocket gophers from the Transition zone summit of the 
Guadalupe Mountains, while differing slightly from typical fidvus, 
do not seem to require separation from that wide ranging species. 
They are abundant over the timbered slopes of these mountains in 
Transition zone and often in places where the yellow pines are mixed 
with nut pines and junipers. They were common in the head of 
Dog Canyon, at 7,000 feet, the head of McKittrick Canyon, at 8,000 
feet, and on top of the ridges, from 7,000 to 9,000 feet, and probably to 
the highest peaks, at 9,500 feet. There, as elsewhere, they inhabit 
partly forested slopes covered with abundant vegetation. They 
make endless tunnels and throw up numerous hills, often working 
among the rocks and constantly bringing to the surface the rich, 
mellow soil. In walking over the mountain slopes one's feet break 
into the burrows that honeycomb the soil beneath. The long, rope- 
like ridges of dry earth on the surface of the ground show where 
the gophers have worked in winter under the snow and filled snow 
tunnels with the earth brought up from below. 

In mountain districts the gophers can do no possible harm, and 
besides their beneficial effect on the soil their underground tunnels 
catch and carry into the ground much of the water that would other- 
wise run off the surface and be lost. 

Thomomys fulvus texensis Bailey. Davis Mountain Pocket Gopher. 

This little, dark-brown gopher inhabits the timbered part of the 
Davis Mountains in Transition zone and in at least the upper edge 
of Upper Sonoran, ranging from about 5,000 feet up through the 
juniper and yellow-pine belts to the highest part of the mountains. 
The highest point where their mounds were seen was on the main 


ridge of Mount Livermore, at about 8,200 feet. In the gulches they 
come down nearly to Fort Davis. In habits as well as general ap- 
pearance and zonal position they are much like fulvus, living in a 
region of abundant vegetation and considerable rainfall and burrow- 
ing in the rich mold on stony mountain slopes or in open grassy parks. 
For a part of each year they live under the snow. The sides of the 
mountains are plowed over by them, and the mellow earth that is 
brought up from between the stones is washed down by the rains and 
deposited in the gulches below, where other gophers, with their end- 
less underground tunnels, are mixing and stirring the soil and 
steadily improving it for cultivation. The service to man thus per- 
formed by these little animals is not to be lightly estimated. 

In this region of extensive stock ranges and very limited agri- 
culture the gopher will never prove a serious pest. The few that get 
into gardens and orchards are easily caught in traps, while those 
outside go on cultivating the soil without harming anything. With 
the larger Cratogeomys of the lower country, before mentioned, the 
case is different. 

Thomomys baileyi Merriam. Sierra Blanca Pocket Gopher. 

This unique little gopher is known only from the specimens col- 
lected at Sierra Blanca on the open arid plain at the junction of 
Upper and Lower Sonoran zones. It is probably an Upper Sonoran 
species of the open country, as no trace of any Thomomys has been 
found in the big valley to the south and east, while its hills are com- 
mon over the mesas and low mountains northeast of Sierra Blanca 
and north of Van Horn. Its characters do not suggest relationship 
with its nearest neighbor lachuguilla from the Lower Sonoran. Rio 
Grande Valley, or with any other of the surrounding species. It 
probably represents a long-isolated colony of very limited distri- 

Thomomys aureus lachuguilla Bailey. Lachuguilla Gopher. 

This little gopher inhabits the hottest and most arid part of west- 
ern Texas. It lives on the barren mesas along the east side of the Rio 
Grande Valley, from El Paso to the Great Bend country, where the 
principal vegetation consists of scattered desert shrubs, cactus, yuccas. 
and agaves. Its little mounds are distributed over the baked and 
stony mesas, sometimes in long lines across barren strips, but usually 
grouped around the base of a bunch of cactus or a group of yuccas or 
agaves, the roots of which furnish it with both food and drink. The 
roots, stems, and leaves of apparently every plant encountered are 
eaten, but the favorite and principal food of the species is the tender, 
starchy caudex of the little Agave lecheguilla, a plant protected by 
sharp hooks and rigid spines from every outside attack, but wholly 
unprotected from below. The gophers burrow under and eat out the 

Oct., 1905.] 


whole pineapple-like heart of the stem until the leaves and flower 
stalk dry up and topple over, while they burrow along to the next 
plant in their way, often leaving a long trail of dead agaves to mark 
their course. As the agave is extremely abundant and generally is 
considered a nuisance, the gophers are given credit for good work 
in destroying it, but if its fiber proves of value, as seems probable, 
the verdict in favor of the gopher must be reversed. 

Thomomys perditus Merriam. Little Gray Pocket Gopher. 

These little gray gophers are scattered sparingly over the high, 
stony mesa from Comstock to the Pecos High Bridge and Langtry, 
and still more sparingly to the head of Devils River. Farther east 
they do not seem to have a continuous range, but their hills were seen 
at points east and west of Roek Springs, and a specimen was taken 
on the high plain 35 miles east of Rock Springs, and another in the 
Castle Mountains in Crockett County. 

The animals are not only scarce, but difficult to catch, as they live 
in scanty, stony soil where their little mounds are often mainly com- 
posed of stones instead of earth, while their tunnels become blocked 
by stones and are soon abandoned. Sometimes the doorways are 
left open apparently for lack of soil to close them, or because the 
gopher has abandoned the burrow in the hope of finding more favor- 
able conditions elsewhere ; sometimes they are merely blocked by two 
or three stones, but usually they are closed to a slight depth. The 
burrows do not extend far and the hills thrown up are few T and small. 
Sometimes the old ones are almost obliterated before a fresh one is 
thrown up, and I have caught the gophers where the nearest hill 
appeared to be a month old. 

Most of the food of the gopher is procured under ground from vari- 
ous roots, largely of yucca and sotol, or from the inside fleshy parts 
of cactus, Cereus, Echinocactus, and Cactus, which they burrow into 
and eat out from below. The roots and starchy base of a yucca or 
sotol will furnish food for an individual apparently for a week or 

Perognathus hispidus Baird. Hispid Pocket Mouse. 

This big pocket mouse is common in the more or less brushy part 
of the Lower Sonoran zone over southern Texas and the adjoin- 
ing part of Mexico. In Texas it ranges from Brownsville north 
to O'Connorport, Cuero, Seguin, Llano, and probably, judging by 
immature specimens, to Brazos and Henrietta on the east, and to Del 
Rio on the west. It is less partial to open ground than most species 
of the genus, and is often caught in brushy or grassy places among 
the mesquite, at the edge of a thicket, along the fence at the edge of a 
field, on a weedy sand flat, or even in the midst of a corn or cotton 



[No. 25. 

Some of the burrows suggest inch auger holes bored straight down 
into the ground, with no trace of earth that has been brought out; 
others are closed flush with the surface of the ground so as to be almost 
invisible, while others are closed 2 or ?> inches below the surface. At 
almost every den, however, there is a mound of earth that has been 
brought out of the burrows and heaped up, sometimes to the size of a 
gopher or mole hill, over the closed main entrance. This fact prob- 
ably accounts for the absence of earth at other burrows that have 
been opened out from the main tunnel. 

Fig. 19. — Pockel mi( 

ognathus hispidus) caught in traps at Seguin, Texas. 

At Seguin, in Guadalupe County, in November, 1004, I found these 
big pocket mice unusually abundant. Their characteristic inch auger 
holes and gopher-like mounds were found mainly along the edges of 
sandy fields, but also frequently in the middle of corn and cotton 
fields that had been thoroughly cultivated. Some of the mounds 
were 6 inches high and contained 6 or 8 quarts of earth, and were 
distinguished from gopher hills only by being solitary instead of in 
a series. By opening the burrow under these mounds I could catch 
the occupant at any time of day, but most of my specimens were 
caught at night in traps set at the open doorways or in artificial run- 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 137 

ways scraped with my foot along the ground near by. Sorghum 
seed proved the most attractive of the several kinds of bait tried. 

Mr. Neel, the market gardener with whom I stayed, complained of 
great trouble in raising cantaloupes and green peas, because some- 
thing dug up the seeds as fast as he could plant them. In the midst 
of his cantaloupe patch, where only four or five plants had survived, 
I found traces of these mice and caught two of the animals. A few 
others lived around the edge of the field, but a few nights' trapping 
would have cleared them all out and no doubt would have prevented 
further trouble. 

Like others of the genus, these mice are mainly nocturnal and are 
rarely seen alive. The little that is known of their habits has been 
gathered by trapping them for specimens. At times they are read- 
ily caught in traps baited with rolled oats or various grains, and 
again they obstinately refuse to touch any kind of bait or to come 
near the traps. When caught they often have their cheek pockets 
stuffed full of the trap bait or of wild seeds. 

They are active all winter and apparently never become very fat 
or show signs of hibernating. 

Perognathus hispidus paradoxus Merriam. Kansas Pocket Mouse. 

This large, pale subspecies of the Perognathus ]iixj>i<lus group 
ranges over the open plains and desert country from South Dakota 
to Arizona, including northern and western Texas, south to Presidio 
County and Comstock and east to Rock Springs, Colorado, Mobeetie, 
and Lipscomb, mainly in Upper Sonoran zone. From the smaller 
and darker-colored hispidus on the south and from spilotiix on the east 
the shading off is so gradual that no sharp line can be drawn between 
the ranges. Immature specimens from Brazos, Henrietta, and Tebo 
can not be positively referred to one rather than another of the three 
forms, and the Lipscomb specimens shade toward spilotus. 

The habits of paradoxus do not differ from those of other forms of 
the group except as they have been modified to meet the conditions 
of plains and desert. In the Guadalupe Mountains I caught one in 
the head of Dog Canyon at 6,800 feet altitude, just below the edge 
of Transition zone, and at Amarillo, on the top of the Staked Plains, 
I caught one and found part of the skin of another at the entrance 
of a burrowing owl's nest in a prairie dog hole. The subspecies is 
common in the Pecos Valley, but apparently does not occur along the 
Rio Grande. Loring took one at Henrietta by the stone foundation 
of a bridge, and Oberholser another under a mesquite tree. At 
Mobeetie Oberholser caught one in the stone foundation of an old 
house. At Brazos Cary caught one in a cane field and another with 
corn in its pockets in a field of Johnson grass. One taken in January 
in Presidio County had its pockets full of Convolvulus seeds, and 


another at Smithville, S. Dak., in June had its pockets full of 
Cymopterus seeds. In the Castle Mountains Gary took one from the 
stomach of a rattlesnake, and near Texline Howell also found one in 
one of these snakes. 

Perognathus hispidus spilotus Merriam. Black-eared Pocket Mouse. 

A specimen collected by Hollister at Jefferson not only extends 
the range of this group of pocket mice eastward almost across the 
State, but exhibits in an accentuated degree the characters of spilotus, 
described from Gainesville specimens. This record, with a few 
others, gives an extensive and logical range to what seems to be a 
fairly well-marked subspecies, which differs from typical hispidus in 
slightly darker and richer coloration, with more of a tendency to 
suffusion of yellow over the belly and along the top of the foot 
and the under surface of the tail, in larger and blacker spot on upper 
edge of ear, and in the extension of the nasals back to or beyond the 
posterior tips of premaxillse. Besides the Gainesville and Jefferson 
specimens, I should refer to the subspecies a richly colored flat skin 
from Long Point in the National Museum collection, a good skull 
from Saginaw, a few specimens from Ponca and Orlando, Okla., 
Red Fork, Ind. T., and an immature specimen from Garden Plain, 

At Gainesville I caught two specimens on the edge of a pasture 
in rather tall prairie grass, but they, as well as all other rodents, 
were scarce on the black, hard soil of that region. At Jefferson 
they were fairly common, and Mr. Richard Grain told me that he 
often plowed them out, and that his cat frequently brought them 
to the house. I found a number of their characteristic burrows with 
fresh tracks around them, but could not coax the animals into my 
traps with any kind of bait. Hollister caught one in a trap set in a 
path running between a cotton field and the woods, but at Antioch 
he could not catch them, although the farmers there described the 
species accurately and said that at times they were common. One 
of the Gainesville specimens had seeds of a little Mimosa in its pock- 
ets, and another at Ponca had its pockets full of Petalostemon seeds. 

Perognathus penicillatus eremicus Mearns. Desert Brush-tailed 

Pocket Mouse. 

This desert pocket mouse inhabits the Lower Sonoran zone of 
extreme western Texas, ranging from El Paso east to Monahans. 
south to Boquillas, and westward into Mexico. There are Texas 
specimens from El Paso. Boquillas, east base of Chisos Mountains. :'.."> 
miles south of Marathon, Toyahvale, Pecos City, and Monahans. 

At El Paso, in 1889, I caught this soft-haired species in the sandy 
bottoms below town and supposed that it had a different range from ' 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 139 

the spiny-rumped intermedins caught at the same time in the rocks 
above town; but later Doctor Fisher caught one on the gravelly mesa 
near El Paso. Carv caught one among the niesquites at Pecos City, 
.and a number among the mesquites on a hard, limy ridge at Mona- 
hans. In the Boquillas and Great Bend region Oberholser and I 
found the species associated with nelson'/ on sandy bottoms and among 
rocks of the cliffs bordering the Rio Grande, and around old stone 
cabins. While they are evidently partial to valley bottoms, the one 
essential for their burrows is a bit of mellow soil which may be found 
among broken bowlders or between thin strata of limestone, as well 
as on the sandy flats, or in the soft mesa soil that collects around the 
base of desert bushes. The little mounds that usually cover the 
entrances of their closed burrows are easily distinguishable from the 
work of any other species of the region except intermedins or nelson i. 
They are often elongated or fan shaped, and stretch away to a distance 
of a foot or so from the point where the earth was brought up. as if 
pushed or kicked out, much like the mound or strip of dirt thrown 
out in front of the burrows of the smaller species of Dipodomys. The 
entrance of the burrow is usually but lightly closed and can be easily 
broken into with the finger. By breaking the crust above it the' bur- 
row may be followed for a considerable distance where it runs near 
the surface. As usual with pocket mice and kangaroo rats, there are 
several openings and radiating tunnels from the central cavities of 
the subterranean den, and while part of these are closed, there are 
generally concealed openings or some means of ready escape. 

These mice, like the whole family, are mainly nocturnal, but can 
be caught in the daytime by opening a closed burrow and setting a 
trap inside, sometimes in a very short time after placing the trap. 
Usually they take rolled oats readily, and are easily caught in traps 
set around their burrows or in long furrows drawn in the sand, which 
they almost invariably follow till a trap is reached. When caught 
their cheek pockets are often full of rolled oats from the trap bait, or 
partly filled with seeds of various plants. 

Perognathus intermedins Merriam. Intermediate Pocket Mouse. 

A large series of specimens from the El Paso region are almost typi- 
cal intermedins. From eremicus, with which these pocket mice are as- 
sociated, they are easily distinguished by the spinescent hairs of the 
rump and apparently by a difference of habitat. At El Paso, in 1881), 
I caught them only in the rocks in the foothills of the Franklin 
Mountains, and eremicus only on the sandy flats below town. In 
1903 Gaut collected them in the eastern foothills of the Franklin 
Mountains up to 4,800 feet, and reported them as living around the 
rock slides and cliffs. While in other localities ere/// /ens also has 
been taken among rocks, intermedins throughout its range is closely 


associated with cliffs, canyons, rocky gulches, stone walls, or the edges 
of bowlders. 

Perognathus nelsoni Merriam. Nelson Pocket Mouse. 

Specimens of this dark-colored form of brush-tailed pocket mouse 
from Boquillas, east base of Chisos Mountains, Alpine, and east base 
of Davis Mountains, carry the range of nelsoni from Mexico weli 
into western Texas, where it overlaps the range of the superficially 
similar but quite distinct eremicus. At Boquillas and the east base 
of the Chisos Mountains, Oberholser and I caught the two species 
together along the cliffs, on sandy flats, and about old stone cabins. 
While the freshly caught animals were readily distinguished by the 
spinescent rump and dusky soles of nelsoni, no constant difference was 
found in habits or habitat of the two species. Near Alpine Lloyd 
caught one specimen at the base of a cliff; and at the east base of the 
Davis Mountains, at approximately 5,000 feet, Cary caught one 
under a pile of rocks. 

Perognathus nelsoni canescens Merriam. Gray Brush-tailed Pocket 


The gray pocket mouse is represented from Texas by 5 specimens 
from Comstock, 4 from Langtry, and 1 from Sheffield. Except for 
the- slightly larger and more angular interparietal, they seem to be 
typical canescens, which was previously known only from the type 
locality, Jaral, Coahuila ? Mexico. 

Hollister caught one among the rocks in a small canyon near Com- 
stock, several others along the edge of the Rio Grande Canyon a few 
miles south of there, and still another on a steep rocky slope near 
Sheffield; Gaut caught four in the vicinity of Langtry in small caves 
among the rocks of the river canyons. 

Nothing is known of the habits of this pocket mouse save what can 
be gathered from the character of its habitat, an extremely hot and 
barren region with light-colored soil and gray limestone cliffs. 

Perognathus flavus Baird. Baird Pocket Mouse. 

In Texas the Baird pocket mouse is common at El Paso, Sierra 
Blanca, Valentine, Alpine; and probably in the Pecos Valley, and in 
the northwest corner of the Panhandle, since it occurs just beyond the 
Texas line at Carlsbad (Eddy), N. Mex., and at Beaver River, Okla. 

At El Paso these little yellow pocket mice were common in Decem- 
ber, 1889, along the edges of the sandy valley bottom 2 miles below 
town, where little sand drifts were heaped up around the base of 
Atriplex and Suaeda bushes. Their burrows were usually in groups 
of three or four, under the edges of the bushes. The occupied ones 
were closed, and were discovered only by following the lines of tiny 
footprints across the bare patches of sand from bush to bush till 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 141 

they disappeared at little mounds of fresh earth that served as doors 
and blinds to the underground houses. By scraping away the earth 
a burrow big enough to admit my little finger was disclosed under 
each tiny mound. Traps baited with rolled oats set near the bur- 
rows and along the lines of tracks soon yielded a series of 8 speci- 
mens in the rich satiny winter coats — the daintiest, most exquisite 
of the rodents commonly classed as ' mice. 1 On chilly nights they 
did not move about much, but on mornings following a warm night 
their lines of tracks were abundant, and radiated from the burrows 
to the nearest patches of wild sunflower and pigweed, whose seeds 
seemed to furnish their favorite food. One specimen caught Decem- 
ber 15 was apparently nursing young, or lately had been, as the teats 
contained milk. 

At Valentine in August, 1002, I turned over a flat stone in the 
hotel yard and caught one of these little pocket mice as he jumped out 
of his burrow, and at Sierra Blanca in December, 1880, caught one 
at a hole in the mellow soil of the railroad bank. At Alpine Gaut 
caught one in an old gopher mound about 3 miles east of town. 

Perognathus merriami Allen. Merriam Pocket Mouse. 

This little dusky and yellow pocket mouse ranges over southern 
Texas from Padre Island and Brownsville north to Devils River, 
Austin, Mason, and southward into Mexico. Specimens from Devils 
River and Comstock are fairly intermediate between merriami and 
gilvus, as apparently are two specimens from AVashburn, which would 
indicate that merriami ranges well up along the east side of the 
Staked Plains. 

The species is common on sandy or mellow soil, more often among 
weeds and brush than in the open. Their little mounds of earth 
thrown out on two or three sides of a cactus, bunch of bushes, or 
flat rock mark the main entrances to their dens. These doorways 
are always closed during the day if the den is occupied, and when 
opened from without are usually promptly closed again from within. 
A careful search near the mounds will generally disclose several little 
round holes standing open, with no trace of earth thrown out, but 
with the openings often concealed under bushes or leaves. If you dig 
into the main burrow or stamp on the ground, a Perognathus will 
often dart Out of one of these openings, or more often break through 
a thin crust of earth that covered a concealed exit and after a leap 
or two will sit trembling and blinking in the dazzling light of day. 
It is then so easily caught in the hands that many of our specimens 
are secured in this way. Most of these are young of the year, how- 
ever, as apparently the adults are not so readily driven from their 
dens. When caught they do not offer to bite, but sometimes utter 
a fine squeak, and if held gently for a while soon cease struggling 


and seem to lose all fear. The light evidently hurts their eyes, and 
after blinking for a while they soon elose them if held quietly in 
the hands or placed in an undisturbed position on the ground. While 
often abundant, these little mice are not easily caught in traps, and 
usually seem indifferent to any bait we use, frequently pushing the 
traps out of the way or turning them over when set near their bur- 
rows or in places where they run. Sometimes they can be caught In- 
placing the trap where they have to step in it in going out of or 
into their burrows. Near Kerrville a number were caught in this 
way, while only one out of five had filled his pockets with the rolled 
oats used for trap bait. A couple were caught in traps baited with 
juniper berries, which seemed to be a favorite food. In a number 
of burrows I found juniper seeds or the empty shells from which the 
kernel had been eaten out through a little hole in one end. In some 
cases these berries must have been brought from a distance of 10 or 
20 rods. In one den under a flat rock, Avhere three tunnels, a foot to 
a foot and a half long, met in a nest chamber the size of my fist, 
there was a handful of fresh juniper seeds carefully cleaned of the 
outer pull). As this was in May, and the occupant of the burrow 
was not a full-grown animal, this store was probably laid up for 
a rainy day rather than for a winter supply. At another burrow a 
lot of old moldy corn and bits of rubbish mixed with fresh earth 
were brought out, a little each night, as if in a general house clean- 
ing, indicating that various seeds and grains are stored up in times of 
abundance. As the mice do not hibernate and as seeds of one kind or 
another are usually abundant, there is no need of laying up large 
stores of food. 
Perognathus merriami gilvus Osgood. Dutcher Pocket Mouse. 

The Dutcher pocket mouse inhabits the Pecos Valley from Carls- 
bad (Eddy), N. Mex., south to Langtry and the Painted Caves, east- 
ward to Big Springs, and 20 miles east of Rock Springs, and west- 
ward to Van Horn and Presidio County; in other words its range 
coincides approximately with that of the creosote bush 'in all but the 
western corner of the extremely arid Lower Sonoran zone of western 
Texas. It overlaps the range of f<irus, occurring with it at Carlsbad, 
and apparently overlaps also the range of copei in the country north 
of Monahans, from both of which it is quite distinct and easily dis- 
tinguished. From merriami, of which it is a larger, lighter yellow 
subspecies, it shades off along the southern {h]<j^o of the open and ex- 
tremely arid region. Specimens from near Pock Springs, along 
Devils River, and near the mouth of the Pecos are more or less inter- 
mediate between the two forms. 

In habits these pocket mice do not differ from merriami except in 
so far as they have become adapted to a more open and arid region. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 143 

At Langtry Oberholser found them common on the stony mesa, and 
at Fort Lancaster in the chaparral of the bottom of the Pecos Valley. 
At Monahans, Cary reported them as abundant in September 
throughout the sand dunes and as feeding extensively on the seeds 
of a low, shrubby Baccharis. In the dry and barren valley 6 miles 
south of Marathon I caught them in the baked soil among the 
scattered mesquite bushes and cactus, and 10 miles farther south 
found them fairly common in the still more arid and stony valley 
of Maravillas Creek. Their characteristic little burrows were found 
around the edges of stones, under bushes and cactus, and occasionally 
in open spots of bare ground, but the occupants refused to enter my 
traps or touch any bait. A few were dug out of their burrows and 
caught in our hands, and from these Mr. Fuertes was able to make 
some extremely lifelike studies. When first caught the little fellows 
were greatly frightened and struggled to escape, but never offered to 
use their teeth. After being held gently for a few minutes they 
seemed to forget their fear and would sit quietly on the open hand 
for a minute at a time, blinking sleepily in the unfamiliar glare of 
daylight. At a sudden motion they would bound away in long leaps, 
but soon stop, under a weed or bush. While sitting motionless with 
panting sides they could be easily recaptured by approaching 
cautiously and covering them quickly with the open hand. 

Perognathus flavescens copei Rhoads. Cope Pocket Mouse. 

Three specimens taken by Gaut in July, 1904, at Mobeetie, the 
type locality of copei, possess characters which enable this form to 
be recognized as a bright-colored subspecies of flavescens. Two 
others taken by Cary in the sand hills 20 miles north of Monahans 
show slightly accentuated characters and, so far as known, mark the 
limit of its southern range. They suggest also that its range near 
the southeastern corner of New Mexico probably overlaps that of 
both gilvus and far us. 

The 3 Mobeetie specimens, 1 adult female and 2 young of the 
year, were caught at a den on the edge of a millet field in traps set 
by the closed entrances of two burrows on opposite sides of a sun- 
baked furrow. The millet in the field was about ready for harvest- 
ing and each of the animals had millet seed in its cheek pouches. 
A long line of traps yielded no more specimens, and as no other 
traces of the animal were found it is evident that the species is very 
scarce in this locality. The failure of several other collectors to 
procure topotypes of the species is a further compliment to the 
prowess of the rattlesnake from the stomach of which the type was 
taken by Professor Cope. (Cf. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila.. 1893, 


Perodipus ordi ( Woodhouse) . Ord Kangaroo Rat. 

This little five-toed kangaroo rat is common in the Rio Grande 
Valley at El Paso and Fort Hancock, and a few specimens have 
been taken in a tributary valley of the Rio Grande at points 6 to 20 
miles south of Marathon. A specimen from Kent, one from Toyah- 
vale, and an imperfect one from Pecos seem to be almost typical 
ordi, while the larger, brighter-colored richardsoni is almost typical 
at Monahans, only 2>7 miles east of Pecos. The specimens at hand 
do not clearly prove intergradation in this region and the two forms 
have well-defined ranges which conform closely to Upper and Lower 
Sonoran zone limits. 

Perodipus ordi is one of the few Lower Sonoran species of this 
mainly Upper Sonoran genus. In the extremely hot and arid val- 
leys of western Texas it ranges over much of the same ground as 
Dipodomys ambiguus, which it closely resembles in habits as well as 
appearance. At El Paso I caught specimens on the sandy flats 
below the town under brush and cactus on the same ground and even 
at the same holes with Dipodomys ambiguus. At Deming, N. Mex., 
they were common in the sandy strips along the dry valley of the 
Rio Mimbres, where, in patches of scattered brush and weeds, they 
were feeding on seeds of wild sunflowers, Parosela, and other wild 
beans. Of ten adult females caught November 29 to December 6, 
four were giving milk. At the same time numbers of nearly full- 
grown young were caught, which would indicate either that tw T o 
litters of young are raised in a season or that the breeding season is 
very irregular. 

Perodipus montanus richardsoni (Allen). Richardson Kangaroo Rat. 

This largest and brightest colored of the four species of five-toed 
kangaroo rats inhabiting Texas comes into the State from the Upper 
Sonoran plains to the north, but instead of keeping to the hard- 
soiled, Upper Sonoran part of the Staked Plains it completely encir- 
cles them. It lives in the sandy stream valleys in the upper edge of 
the Lower Sonoran /one, but nowhere extends far enough down to be 
out of reach of Upper Sonoran plants. There are specimens in the 
Biological Survey collection from Texline, Lipscomb, Tascosa, Cana- 
dian, Mobeetie, Newlin, Vernon, Colorado, Stanton, and Monahans in 
Texas, and from Carlsbad, Roswell, Fort Sumner, and Santa Rosa, 
in the Pecos Valley, New Mexico. At Carlsbad and Monahans it 
meets the range of and occupies the same ground with Dipodomys 

Throughout its range this species shows a marked partiality for 
sand, and from Nebraska to Texas fairly revels in the mellow soil of 
the yellow, shifting, naked drifts and dunes that the wind piles up 
along the edges of most of the river valleys. It digs an apparently 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 145 

unnecessary number of burrows, which it abandons to other less ener- 
getic rodents or uses only as convenienl resorts in case of sudden 
danger. It scampers over the smooth surface with the apparent 
enjoyment of rabbits on a crusted snow or boys on a skating pond, 
and paired tracks of the long hind feet are found in the morning in 
zigzag: lines over the drifts, sometimes registering hops of a few 
inches, again flying leaps of 4 to (> feet, only to be wiped out each 
dav by the drifting sand and re-registered each night in varying form. 
Through the weeds and grass of a sandy prairie or the standing grain 
or scattered stubble of a wheat field the kangaroo rats make little 
roads, either from burrow to burrow or radiating from burrows to the 
feeding grounds, and always keep a clear track for retreat to doors 
that usually are left wide open day and night. Many of the burrows 
are single, but generally the home den has several openings, with 
trails leading away from each. For the size of the animal the bur- 
rows are large, and in a mound or slope they go back horizontally, 
so that in case of a hard rain the water runs out of instead of into 
them. Even on level ground the holes enter as nearly horizontally 
as possible, and sometimes run along for 10 or 15 feet without going 
down a foot below the surface. If no sand bank offers the proper 
angle, the burrow is usually placed under a bunch of cactus, a clump 
of mesquite bushes, or under some shrub that affords protection as 
well as a slight eminence to burrow into. 

The food of this, as of other species of the genus, is almost entirely 
seeds, including those of many grasses, various native plants, and 
any of the small grains. These seeds are neatly shelled out and eaten 
on the spot or carried in the ample cheek pouches to the dens to be 
eaten at leisure. No matter how small the seed the shell is always 
removed, and the contents of the very small stomach of the little 
animal are always clean and free from indigestible particles. Often 
the bottom of the burrow is covered with the shells of seeds, but 
in the several dens examined I never found stores of seeds or grain. 
Occasionally a little ripe grain is eaten, and a small amount of seed 
wheat or other grain is dug up; but unless the animals become far 
more numerous than usual the loss from their depredations is too 
insignificant for serious consideration. 

Perodipus sennetti (Allen). Sennett Kangaroo Rat. 

The type of Perodipus sennetti was labeled "near" Brownsville," 
Cameron County, Tex., but the efforts of several collectors to pro- 
cure topotypes have not resulted in specimens from nearer than 
the Rio Coloral, 35 miles north of Brownsville. In reply to a letter 
asking just where he collected the type of Perodipus sennetti, Mr. 
Pnour writes under date of February 22, 1903, that it was taken at 

3873— No. 25—05 m 10 


Santa Rosa stage station, 85 miles southwest of Corpus Christi. This 
is on the Alice and Brownsville stage road, near the northwest corner 
of Cameron County, 115 miles from Brownsville. From this point 
north to Santa Rosa, across 60 miles of mainly sandy prairie, the 
species is abundant, and a series of specimens from Sauz Ranch and 
Santa Rosa shows no variation in characters. A specimen recorded 
by Mr. Oldfield Thomas " from San Diego is shown by the skull 
measurements to be of this species, but whether collected by Mr. 
Taylor at San Diego or from the sandy country farther south is not 
stated. Oberholser found no trace of any kangaroo rat at San Diego. 
Mr. H. P. Attwater collected 5 specimens 18 miles south of San 
Antonio. Through the kindness of Dr. J. A. Allen 1 have examined 
two of these specimens, now in the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, and agree with him that they are typical sennetti. Mr. Att- 
water reported a female taken August 23, containing " two small 
embryos," and says: "These beautiful little animals appear to be 
quite common in the sandy black-oak region south of the Medina 
River in Bexar County. Their burrows seem to be most numerous 
in the poorest, sandy soil." h 

Along the Alice and Brownsville stage road the burrows of the 
Sennett kangaroo rat are common in the yellow sand, sometimes re- 
maining open during the day and sometimes being securely closed 
with earth. William Lloyd, who camped in this region, says: 

In the deep sand around tbe stage stations they soon learn what corn and 
oats are and become great robbers. They seem to enjoy the moonlight nights. 
skipping about, and on several occasions coming close up to my bed. A motion 
and they are ton stops away, crouched against the sand; then, if not noticed, 
they rise and continue their rambles. A lighted lantern seems to puzzle them, 
and leaving one on the ground to attract them I have caught two of the animals 
in my hands. At Santa Rosa, while out with the lantern, I saw one starting 
a burrow. It tried two or three places, presumably to find one sufficiently soft, 
and at last, apparently suited, pushed its nose in, and drawing its hind feet up 
close to its jaws, scratched vigorously and soon had made a good beginning to 
a burrow, when 1 caught it in my hands. 

Perodipus compactus (True)- Padre Island Kangaroo Rat. 

While closely resembling sennetti in cranial character-, compactu*, 
even in its darkest color phase, differs from all the mainland tonus 
of Texas in its light coloration, white-margined ears, usually white 
soles of feet, and mainly white under surface of tail. In the light 
phase it is unique in having the upper parts a pale ashy gray. In a 
series of 23 specimens there are ( .) of the dark phase and 11 of the 
light, caught on the same ground by 'William Lloyd, who said that 

" Proc. Zool. Soc. London. 1888. p 446. 

*> Allen, Mammals of Bexar County. Tex.. Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., VIII, 57, 


OCT.,1905.] MAMMALS. 147 

while he found no difference in their habits he could tell them apart 
even by moonlight. 

These kangaroo rats are probably common over the whole length 
of the 100-mile sand reef known as Padre Island, as Lloyd found 
them at both the north and south ends. He reported them as some- 
times found in the level soil, but usually living in the sand dunes and 
always on the side away from the prevailing wind. He says: 

At the north end of the island, where most abundant, they close their 
burrows before daylight, throwing out several quarts of sand in a little mound 
like a small gopher hill and opening them again after dark. Their object in 
thus closing their doors is not very evident, as snakes and crabs are too few to 
bother them. I believe it must he to keep out the black carrion beetles that 
occupy every disused hole, and a species of pale sand grasshopper that lives in 
similar situations. Traps set in their burrows were usually covered up with 
sand, and most of the specimens were caught in the runways, where the prints 
of their two hind feet and the swish of their tails made unmistakable signs. 
They feed on the seed of a small sand plant like purslane, and take oatmeal 
readily as trap bait. After a violent storm their bodies are common objects 
among the wreckage along the shore, attracting the attention of the boatineu, 
who call them white rats. 

Dipodomys spectabilis Merriam. Large Kangaroo Rat.' 1 

This beautiful, big kangaroo rat is common in the upper edge of 
the arid Lower Sonoran zone of extreme western Texas, east to the 
eastern (h\<xc of the Pecos Valley at Monahans and Odessa, and north 
and south along the Pecos Valley from Adams, Tex., to Santa Rosa, 
X. Mex. It apparently does not inhabit the lower half of the zone, 
as it extends neither into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas nor the 
Gila Valley of Arizona. I have not found it nearer to El Paso or the 
Rio Grande than Sierra Blanca-, Tex., and Jarilla. X. Alex., on the 
east, and Deming, X. Mex.. on the west. While ranging to the 
extreme upper e(]^ of the zone, it does not enter Upper Sonoran to 
any extent. In Texas it is common at Sierra Blanca, Van Horn, 
Valentine, Kent, Toyah, Toyahvale. Adams, Pecos. Grand Falls. 
Castle Mountains (west base), Monahans. and Odessa; and Gaut 
collected one specimen at the east base of the Franklin Mountains. 
10 miles north of El Paso. 

Although strictly nocturnal animals and rarely seen alive, these 
kangaroo rats usually make their presence evident by conspicuous 
mounds scattered here and there over the barest and hardest of 
gravelly mesas, mounds as characteristic and unmistakable as musk- 
rat houses or beaver dams, and as carefully planned and built for as 
definite a purpose— home and shelter. An old mound that has been 
inhabited for years is often 3 or 4 feet high and 10 or 12 feet wide, a 

a It is to be regretted that the name 'kangaroo rat' has become firmly fixed 
to this group of beautiful .Terboadike rodents, which are as unratlike as they 
nre widely removed from the .Marsupials. 


dome-shaped pile of earth entered from the top and sides by a half 
dozen, or sometimes a dozen, big burrows that would easily accommo- 
date a cottontail rabbit. Well-beaten paths lead away from each of 
these doorways to others or to neighboring mounds. Usually one or 
more of the doorways are closed each morning with earth behind the 
retiring inmates, probably to keep out rattlesnakes and other unwel- 
come guests. At night these earth doors are opened for use, and the 
best place to set a trap for the animal is in front of a closed, rather 
than an open, door. While all of the holes are used more or less at 
night, apparently only the closed ones are occupied in the daytime. 
All the fresh earth brought out of the burrows and much that is dug 
up outside is scraped back on to the mound, so that its size slowly 
increases with age. Inside, the burrows widen out into roomy cham- 
bers, some of which are close to the surface, while others are deep 
and at the ends or sides of winding burrows. In trying to walk 
over these mounds one is almost sure to break through knee deep 
into the chamber below. 

While the kangaroo rats do not hibernate or store up great quan- 
tities of food, they carry considerable food into the burrows to be 
eaten probably during the day, as shown by deposits in their cham- 
bers, by the shells of seeds and grain brought outside during house 
cleaning or found scattered over their chamber floors, and by the 
presence of seeds in the fur-lined cheek pouches of individuals caught 
in traps. That the inmates of these mounds are not always asleep 
during the daytime can be proved by tapping or scratching at the 
entrance of the burrow and then listening for a response. A low 
drumming sound can usually be heard from deep underground, some- 
times from two or three points. Apparently it is made as the similar 
drumming of the wood rats is known to be, by beating the soles of 
the hind feet rapidly on the ground, which produces a tiny, vibrating 
roar, and is used as a signal of alarm, call note, or challenge. The 
animals are social. Often three or four are caught in a mound, and 
the trails lead from one mound to another. The paired prints of the 
two long hind feet are fresh every morning in the trails and dusty 
roads, but I have never seen a print of the tiny hands which appar- 
ently are never used in locomotion. When caught in traps or in the 
hands, the animals struggle violently, but never make a sound or 
offer to bite. Like rabbits, they are gentle and timid and depend on 
flight and 14)011 their burrows for protection. 

Dipodomys elator Merriam. Loring Kangaroo Rat. 

Specimens of these kangaroo rats are known only from near Hen- 
rietta and a point 10 miles to the southwest, and from Chattanooga, 
( )kla. Oberholser says : 

They are not common in the immediate vicinity of Henrietta, but seem to bfj 
df frequenl occurrence from 20 to .".n miles to the southwesl and most alum- 

Oer.,1905.] MAMMALS. 149 

dant between 2 and 13 miles in this direction. The approximate limits of their 
range are from Henrietta about 4 miles north. 5 miles oast. 22 miles south. S 
miles west, and about 4."> miles southwest. They live, so far as determined, 
almost exclusively among the" mesquites and make their holes around the roots 
Of the mesquites and hunches of Opuntia. One of the specimens caught was 
found in the throat of a large rattlesnake that had swallowed it as far as the 
trap would permit. 

Loring, who first caught these kangaroo rats at Henrietta, says: 

At one set of holes the main entrance was closed every morning with dirt 
from the inside, and my traps were not touched. The hole was so small that 
I thought it might be a Perognathus, so got a pick and shovel ;uid dug it out. 
The burrow branched from below and opened out at four different points. One 
of the rats was caught in a muddy pocket the size of my fist at the end of the 
main burrow, the other was covered with dirt in a sharp bend of the burrow, 
but escaped into another hole near by. The deepest and longest burrow ran 
about 3 feet underground. I did not find any grass or seeds in any of the 
burrows. Taking the rat that I had caught to a large field, I turned it loose. 
It sat for a minute, dazed by the sun, but when I poked it scampered off at such 
a lively rate that I could hardly keep up and could not see whether it used its 
fore feet or not. It was very quick and graceful. While .lumping its tail was 
slightly curved up and was not used in any way to aid in its progress. 

Near Chattanooga, Okla., some 50 miles northwest of Henrietta, 
Tex., Prof. D. E. Lantz collected a specimen and reported on the 
species as follows: 

While not numerous, they seem to be well distributed in the vicinity of Chat- 
tanooga. Nearly all of the settlers with whom I talked were acquainted with 
them and informed me that they lived about the premises of their homes. 
Several were confident that they could capture one or more specimens for me, 
but only one was secured. This was killed by a farmer as he was walking 
across the prairie on a dark night with a lantern. It had been foraging in a 
Kafir corn field, and I found its pouches widely distended with grain. They 
contained loo seeds of Kafir corn and G5 seeds of Solanum rostratum. In the 
vicinity of Chattanooga the animals are found on hard clay soils, and they 
seem to prefer the vicinity of houses, living under houses and outbuildings and 
in caves made for storing vegetables and other household supplies. They seem 
to be attracted by lanterns or other lights carried on dark nights. 

Mr. Laurie, living in Chattanooga, has a cave back of his hardware store in 
which a pair of kangaroo rats had taken up their winter quarters. He purchased 
a couple of bushels of wheat to feed to his poultry and placed it in the cave. 
Some time later, when he wished to begin to use it, he found that it had all 
disappeared. Last spring he removed some boards which lined the lower part 
of the cave on the inside and found all of the wheat carefully stored away 
behind the boards by the kangaroo rats. 

Dipodomys merriami Mearns. Merriam Kangaroo Rat. 

This little dull-colored kangaroo rat of the four-toed group ranges 
over most of the extremely arid Lower Sonoran zone of western 
Texas, except where it gives place to ambiguus in the immediate val- 
ley of the Rio Grande. Specimens from near Langtry and 6 miles 
south of Marathon, Fort Stockton, Toyahvale, Pecos, Monahans, 


Kent, and Sierra Blanca, Tex., and from Carlsbad and Tularosa, 
N. Mex., are almost typical merriami, differing slightly in duller and 
darker coloration, the opposite extreme from ambiguus. The cranial 
characters throughout the group are extremely uniform. 

The habitat of this species is mainly dry, half-barren mesas or 
open desert valleys, where the animals make their homes in baked 
and stony soil or less frequently in sandy patches. At Monahans 
Cary found them only on the hard soil of the valley and never among 
the sand dunes with Perodipus richardsoni, though at Marathon, 
Kent, Stockton, and Sierra Blanca they were caught in the same 
ground with Perodipus ordi. Except in choice of higher, rougher- 
ground they seem not to differ in habits from ambiguus. 

Dipodomys merriami ambiguus Merriam. El Paso Kangaroo Rat. 

This little four-toed kangaroo rat, differing from merriami in its 
brighter, more golden color, seems to be of very local distribution 
along the sandy bottom of the Rio Grande Valley from El Paso and 
Juarez south to Boquillas in the Great Bend country. A series of 
specimens from Sierra Blanca is intermediate and can be referred 
in part to this and in part to merrio/mi. 

In the Rio Grande Valley it does not differ much in range or 
habits from Perodipus ordi, which it resembles so closely externally 
that specimens can not be safely named without reference to the 
toes on the hind feet. In the flesh the two can be distinguished at a 
glance by the much slenderer feet and tail of the Dipodomys. On the 
sandy river bottoms just below El Paso, where I caught many speci- 
mens of the two genera on the same ground and sometimes at the 
same burrow, I could find no difference' in habits or local habitat. 

Their little burrows usually are under a bunch of mesquite. acacia, 
or creosote bushes or cactus, evidently for the sake of protection 
from enemies, or in order to get a little shade from the fierce heat 
of the sun's rays. Often their burrows enter from several sides of 
the bunch of bushes or cactus, and converge toward a common cen- 
ter, where they apparently meet below. Some of their doorways are 
usually closed during the day, while others are left open. Like all 
the genus, they are strictly nocturnal and at night feed on the ripe 
seeds of various plants or carry them into the burrows to be eaten at 
leisure. Often when caught in traps their cheek pouches are stuffed 
with seeds or with the rolled oats \\<^\ for trap bait. Occasionally 
a bit of green leaf is found in the pockets, but I have seen only 
the line white pulp of ripe seeds in their stomachs — no green foliage 
or anything that would seem to furnish moisture. 

Erethizon ( epixanthum ? ) Brandt. Yellow-haired Porcupine. 

The only specimen of porcupine 1 have seen from Texas was a 
badly stuffed skin and a fragment of skull brought me at Tascosa in 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 151 

1899 by a ranchman who had killed the animal there the previous 
year. At Alpine in 1900 the ranchmen told me that porcupines 
were occasionally found there, and in the Davis Mountains in 1901 
I found a bushel of their unmistakable signs in a cavity under the 
rocks, where a porcupine had evidently lived for a good part of the 
previous winter. As the Finleys, who have lived for many years 
in the Davis Mountains, had never seen nor heard of these animals, 
they are evidently not common there. 

Lepus merriami Mearns. Black-naped Jack Rabbit. 

The black-naped jack rabbits are common over southern Texas, 
from Brownsville north to the mouth of the Devils River, Fort 
Clark, and San Antonio, and east to Cuero, Port Lavaca, and Mata- 
gorda. They occur with texianus in the eastern part of their range 
and meet or overlap its range in the Devils River country. 

In April, 1900, I found them common all the way from Corpus 
Christi to Brownsville, both on the prairies and in the mesquite and 
chaparral; and in April of the previous year, between Victoria and 
Port Lavaca, I counted from the train six that were so close that the 
black necks showed conspicuously and served to distinguish them from 
texianus, which also was seen along the road. In February, 1894, 
Loring reported them as common from Alice to Brownsville, as many 
as ten being seen in a bunch. In March, 1900, Oberholser reported 
them as numerous on the Thomas ranch, near Port Lavaca, inhabiting 
chiefly the open prairie, where they found cover under tall bunches of 
grass. In April and May of the same year he reported them at 
O'Connorport as only fairly common and very wild; at Beeville as 
common, living principally on the prairie and in the more open 
areas in the chaparral ; in the immediate vicinity of town as very 
wild, but farther away, where not often hunted, as much less so; at 
San Diego as abundant in the more open portions of the chaparral ; 
at Laredo as abundant all through the chaparral ; at Cotulla as 
abundant in the chaparral and very tame, apparently living 
in the thick brush, although late in the afternoon frequenting 
the more open, grassy plaees, where sometimes as many as six or 
eight were seen together: at Uvalde as abundant and very tame, 
inhabiting the more open parts of the chaparral, particularly the 
area between town and the base of the hills to the northward ; and at 
Rock Springs as common on some of the more open areas. On May 
29 and 30, 1903, Gaut collected an old male and a 2- weeks-old 
young one near Del Rio, where he found jack rabbits scarce, although 
they were said to have been very numerous a short time previous. 
Only one other individual was seen in three weeks, although consid- 
erable time was devoted to hunting for them. Lloyd reported 


them, in 1891, as common on Padre Island and as generally found 
crouched in the short grass on the open sand. 

Over most of their range the black-naped jack rabbits are suffi- 
ciently numerous to do considerable damage on farms and truck 
gardens, as they are fond of many cultivated plants. At Laredo, 
in April, Oberholser reported that a field of cantaloupes with vines 
6 inches high was entirely ruined by them, and a similar field of 
watermelons was extensively damaged. As raising early vegetables 
and fruits has become an important industry in southern Texas, the 
abundance of the rabbits is a serious matter. Their consumption 
of range grasses in a region that is mainly devoted to stock raising 
is also a matter of considerable importance. 

In general characters this species does not differ much from texi- 
anus, but in life the difference appears much greater than when 
specimens are compared. As the rabbit sits up at a distance or, with 
ears erect, runs across the prairie, the black nape contrasts sharply 
with the snowy white backs of the ears, and the black tail- and rump 
stripe with the almost white hams and flanks. Near Cuero one 
jumped from beneath a low mesquite bush close to me and, after a 
few long leaps that were like flashlights of black and white, suddenly 
stopped and crouched, lowering the dull gray ears until their white 
surface rested on and wholly concealed the black neck;- the tail was 
curled up till its black upper surface concealed the black rump stripe 
and left only the gray lower sides exposed, while at the same time the 
white hams and flanks close to the ground served to cut out shadow 
and obliterate form, so that the whole animal was transformed into 
a part of the great prairie. 

This same rabbit, now made into a specimen, does not seem very 
different from texianus, except when the ears are raised to show the 
black neck; but alive and running, its specific characters might have 
been recognized at a distance of 40 rods. 
Lepus texianus YVaterhouse." Texas Jack Rabbit. 

l<ei>nx texianus (/risen* Mearns, Proc. T T . S. Nat. Mus., XVIII, p. 562, 1896. 
Type from Fort Hancock. Tex. 

The jack rabbits, except from extreme northern and southern 
Texas, can be referred to this form with gray or whitish nape and 

«I find no grounds whatever for following Doctor Mearns (Bui. Am. Mas. 
Xat. Hist., II. ]). 296, 1890) and Doctor Allen (Bui. Am. Mus. Xat. Hist. VI. p. 
347, 1894) in restricting the name texianus to the Arizona jack rabbit. In Water- 
house's original description (Natural History of the Mammalia. 11. p. 136, 1S4S) 
(he only real characters mentioned which distinguish the Texas and the Arizona 
forms are in the fifth and sixth lines of (lie description on page 136, "throat 
and abdomen white; haunches and outer surface of legs gray; tarsus nearly 
white" all of which applies to the Texas animal rather than to the Arizona 
form. The measurements, while evidently from a moulded specimen and of no 
real value, indicate 1 the slightly smaller size of the Texas form. 

Oct.. t !><>.-.. i mammals. 153 

light-gray flanks. They are common over the arid plains country of 
central and western Texas, south to Rock Springs and San Antonio, 
and from Austin and Brazos westward to Langtry and El Paso; and 
less common in the strips or islands of prairie country eastward 
nearly or quite across the State. A specimen collected by Hollister at 
Antioch, Houston County, is nearly typical tessianus. A few jack 
rabbits, probably of the same species, are reported by Oberholser from 
the prairie near Boston, in the northeastern corner of the State, and 
a few from the coast prairie west of Beaumont. From residents of 
the country I have obtained reports of a few from Calcasieu Parish, 
in the southwest corner of Louisiana, and from the Texas prairies 
near Virginia Point and Richmond; and on the prairie near Houston. 
Cuero, and Port Lavaca have myself seen the rabbits close enough to 
be sure that they were not merriami. Specimens from San Antonio, 
Rockport, and Colorado City show a tendency toward melanotic, 
while others from Vernon and Henrietta can be referred to that sub- 
species, as can also those of the Panhandle country. In the Davis 
Mountains the jack rabbits ascend to the edge of the yellow pines, or 
completely through Upper Sonoran zone, where I have found them 
common in both July and January. In the Guadalupe Mountains 
they were common in August up to 7,000 feet on the open ridges, but 
the main part of their range in Texas lies in Lower Sonoran zone, in 
the arid part of which they are most abundant. 

The abundance of the jack rabbits varies with different seasons and 
localities, but seems to have a wave-like sequence. After increasing 
for a few years until extremely numerous, they disappear rather sud- 
denly, are unusually scarce for a few years, and then gradually in- 
crease again. This periodic change does not affect the whole country 
simultaneously, however, for at the same season the rabbits may 
fairly swarm in one valley and be scarce in another. In January, 
1890, on a 80-mile trip from Marfa south to a ranch on Onion Creek, 
there was hardly a moment when jack rabbits were not in sight — 
sitting by the road or scurrying through the scattered brush of the 
desert. In places as many as 20 could be counted, and during De- 
cember and February of the same winter they were almost as numer- 
ous about El Paso and Del Rio. I did not visit the Rio Grande Val- 
ley again for ten years, and then could not find one in the region 
about El Paso. 

At Llano in May, 1899, they were numerous in spite of the 5-cent 
bounty that had been paid on 5,G00 of them that year in the county. 
I often saw a dozen as I made the morning round to my traps, and 
many of these were limping about with great lumps on their backs 
and sides where the tapeworm larvae had developed under the skin. 
Along the wagon road from San Angelo to Colorado City, thence 
northwest to Gail and the eastern escarpment of the Staked Plains, 


they were numerous, and in places where no rain had fallen that 
year and the vegetation was scant and dried up the jack rabbits had 
seconded the prairie dogs in eating the bark from the small mes- 
quite bushes, from Opuntia arborescens, and a large part of the 
fleshy pads of Op nut in engelmanni. 

The food of the jack rabbit consists mainly of grass and green 
vegetation, of which growing grain of all kinds, clover, and alfalfa 
are especial favorites. It has been estimated that five jack rabbits 
eat as much grass as one sheep." Allowing one rabbit to the acre, 
which surely would not be overestimating their maximum abundance, 
the rabbits on a 1,000-acre ranch would consume as much grass as 
200 sheep. That the rabbits are a serious drain on the grass supply 
of the stock range, especially in the more arid parts of the State, can 
not be denied. It is a question if they are not even more inju- 
rious than the prairie dog. as they cover about twice the area in 
the State that the prairie dog does, and instead of being in colonies 
and keeping to a definite locality they travel about freely, seeking cul- 
tivated fields, meadows, gardens, orchards, and the best pastures. 
They are as independent of water supply as any of the desert mam- 
mals, and in many of the valleys must go for months without water 
save what is obtained from their food. 

For protection from their enemies the jack rabbits depend on pro- 
tective coloration, the keenness of their ears and eyes, and the length 
of their legs, and all they ask of a coyote is a fair start and an open 
field. A greyhound will pick up one on a straight run, however, and 
foxhounds will often tire them out if there is moisture enough for 
good tracking. Coyotes, foxes, and wild cats catch them apparently 
with a quick bound in brushy places, leaving only patches of scat- 
tered fui- and a few tracks to mark the spot next morning. Hawks, 
owls, and eagles prey extensively upon them. Their bones were 
among the commonest of those scattered over the ground under a 
great horned owl's nest on a cliff at the cd^ of the Davis Mountains 
and under a golden eagle's nest on a cliff near Marathon. 

During the morning and evening hours jack rabbits may be seen 
loping along the trails to their feeding grounds, nibbling grass on the 
green patches, standing with ears erect, on the qui vive, or scurrying 
in alarm from real or fancied enemies. In the twilight they become 
almost invisible, and their highly protective coloration probably 
serves them better by night than by day. as they are then most active. 
During most of the day they sit in their forms, or merely crouch close 
to the ground under the edge of a bush or weed, or even in the open 
without other protection than the blending of their gray coats with 

a' Jack Rabbits of I be United States." by T. S. Palmer. Biological Survey. 

Bui. No. s. p. 30, is!»7. 

Oct.. 1005.1 MAMMALS. 155 

the gray desert vegetation. When they bound away from the bare 
ground or short grass close to your feet, the surprise is greater than 
when they start from under a fuzzy-topped weed, though in both 
cases they may have been in plain view all the time. The only home 
they can claim for themselves and their young is the form, a slight 
depression scratched in the ground, usually under the shady side of 
a bush or weed. They can not endure the heat of the midday sun, 
and in hot weather always seek some shade. I have never known one 
to enter a burrow, though they could easily go down badger holes. 
The young are hidden in grass and weeds until large enough to 
escape their enemies by running, and they are such experts at hiding 
that they are rarely discovered. 

Extermination of jack rabbits, even if practicable, is not desira- 
ble, as they have considerable value for game and food purposes, aside 
from the interest and pleasure of maintaining a reasonable number of 
our native animals. When in good condition their flesh is excellent, 
though usually not so tender as that of the cottontail or Belgian hare. 
The common prejudice against using them as food has been shown by 
Dr. T. 8. Palmer to be entirely without foundation." 

Lepus texianus melanotis Mearns. Kansas Jack Rabbit. 

Jack rabbits from Texline, Lipscomb, Canadian, Washburn, Hen- 
rietta, and Vernon, and apparently also an immature specimen from 
Saginaw, are almost typical melanotis. They are scarce over the 
northern part of the Staked Plains, and I have seen but a single 
specimen from that region and only a few individuals in life. One 
seen close to the train near Washburn September 22, 1902, had every 
appearance of being the brown-backed melanotis instead of the paler 
gray texianus. A few others reported from Tascosa, Hereford, Wash- 
burn, and Gainesville are probably melanotis. More specimens 
from eastern Texas may show closer affinities with melanotis than 
with t<>.ri<iniis, as the few examined are to some extent intermediate 
between the two forms. 

The habits, of melanotis do not differ much from those of texianus, 
of which it is the plains and prairie representative. Instead of 
depending on low desert bushes for shade and concealment, the for- 
mer usually hide in tall prairie grass, which habit may in some way 
account for their slightly shorter ears and smaller audital bullae and 
the browner coloration that constitute their principal subspecific 

They are generally less numerous than texianus or merriami, and 
consequently of less serious economic importance. They are also 
freer from parasites, and therefore more acceptable as game. 

"Set- '.Tack Rabbits as Game,' in Jack Rabbits of the United States, by T. S. 
Palmer, Biol. Surv., Bui. 8, ]>. 71. 1897. 


Lepus floridanus alacer Bangs. Bangs Cottontail. 

The cottontails of eastern Texas as far west as Port Lavaca and 
Gainesville are readily distinguished from floridanus by the small 
audita! bullae, and from chapmani by the darker colors, in both of 
which characters they agree with alacer described by Outran) Bangs, 
from Stilwell, Ind. T. The darkest specimens are from extreme 
eastern Texas, but to the westward the transition into the lighter, 
grayer chapmani takes place mainly along the line where timber and 
thick grass prairie change to mesquite plains. 

The cottontails are common over practically all of eastern Texas, 
living in the densest timber and brush patches, in the open woods, in 
the rich prairie grass, or about fields and buildings. Where there 
are no dogs to chase them, their favorite home is under a house or 
other building. In the woods an old log, tree top, or brush heap usu- 
ally protects them, though they are often found crouched in their 
forms under a bunch of briers, weeds, or bushes. On the prairie they 
often jump from under a tuft of overhanging grass and run to the 
nearest brush or weed patch for cover. They rarely find burrows to 
make use of and apparently never dig them. 

Nowhere have I found them more than moderately common or in 
any way a serious pest. Their value as a food and game animal 
probably compensates for what little mischief they do in cutting off 
young fruit and forest trees, and for the small amount of grain and 
vegetables they injure in fields and gardens. If in places they become 
troublesome, it is easy to thin them out by hunting them with dogs. 
but usually the hawks and owls keep their numbers sufficiently 

Lepus floridanus chapmani Allen. Chapman Cottontail. 

Lepus floridanus caniclunis Miller. Proc. Acad. Nat. svi. Phila., p. 388, 
Oct. 5, 1899. From Fort Clark, Tex. 
Lepus simplicicanus Miller, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, ]>. 81, Apr. 25, 
1!>()2. From Brownsville, Tex. 

This small-eared cottontail ranges from Rockport, Brazos. Henri- 
etta, Mobeetie, Canadian, and Lipscomb, westward to Stanton and 
Comstock, south to Brownsville in Texas, and across into Mexico. 
It is a small, pale-gray form of the -floridanus group, amply covered 
by the name chapmani^ given by Doctor Allen to Corpus Christ i 
specimens. It is quite distinct from the long-eared cottontail ( Lepus 
arizonce minor), with which it occurs at Stanton, Comstock. Del Rio, 
Fort Clark, and along a wide strip of country where the ranges of 
the two overlap. It inhabits the semiarid mesquite country of Lower 
Sonoran /one and usually is abundant throughout its range. 

At Corpus Christi, and thence to Brownsville and Del Rio, these 
little rabbits live among the big bunches of prickly pear and in the 

Oct., 1905.] " MAMMALS. 157 

thickets of mesquite and catsclaw, finding in the thorny cover the 
same protection that the wood rats and many other mammals do, 
;ii)d seeming to ignore the presence of thorns in and along their trails. 
One of their favorite resorts for a midday nap is in or among the big 
flat pads of a prickly pear, where they will stick to their form until 
fairly forced out. In the still more dense and thorny thickets of 
Zizyphus and Momesia pallida it is impossible to force them out. In 
the evening and morning hours they may be seen hopping around the 
edges of these thickets, where they are often comparatively tame, so 
confident are they of being able to dodge quickly into a safe retreat. 
In the country about Kerrville, and westward to Devils River, they 
are less common, and usually are found in the oak thickets or among 
junipers and scrub oaks, but the country does not seem to suit them as 
well as the more open mesquite region farther north at Llano, where 
they are abundant in the thickets of mesquite and Zizyphus. At 
Mobeetie, Miami, and Lipscomb, Howell found them inhabiting the 
brushy creek bottoms, and at Canadian both the brushy bottoms and 
the plum thickets over the sand hills. He says they were very wild, 
and that none were seen on the open country where the long-eared 
in '/nor ranged. 

I have never found these rabbits making use of burrows or of open- 
ings in the rocks. 

Like all the cottontails, they are excellent food, and are usually 
free from grubs and other parasites. The young are especially deli- 
cious, and as white and tender as quail. Complaints are rarely made 
of the harm they occasionally do in orchards and gardens, as this 
seems to be compensated by their value as game. 

Lepus arizonae minor Mearns. Desert Cottontail. 

The long-eared desert cottontail can be distinguished from the 
short-eared chapmani by its much larger audital bullae with even 
more certainty than by its longer ears, and, as the two occur together 
over a wide stretch of country, this distinction is important. It is 
the common cottontail of western Texas, and extends from El Paso 
and along the Rio Grande east to Wichita Falls, Tebo, Colorado, 
San Angelo, Fort Clark, Cotulla, and San Diego, south to Rio Grande 
City, and north to Tascosa and Lipscomb. The eastern edge of its 
range overlaps the western edge of the range of chapmani in places 
for a distance of a hundred miles or more, where the two occur 
commonly together. "While distributed mainly over the arid Lower 
Sonoran zone, it ranges into Upper Sonoran in the Davis and Guada- 
lupe Mountains and on the Staked Plains, but perhaps not farther 
than a rabbit would wander in a few warm months. 

Unlike Lepus chapmani, these cottontails are largely inhabitants 
of the plains and open country, caring little for cover when they can 



[No. 25. 

find prairie dog or badger holes for safe retreats. They arc often 
most conspicuous and abundant in a half-deserted prairie-dog town 
in a barren valley, where they sit under a hush or weed until alarmed, 
when they rush to the nearest burrow and disappear, or stop, per- 
haps, at the edge to see if they are pursued." Where there are no 
prairie-dog holes, badger holes are usually common throughout the 
range of this rabbit, and a large kangaroo rat burrow is often made 
use of in an emergency. Openings in and under rocks also are 
favorite retreats, and rabbits are usually common along the base 
of cliffs and in canyons and gulches where, besides the natural cavities 
among the rocks, they make use of burrows where skunks and badgers 


'■StO* <Ai'^- 

-Long-eared cottontail (Lepus a. mint 
Pecos Valley. 

■) at badger hole under mesquit* 

have dug out smaller rodents or made dens under big bowlders. 
Dense tangles of brush and impenetrable cactus patches also are 
resorted to for cover, but nowhere within the range of the species is 
there anything more nearly approaching real woods than scattered 
mesquite and junipers, with the exception of willows and eottonwoods 
on some of the river bottoms, which the cottontails seem to avoid. 
Like jack rabbits, they seem to feel more secure in the open country, 
where safety depends on keenness of sight and hearing and speed of 

<*At Lipscomb and Canadian. Howell found them inhabiting old prairie-dog 
holes to SUCh an extent that they were called by the ranchmen "prairie-dog 
rabbits" or "dog rabbits." 

o -I.. 190E 


Over much of their range they are usually very abundant. "While 
on the train going from Wichita Falls to Seymour, a distance of 
about 50 miles, I counted 16 of these rabbits, and from "Wichita 
Falls to Childress, a distance of about 100 miles, I noted over 30. 
At Sycamore Creek in half an hour Lloyd counted 18, and in many 
places we found them equally numerous. Around ranches they are 
generally shot for food or chased away by dogs, so that there is little 
complaint of injury to crops. The amount of range grass consumed 
by them under ordinary circumstances can not be very great, but 
without natural enemies they would soon become so numerous as to 
be a serious pest. 

They breed rapidly, but are preyed upon constantly by coyotes, 
foxes, wildcats, hawks, eagles, and owls. Under the nesting cliff of 
a great horned owl at the west base of the Davis Mountains parts of 
fully 100 skulls of this cottontail were found among other bones in 
the owl pellets. 

As food these cottontails are equal to any rabbit and when young 
they are especially delicious. In camp they are often the only avail- 
able fresh meat. As other game becomes scarce their importance as 
food and game will be greatly increased. 

Lepus arizonae baileyi Merriam. Plains Cottontail. 

Two specimens of cottontail from Texline and one from Buffalo 
Springs, 20 miles to the northeast of Texline. can be referred to 
baileyi better than to minor or arisonce, although not typical of either 
form. It is a question if the Lipscomb and Tascosa specimens 
referred to minor do not shade also toward baileyi, which appears to 
be an Upper Sonoran plains form of the arizonce group. 

At Texline Howell says that these rabbits are numerous in the 
sagebrush draws near town. When started from the sagebrush 
{Artemisia filifolia), they usually make for the nearest rocks, or 
else run into a burrow. They are very wild, and if no cover offers 
quickly run out of sight. 

Lepus pinetis robustus subsp. now Mountain Cottontail. 

Type from Davis Mountains, Texas, 6,000 feet altitude. No. Hrst 9 a< ^" 
U. S. Nat. Mus., Biological Survey Coll. Collected Jan. G, 1S0O. by 
Vernon Bailey. Original No. 873. 

General characters. — Similar to Lepus pinetis hohneri, but larger, 
with relatively narrower braincase and conspicuously wider, more 
prominent postorbital processes. 

Color. — Winter pelage: Crown and rump brownish gray, sides 
and rump light ashy gray, nape and exposed part of legs bright fawn 
color, lower parts white with buffy gray throat patch. The short 
summer pelage is not known. 


Cranial characters. — Skull larger than in pinetis or holzneri, with 
relatively narrower braincase, slightly larger bullae, and conspicu- 
ously wider, more prominent postorbital processes. 

Measurements. — Type specimen ? ad.: Total length, 4G0 ; tail ver- 
tebra 1 , 55; hind foot. 104; ear from notch (measured dry). <*>7. 
Average of 5 adults from western Texas: Total length, 45<S : tail ver- 
tebrae, 5!) ; hind foot, 103.6 ; ear from notch, G8. 

Skull of type. — Basal length. 60; nasals, 32: zygomatic breadth, 
F>4; greatest breadth of braincase, 26.5; mastoid breadth, '25.5; inter- 
orbital breadth, 19. 

Remarks. — This large brush rabbit needs comparison only with 
pinetis and holzneri, from both of which it differs enough to form 
a good subspecies, and from the range of which it is apparently 
entirely cut off by intervening valley country. From arizonce and its 
subspecies it is entirely distinct, differing widely in size and cranial 
characters and occupying the same ground in the lower part of its 
range. It is a Transition zone species, ranging from 6,000 to 8.000 
feet in the Davis and Chisos mountains, rarely coming down the 
brushy slopes into Upper Sonoran zone. A specimen collected in 
midwinter in Presidio County was in the Upper Sonoran zone near 
the edge of the Chinati Mountains, at about 4.200 feet, where it ma\ 
have wandered down along the brushy creek from a higher level. 

It lives in brushy and timbered country and makes runways 
through the thickets, which, when started, it follows at a lively speed 
and with much noise. It is almost as large and heavy as the varying 
hare, and needs only to be seen or heard running to be distinguished 
from the light, slender minor. While many were seen or heard in 
the Davis and Chisos mountains, but few specimens were collected, 
owing to the difficulty of getting shots at them in the thickets. They 
seem to be entirely free from grubs and other parasites and are fine 

Lepus aquaticus Bachman. Swamp Rabbit. 

The swamp rabbits from near the coast of southeastern Texas agree 
in general appearance with aquaticus, in referring them to which 
species I follow T Doctor Allen, although more specimens from this 
region, as well as more of typical aquaticus, are necessary to a final 
decision. Specimens examined : Selkirk Island. Matagorda County, 
1; Bernard Creek (12 miles west of Columbia), 2; Austin Bayou 
(near Alvin), 1. Oberholser reported them as common in the moisi 
woods near Beaumont, and Ilollister found them •'exceedingly numer- 
ous at Sour Lake, especially about the wooded islands." Lloyd re- 
ported them from Selkirk Island at the mouth of the Colorado 
River and in the salt marshes near Matagorda. My own acquaint- 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 161 

ance with the species has been in the Big Thicket of Hardin County, 
Tex., and in southern Louisiana, where they live in swamps, marshes, 
and low brushy woods near the bayous, making trails that often 
lead through shallow water. They usually jump from under old 
logs or tangles of briers and underbrush and go dashing oil' with a 
heavy thumping run, but usually with speed enough to escape the 
dogs. Fires are said sometimes to drive them out of the swamps 
and marshes by hundreds. In the Big Thicket in December, 190-1, 
they were especially abundant under the dense growth of palmettoes 
and tangle of vines. At this season the ground was dry. but the 
quantity of large flattened pellets covering the tops of old logs sug- 
gested that during wet weather the rabbits spent much of their time 
on the logs. 

Late in the following March Gaut found them abundant in this 
region during high water, and was informed by Mike Griffin, a 
hunter living on Black Creek, that they were great swimmers, and 
when chased by the dogs would invariably swim back and forth 
across the creeks. One female examined contained five embryos and 
two others were nursing young. 

Lepus aquaticus attwateri Allen. Attwater Swamp Rabbit. 

Swamp rabbits are common along the streams of eastern Texas 
as far west as Port Lavaca, San Antonio, Austin, and Gamesville. 
Specimens from Richmond, Antioch. Joaquin, Troup, and Gaines- 
ville are large and gray like typical attwateri, and can be referred to 
nothing else. They are reported as common in the swamps or bottom 
lands at Arthur, Texarkana, Jefferson, Waskom, Rockland, Bren- 
ham, and near Elgin. Those reported from Conroe and Jasper are 
probably nearer to aquaticus. 

In habits these rabbits are similar to aquaticus, living in the tim- 
bered bottom lands along the rivers, often among the palmettoes, or 
in wet, half-swampy places in the woods. On the Brazos bottoms, 
near Richmond, I found them under old logs and brush in the densest 
woods, and at Troup, Loring reported them as hiding in fallen tree 
tops or under roots of trees and brush piles in low, swampy places. 
H. P. Attwater says: 

When frightened from their hiding places and chased by dogs they take refuge 
in hollow trees and in holes in the river bluffs. The dogs seem to have more 
difficulty in trailing them than they do the cottontails and jack rabbits, the 
swamp rabbits often eluding the bounds by taking to water. I have seen them 
on several occasions swimming across the river while the dogs were hunting for 
them on the other side." 

a Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., VII, p. 328, 1893. 
3873— No. 25—05 m 11 


Felis hippolestes aztecus Merriam. Mexican Cougar; Mountain Lion; 


The specimens of mountain lion from Texas available for deter- 
mination of the species are few, and their status is unsatisfactory; hut 
they indicate that at least the western part of the State is inhabited 
by aztecus. Two skulls of females from the Davis Mountains and 
one from Brownsville do not possess important specific characters, 
but they and a flat skin from the Davis Mountains and one from near 
Boquillas agree with aztecus more nearly than with any other spe- 
cies. A fine male seen in the San Pedro Park, at San Antonio, 
October 30, 1904, said to have come from Langtry, was in the light- 
gray coat of aztecus, and a nearly perfect skull of an old male from 
20 miles north of Comstock shows the best-marked characters of that 

In the rough and sparsely settled western part of the State moun- 
tain lions are still fairly common in certain sections, where they often 
lay a heavy tribute on colts, calves, and sheep. At Langtry Gaul 
reported them in 1903 as "quite common a few years ago, but now 
scarce," and adds: " One was shot in a pasture about half a mile from 
the station last winter, and an old hunter (Mr. E. B. Billings) at 
Samuels informs me that the stomach of one that he killed near 
Langtry a few years ago contained part of the foot of a raccoon and 
also some of the remains of a gray fox.' 1 Gaut reported a few pan- 
thers in the Franklin Mountains the same year, and said that he was 
shown a mule killed by one. The mule's neck showed deep gashes 
which had been cut by teeth and claws. Large numbers of colts were 
said to be killed every year in these mountains by panthers. Near 
Oakville, Live Oak County, Mi-. F. A. Lockhart reported that a horse 
and two colts had been killed by a panther July 25, 1895, and that a 
hound was killed the next day by the same animal. 

The rough desert ranges, full of canyons, cliffs, and caves, are the 
favorite haunts of the panthers, and will be their last strongholds, 
not only because of the advantages they offer for foraging but because 
of the protection they afford from hounds and hunters. In the desert 
mountains just north of Van Horn in August. L902, a panther and I 
were mutually surprised at meeting in a narrow gulch, he evidently 
expecting a venison supper, and I, in my search for rock squirrels, 
discovering his big, round, yellow face between the rocks above 
me. I drew my sight a little too fine and caught the rock just under 
his chin with no more damage than to fill his eyes with rock dust 
and cause a quick retreat behind the crest of the ridge. I was scarcely 
more disappointed than was the ranchman in the next valley whose 
colts had been disappearing at frequent intervals. In the Davis 
Mountains these cougars have been hunted with hounds until scarce. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 163 

but iii the Santiago range, in the Chisos Mountains, and along the 
canyons of the Rio Grande and Pecos they are still common. A 
few are found even on the edges of the Staked Plains. On a ranch 
22 miles north of Monahans Cary saw the skin of one that had been 
roped by a cowboy in July, 11)02. It was a very large female, and was 
said to have measured 11 feet in total length. The size strongly 
suggests hippolestes, which it ought to be from geographic consid- 

The form inhabiting the timber and swamps of eastern Texas 
undoubtedly is different from either aztecus or hippolestes, but 
whether it is the Florida panther (coryi), the Adirondack panther 
(couguar), or something else, will remain doubtful until specimens 
are procured from the region. Baird speaks of the redness of a skin 
collected by Captain Marcy on the Brazos River (Pac. II. R. Rep., 
VIII, 84', 1857), but the skin can not now be found. An old female 
panther, which died in the National Zoological Park January 1*.), 11)00, 
was caught August 12, 1892, when about two or three weeks old, near 
Memphis, Tex., in the Red River Valley, east of the Staked Plains. 
The skin of this animal, now in the National Museum collection, 
agrees fairly well with skins of hippolestes, but the skull does not 
agree with any of the skulls in the National Museum and shows 
peculiarities probably due to life-long confinement. 

In most of eastern Texas panthers are reported as formerly com- 
mon, but now as very rare or entirely extinct. Individuals have 
been killed, however, within a few years in the swamps not far from 
Jefferson in the northeastern part and Sour Lake in the southeastern 
part of the State. At Tarkington Prairie Mr. A. W. Carter says 
there were a few panthers when he was a boy in 1860, but he has not- 
seen one since. In the Big Thicket of Hardin County a few panthers 
have been killed in past years, and Dan Griffin, who lives 7 miles 
northeast, of Sour Lake, says a very large one occasionally passes his 
place. He saw its tracks in the winter of 11)03— 1. 

Felis onca hernandezi " (Gray). Jaguar. 

Felis onca Baird, Mainm. N. Am., p. 86, 1857 (in parti. 
The jaguar, the largest of North American cats, once reported as 
common over southern Texas and as occupying nearly the whole of 

a An adult male jaguar killed near Center City, Mills County, Tex., Septem- 
ber 3, 1903, agrees very closely in color and markings with a skin of Felis 
hernandezi from near Mazatlan, Mexico. The ground color in the Texas skin 
is a shade yellower, and the spotting slightly coarser, hut the difference is too 
Blight for any important significance. Unfortunately there is no skull with the 
Mazatlan skin, hut the Texas skull is scarcely distinguishahle from comparahle 
skulls of typical onca from Brazil. 

Baird's detailed description of a skin from the Brazos River also agrees in a 
general way with this topotype skin from Mazatlan. 


the caster!) part of the State to Louisiana and north to the Red River, 
is now extremely rare. Occasionally there is a report that one has 
been killed, but in very few cases have the reports been substantiated 
by specimens. A skin from the Brazos River, Texas, without a date, 
but entered in the National Museum Catalogue in 1853 and described 
in detail by Professor Baird in the Mexican Boundary Survey ( Vol. 
II, part 2, p. (>), seems to have disappeared. This specimen was 
obtained from J. M. Stanley, but no more definite locality was given 
than ' Brazos River. 1 The following note from H. P. Attwater was 
published by Doctor Allen in his list of mammals of Aransas County, 
Tex.' 1 " Captain Bailey says he formerly owned a fine skin of a 
jaguar killed on the point of Live Oak Peninsula by J. J. Wealder 
and A. Reeves in 1858, but has not heard of any in this neighborhood 

In reply to a request for detailed information relating to a mounted 
specimen of a jaguar mentioned in a previous letter, Mr. II. P. 
Attwater writes under date of June 4, 1904, as follows: 

Since writing I have been in San Antonio, and while there hunted up my 
friend Mr. Frank Toudouze, and from him obtained some information about 
the jaguar referred to in previous communication. Mr. Frank Toudouze, who is 
now living in San Antonio, remembers the circumstances very well, and tells me 
that the jaguar was killed by his brother, Henry Toudouze, and party of hunters, 
in 1ST!), about 10 miles south of Carrizo Springs, in Dimmit County, Tex. He 
tells me that it was a male, and even at that time considered a rare animal in 
that part of Texas. Mr. Henry Toudouze died a few years ago, but I have beard 
him tell about the killing of tins particular animal many times, as well as 
hearing his father and brothers speak of it. When I came to Texas it was in 
Mr. (Justave Toudouze's (the old gentleman) collection, and be and I took it 
with other specimens to the New Orleans Exposition in 1884, as a part of the 
Texas Natural History Exhibit of which we bad charge. At the close of the 
New Orleans Exposition it was brought with our collection back to San Antonio, 
and subsequently taken to Mexico by .Mr. Frank Toudouze, who tells me that he 
sold it with the rest of the collection to the officials of the State Museum at 
Saltillo, State of Coahuila, and he says he has no doubt that the specimen is 
still there. 

In 1902 Oberholser heard of a jaguar that was killed south of 
Jasper a few years before, and also obtained reports of the former 
occurrence of the species along the Neches River near Beaumont ami 
in the timber south of Conroe. There have been several reports from 
different sources of one killed near the mouth of the Pecos in 1889, or 
near that date, and in 1001 Oberholser got a record of one killed 
south of Comstock " some years ago,"" but without a definite date. 
A; Camp Verde, Cary was told by a Mr. Bonnell of a jaguar killed 
in 1880 at the head springs of the Nueces River, but this may have 
been the Toudouze specimen from Carrizo Springs. 

a Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.. VI, 198. 1S'.)4. 

Oct., loon. 1 MAMMALS. 165 

The skin and skull of a fine old male jaguar killed near Center 
City, Mills County, Tex., September 3, 1008, through the efforts of 
Mr. H. P. Attwater, the enthusiastic naturalist of Houston, Tex., have 
been secured and safely lodged in the National Museum. Through 
the courtesy of Mr. Gerrit S. Miller, jr., assistant curator of mammals 
in the U. S. National Museum, the correspondence relating to the 
capture of the animal and the securing of the skin and skull for the 
museum has been placed at my disposal. The following extracts 
from this correspondence are of special interest. 

In a letter of March 21, 1004, Mr. Attwater wrote to Mr. Miller: 

Last fall I heard that a jaguar had heen killed near Goldthwaite. in Mills 
Comity, north of the Colorado River, in west central Texas, and wrote to par- 
ties in that section for particulars, but with poor satisfaction, so made up my 
mind to go there the first opportunity for the purpose of getting at the facts. I 
was so much engaged with my work that I was unable to spare time to do this 
until several weeks ago, hut I am glad to say that I am now able to report very 
satisfactory results, and that I found the skull and hide still there, also ordered 
photographs (from the negative taken at the time), which have just come to 
hand. I take pleasure in sending you one with this letter, and later on will 
send you full particulars, with date of killing, etc., the most important of which 
I already have. 

In regard to the killing of the jaguar, I understood from Mr. Hudson, who 
skinned him, and from others, that they found it accidentally, and that they 
were hunting wildcats at the time they ran across him. I was told while I 
was there that another jaguar had been reported in the same locality after this 
one was killed, and it was supposed that there was a pair of them, but as far as 
I could find out nothing had heen heard or seen of the other one for some time 
past. * * * In regard to how the jaguar came there, my idea is that it 
strayed there probably with its mate from the Rio Grande region, which it could 
easily have done by the route indicated on the inclosed map. The character of 
the country all along this route from the Rio Grande to Mills County is similar 
and not thickly inhabited, and I am inclined to think the animal made its way 
up the San Saba River and across the Colorado into Mills County. I took par- 
ticular not*' of the country around Goldthwaite and in that part where the 
animal was killed it is rough with rocky ridges which they call ' mountains,' 
running parallel with the creeks and rivers, with uneven valley lands between 
the streams and the mountains. There is no tall timber, but the entire country 
is covered with a thick brush or chaparral, consisting chiefly of shin oak thickets 
known as the ' shinnery,' also sumac thickets and Spanish oak clumps with live 
oak trees scattered among them. On the lower flats there are considerable 
mesquite trees. 

Later Mr. Attwater wrote as follows: 

I send yon by express box containing the skin and skull of jaguar. * * * 
.Miss Julia Kemp, the photographer in Goldthwaite, very kindly promised to 
write to the parties who killed the animal to get the data and other particu- 
lars for me. I herewith inclose you the correspondence, together with a letter 
she sent, received from Homer Brown, one of the parties in the " fight." 


The following letter from Homer Brown was addressed to Miss 
Julia Kemp, March 20, 1004: 

Yours of 15th at hand. In regard to the jaguar, we killed him Thursday 
night, September .".. I will give some of the particulars. Henry Morris came to 
go hunting with me that night. I had a hoy staying with me by the name of 
Johnnie Walton. We three took supper at my home and then started for the 
mountains, 3 miles southwest of Center City, where we started the jaguar just 
at dark. We ran him about ."> miles and treed him in a small Spanish oak. 
I shot him in the body with a Colt .45. He fell out of the tree and the hounds 
ran him about half a mile and hayed him. I stayed with him while Morris went 
to Center City after guns and ammunition. In about an hour and a half he 
came back and brought several men with him. so then the fight commenced. 
We had to ride into the shinnery and drive him out, and we got him killed just 
at 1_! o'clock that night. We commenced the fight with ten hounds, hut when 
we got him killed there were three dogs with him. and one of them wounded. 
He killed one dog and very nearly killed several others. He got hold of Rill 
Morris's horse and hit it so had it died from the wounds. * * * The men 
in the chase were three of the house boys, Al and Joe Tangford, George Morris. 
Bill .Morris. Thad Carter, Claud Scott, Henry Morris. Johnnie Walton, and 
myself. The jaguar measured (U feet from tip to tip. ."><; inches around chest, 
26 inches around head, 21 inches around forearm, 9 inches across the hottom 
of foot: weight, 140 pounds. 

Felis pardalis limitis Mearns. Ocelot; Leopard Cat. 
Felis pardalis Baird, Mamni. N. Am., ST. 1857 (in part). 
Felis limitis Mearns. Proc. Biol. Soe. Washington. XIV, p. 140, 1001. 

The ocelots are still found in brushy or timbered country over south- 
ern Texas, as far north as Rock Springs and Kerrville, and np the 
Pecos Valley to the region of Fort Lancaster. One killed near the 
Alamo de Cesarae Ranch, in Brewster County, between Marfa and 
Terlingua, in 1903, was reported by Mr. G. K. Gilbert, and later its 
beautiful light -gray skin was purchased from Mrs. M. A. Bishop, of 
Valentine. This seems to be the westernmost record for the State. 
Farther east ocelots are still reported as very rare about Beaumont 
and Jasper, near the eastern line of the State, and farther north, near 
Waskom and Long Lake. Early records carried their range across 
into Louisiana and Arkansas, but it is doubtful if at the present time 
they are to be found in the United States beyond the limits of Texas. 
Most of the records are from hunters, ranchmen, or residents of the 
country, who know the animal by the name of ocelot or leopard cat. 
or describe it as a long-tailed, spotted cat the size of the lynx. In 
L902 at Sour Lake llollister reported "several so-called leopard cats 
killed near there," and says: "They are described as about the size 
of the wildcat but of a different build, spotted and with a long tail." 
Near Beaumont Oberholser reported them as occasionally killed in 
the woods along the Neches River. Tn Kerr County Mr. Moore, the 
sheriff, told me that he saw a beautiful skin of a large, long-tailed, 
spotted cat that was killed 10 miles south of Kerrville the latter part 

Oct., 1005.] MAMMALS. 167 

of June, 11)0-2. At Rock Springs in July of the same year Mr. 
Gething told me that each year a few ocelot skins were brought into 
the store for sale. In his report from Sheffield Cary says: "I am 
informed that leopard cats are fairly common in the cedar brakes 
along the Pecos southeast of here/'' In 1890 Mr. Howard Lacey, the 
well-known naturalist of Kerr County, told me that he occasionally 
caught an ocelot while hunting with dogs for other game, and in 
January, 1903, he wrote of the species as follows : 

The few that I have seen have all been found by the hounds, usually when we 
were hunting bear, and always in just the kind of country a hear would choose — ■ 
the roughest, rockiest part of a dense cedar brake. Once on the head of the 
Frio River in November the hounds struck a hot trail and were just beginning to 
get off well together on it when a splendid male ocelot sprang into a large cedar 
close to us. Thinking the hounds might be on a bear trail I shot the cat at 
once, put him behind me on the saddle, and made after the hounds, that were 
getting off at a good pace. They ran about 2 miles and then treed a female 
ocelot in the bottom of a steep canyon. This we also shot and I think the two 
were together when we started them, and that they often go in pairs. They 
are not common here, but I fancy that they often rest in the trees and so escape 
the dogs. 

They are heavier and more muscular than the bobcat, and our hounds, that 
always make short work of a bobcat, find the leopard cat 'a tough proposition.' 
Unlike the bobcat, they have the strong odor peculiar to the larger felines, and 
I never killed one without being reminded of the lion house at the London Zoo. 

I have never had the luck to find any kittens, but a friend of mine ran a 
female into a cave with his hounds and killed her ; then the dogs went into the 
cave and killed and brought out two kittens a few weeks old. This was in 
November. On another occasion he killed a female that in the course of a few 
days would have brought forth two kittens. Another of my neighbors killed a 
female and two kittens in a cave near here. This was also in November, and 
the kittens had not yet got their eyes open. 

These cats do much damage to the stockmen, being especially fond of young 
pigs, kids, and lambs. They probably also kill fawns and turkeys, and, like 
many other cats, often hide what they can not eat under a heap of leaves. 

Felis cacomitli Baird (Berlandier MS.). Tied and Gray Cat. 

1857. Felis yaguarundi Baird, Mamm. N. Am., 88, 1857. From Lower Rio 
Grande region; not Felis yagouaroundi Geoffroy, 1803. from Guiana. 
Gray phase. 

1857. Felis eyra Baird, Mamm. N. Am., 88, 1857. From Lower Rio Grande 
region; not Felis eyra Fisch., 1815, from Paraguay. Red phase. 

1859. Fciis cacomitli Baird (Berlandier MS.), Report Mex. Boundary Sur- 
vey. II, 12, 1850. From Matamoras, Mexico. Gray phase. 

1901. Felis apache Mearns, Proc. Biol. Soc, Washington, XIV, 150, 1901. 

From Matamoras, Mexico. Red phase. ■ 

1902. Felis cacomitU Mearns, Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, XXIV, 207, 1902. 

Gray phase. 

A study of the specimens in the Biological Survey and U. S. 
National Museum collections, including five skins and skulls of the 
red cats and six of the gray from southern Texas and eastern Mexico, 


reveals no constant difference in cranial or external characters other 
than color. The striking coincidence of range and similarity of 
habits, as well as structure, of the red and gray cats strengthen the 
evidence tending to show that these supposedly distinct species pre- 
sent only another case of dichromatisni, comparable to the black and 
cinnamon bear and the red and gray phases of the screech owl. A 
wide range of individual variation in size, shades of color, and in 
cranial characters is shown in the series of specimens examined. The 
type skull of apache shows the widest departure in characters, and 
especially in dwarfed size; but as the animal was captured when very 
young and kept in confinement throughout the rest of its life with- 
out becoming wholly domesticated, this may account for abnormal 

Owing to lack of enough Central and South American specimens 
to show the relationship of cacomitli, through the several intervening 
forms, with typical yagouaroundi and eyra, it seems best for the pres- 
ent to treat this northernmost and relatively light-colored form as a 
species. When the relationships of the group are fully worked out it 
will doubtless stand as a subspecies of yagouaroundi. 

The Biological Survey collection contains four specimens of the 
gray and one of the red cat from Brownsville, collected by F. B. 
Armstrong in 1891 and 1892, and a young one of the gray form col- 
lected by Lloyd, August 9, 1891. This quarter-grown young was 
reported as one of a litter of four caught by a boy and a dog in a 
' resaca ' near Brownsville. Lloyd also reported seeing one fresh and 
several dry hides of the gray cat in Brownsville, and mentioned two 
" ancient mounted specimens " of the red cat in Armstrong's collection 
there, but did not say where they originally came from. Since then 
Armstrong has sent to the National Zoological Park at Washington 
four of the red and two of the gray cats alive from the Lower Rio 
Grande region. 

In a letter from Brownsville to Dr. Frank Baker, superintendent 
of the National Zoological Park, Armstrong writes: 

Eyra and yaguarundi cats inhabit the densest thickets where the timber 
(mesquite) is not very high, but the underbrush — eatsclaw and granjeno — is 
very thick and impenetrable for any large-sized animal. Their food is mice, 
rats, birds, and rabbits. Their slender bodies and agile movements enable them 
to capture their prey in the thickest of places. They climb trees, as I have shot 
them out of trees at night by 'shining their eyes' while deer hunting. I cap- 
ture them by burying traps at intervals along the trails that run through these 
thick places. 1 don't think they have any regular time for breeding, as I have 
seen young in both summer and winter, horn probably in August and March. 
They move around a good deal in daytime, as 1 have often seen them come down 
to a pond to drink at midday, and often see them dart through the brush in 
daytime. They are exceedingly hard to tame. Their habitat is from the Kio 
Grande, 40 miles north of here, as far as Tampico, Mexico. Beyond that 1 don't 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 169 

A ' long-tailed yellow lynx ' reported by John M. Priour from west 
of Corpus Christi in December, 1902, may have been this species. 
Mr. Priour thought it might be a partially albino ocelot. Appar- 
ently the same animal was seen there two years before by Dr. Adolph 
Huff, of San Antonio, who thought it might be a young panther. 

Lynx rufus texensis Allen. Texan Lynx. 

The large, dark, and usually much spotted and lined lynx of 
southern and eastern Texas ranges in Lower Sonoran zone north to 
at least Montague and Cooke counties and west to Kinney County. 
An immature specimen from Antioch and three skulls and six skins 
from Hardin and Liberty counties carry its range to near the eastern 
part of the State. More material may show that the form inhabits 
the whole Lower Sonoran zone of Texas, including the Pecos and 
Rio Grande valleys, and grades into baileyi or overlaps it in range 
in the Davis Mountains country. It is common over southern and 
eastern Texas and especially abundant in the dense chaparral of cac- 
tus and mesquite along brushy stream bottoms and in the timbered 
gulches where the lower arm of the Staked Plains breaks down into 
the low country, and in the swamp country farther east. At Port 
Lavaca Oberholser reports: "The wildcats are common in places 
away from town where there is sufficient cover, such as live-oak 
thickets and the great rose hedges. In the thickets they are not so 
difficult to hunt, but in the hedges they have almost impenetrable 
cover, and it is well-nigh impossible to reach them except by trap- 
ping." lie says that at O'Connorport " a good many wildcats inhabit 
the thicker part of the oak brush, where they can be hunted only with 
dogs; " on Matagorda Island " they occur in the little chaparral that 
grows on the island ; " and at Beeville " they are common in the 
denser portions of the chaparral, where specimens are frequently 
secured not far from town." From Corpus Christi to Brownsville 
in 1000 wildcats were common along streams and in the chaparral, 
where their tracks were abundant in the dusty trails and on tin 1 
muddy margins of streams and pools, but where the cover Avas gen- 
erally too dense and thorny to admit dogs or to allow any method of 
hunting save by traps or poison. Lloyd states in his report that 
along the lower Rio Grande and in Cameron County " most of the 
ranchmen will not allow the wildcats to be killed for fear their 
ranches will be overrun with wood rats, mice, and rabbits." Not only 
in this region, but farther north and east this fear has been realized 
many times in swarms of wood rats, cotton rats, and rabbits, but the 
services of such predatory mammals as wildcats, foxes, and coyotes 
are not always recognized by the ranchmen. I have found this lynx 
common at Uvalde, Devils "River, Kerr County, and farther east at 
Seguin, but in no other locality so abundant as in the Big Thicket of 


Liberty and Hardin counties. Here its tracks wore seen in every 
muddy spot in roads and trails, and on damp mornings the dogs 
started one about as soon as they got into the thicket. The cat would 
rarely tree, but usually, rabbitlike, would run round and round in a 
limited circle in the thickest part of the swamp, depending on out- 
running or dodging the dogs. Cat hunting is a favorite sport in 
this region, and the hunters usually take stands in open spots and 
wait for the dogs to drive the game within shot. In one case I shot 
the cat in front of the hounds as it passed me for the third time. It 
did not seem tired or much alarmed, but easily kept out of sight of 
the dogs. 

The stomach of this individual was full of venison that had not 
been perfectly fresh when eaten, probably from a deer that had been 
wounded by some hunters a week before. The hunter with me said 
he had examined the stomach of one not long before that was full of 
wood rats, and Gaut found wood rats in the stomach of one examined 
at Sour Lake. The food of this, like other species of lynx, consists 
mainly of rodents, rabbits, wood rats, ground squirrels, gophers, and 
mice, with a few birds, and occasionally some poultry. There are a 
few complaints of their killing sheep, young goats, and pigs. 

Lynx baileyi Merriam. Plateau Wildcat. 

The lynx of the mountains and Staked Plains regions of western 
Texas, as shown by specimens from the Davis Mountains, and from 
near Alpine and Van Horn, and Hat skins from Stanton and Odessa, 
is indistinguishable from baileyi, which seems to occupy at least th<> 
Upper Sonoran zone of Texas. An immature specimen from Pre- 
sidio County, a flat skin from the east base of the Chisos Mountains, 
and a flat skin labeled El Paso [?], are referred somewhat doubt- 
fully to this species, but good material from the Rio Grande Valley 
may change this decision. 

The country occupied by this plateau wildcat is mainly open, arid, 
and rocky. Canyons, gulches, and cliffs are its favorite haunts and 
hunting grounds, while eaves and clefts in the rocks furnish dens 
and safe retreats from which hunting excursions are made into the 
valleys and even to the edge of the plains. Fresh tracks are fre- 
quently seen where the cats have followed the lines of the cliffs, crept 
along narrow shelves of rock from one wood rat's den to another, or 
walked noiselessly in the dust under and around the great bowlders 
and broken talus at the base of a cliff where the cottontails hide. 
Most of the wildcat's hunting is done at night, but occasionally one is 
surprised at midday crossing a valley to another cliff or found toward 
evening getting an early supper. One shot among the rocks near 
Alpine just before sundown had already caught and eaten a wood rat, 
which made a good beginning for a meal. On the head of Onion 

North Ameiican Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate XV. 

Head of Plateau Wild-cat (Lynx baileyi) 

Oct., 1005.] MAMMALS. 171 

Creek, Presidio County, in January, 1890, while watching the hawks 
come into the cottonwoods to roost one evening at sundown, I saw 
a pair of bright eyes among the branches overhead and slowly traced 
out the almost in visit tie form of a wildcat flattened along a rough 
gray branch. I needed the specimen, so did not wait to see if hawks 
were the object of his hunt, but an empty stomach showed that he 
had met with no suet-ess. 

Here and there in some rocky corners of the cliffs one finds elon- 
gated pellets of bones and fur, some freshly deposited, others old 
and bleached, and these throw important light on the food habits 
of the animal. Bits of fur, teeth, and jaws serve to identify many 
of the mammals that have been eaten, and usually disclose a great 
preponderance of rabbits and wood rats. Traces of many smaller 
rodents and a few bird feathers and bones are found, but no remains 
of food other than animal. The ranchmen complain of some poul- 
try's being killed, and, still worse, a few sheep. This, with a few 
quail and other birds, is about all that stands against the account of 
the wildcat, with a much larger amount on the credit side. 

Wildcats are not readily trapped, as they rarely follow the same 
trail twice or touch any kind of bait. A few are shot, and the cow- 
boys occasionally rope one in the open, but they are most successfully 
hunted with dogs at night or early in the morning. When started, 
they quickly take to a tree or to the rocks, and are shot or driven out 
of the tree, or sometimes smoked out of the rocks. 

Canis griseus Sabine. Gray Wolf; Loafer; Lobo. 

The big, light-gray wolf. ' loafer/ or k lobo ' is still common over 
most of the plains and mountain country of western Texas, mainly 
west of the one hundredth meridian. As its range seems to extend 
into Lower Sonoran zone no farther than a wolf would naturally 
wander in a few nights, the animal seems to be restricted approxi- 
mately to the Upper Sonoran and Transition zones in the State. The 
only Texas specimens which I have for comparison are a skull from 
the top of the Guadalupe Mountains, just south of the New Mexico 
line, and one from Monahans, east of the Pecos Valley, both of 
which agree with skulls of the Colorado and Wyoming animals, the 
skins examined by Merritt Cary from Monahans and 50 miles north 
of Stanton, on the southern end of the Staked Plains, and by my- 
self from the Pecos Valley, and a live animal seen at Portales, 
X. Mex., all agree essentially with the Hue series of Colorado, Wyo- 
ming, and Montana skins in the Biological Survey collection. More- 
over, descriptions by the ranchmen over this region apply in every 
instance to the large, light-gray wolf, while along the southern edge 
of the plains almost all of the ranchmen distinguish between the red 
wolf or big coyote of the rough country and the larger, lighter- 


colored 'loafer' of the plains to the north. At Comstock, where 
special bounties are paid by sheep owners for the coyote and the com- 
mon red wolf, the t loafer ' is unknown. A specimen killed 20 miles 
north of there on the higher plains in 11)01 excited especial comment 
and raised the question whether or not the range of the gray wolf is 
being extended southward. 

These wolves are most abundant in and about the Davis and 
Guadalupe mountains and over the Staked Plains and open country 
east of the Pecos River. Whether they are residents in the Pecos 
Valley or merely wanderers between the plains and the mountains 
is not easily determined, but I have no record of their breeding in 
the low part of the valley, Avhile they are known to breed commonly 
in the high country on both sides. The present abundance of the 
species in any given place is not easily determined, as inferences are 
mainly drawn from the numbers killed, rather than the numbers left 
alive. Personally I have known of six or eight that were killed in 
1!)()1 and 1002 in the Davis Mountains, and a few in the Guadalupe 
Mountains and on the Staked Plains that were poisoned or dug out 
of their burrows. While my own observations have been limited, 
they aid in determining the accuracy of numerous other reports 
from resident hunters and ranchmen. These reports indicate that 
the wolves are not decreasing in numbers rapidly, if at all, in spite 
of those killed by ranchmen and by professional w 7 olf hunters. On 
many of the large ranches a special bounty of $10, $20, or sometimes 
$50, is paid for every wolf killed. Several smaller ranches often 
combine to offer a large bounty in addition to that paid by the 
county, so that wolf hunting becomes a profitable business. In such 
cases there is a strong temptation for the hunters to save the breeding 
females and dig out the young each year for the bounty, thus making 
their business not only profitable but permanent. The hunters als( 
bring wolves from a distance to the ranch paying the highest bounty 
The bounty system offers dangerous temptations and has nevei 
proved effectual or even highly beneficial over any large area." 

To protect themselves from fraud and their stock from wolves- 
many of the large ranch owners employ wolf hunters by the month 
and pay them well to keep the wolves and other noxious animals 
from their range. On the whole, when skilled hunters can be pro- 
cured, this seems by far the most economical and satisfactory method. 

When opportunity offers, the w loafer ' not only kills sheep but often 
kills a large number, apparently for the pleasure of killing. I lis 
regular and most serious depredations, however, are on the scattered 

" Extermination of Noxious Animals by Bounties, T. S. Palmer, Yearbooij 
U. s. Department of Agriculture, 1896, p. 55. 

Oct.,1905.] MAMMALS. 173 

and unguarded cattle of the range. Two or three wolves usually 
hunt together and sometimes pull down a steer, but most of their 
meat is procured from yearlings or cows. Occasionally a colt is 
killed, but not often. Where two or three wolves take up their resi- 
dence on a ranch and kill one or more head of cattle almost every day, 
the ranchmen become so seriously alarmed that they frequently offer 
a reward of $50 or $100 apiece for the scalps. In his report from 
Monahans, Merritt Cary writes: 

I secured a skull of a very large female lobo wolf, which was killed on Haw- 
kins's ranch in March, 1902, by Hugh Campbell. The skin when stretched on 
the side of the house is said to have measured 8 feet 4 inches from nose to end 
of tail, and was turned in to the Stockmen's Association, which paid Campbell 
$50 bounty on the animal. This female wolf was the mate to ' Big Foot.' a 
famous wolf throughout the region, whose track is always recognized by an 
extremely large right forefoot. On the second day of my stay at Hawkins's 
ranch Campbell and I got on the trail of 'Big Foot' and another wolf, which 
had crossed our own trail within two hours. Although on the trail for four 
hours we got no sight of them, nor did we find where they had killed any calves. 
There is a standing reward of $75 for ' Big Foot ' by the Stockmen's Association ; 
but although persistently hunted and trapped for a half dozen years, and thor- 
oughly known to every cowboy in the region, the wily old wolf still retains his 
freedom, spurning poisoned baits, even disdaining to touch any meat not freshly 
killed by himself. 

From Lipscomb, July. 1903, Howell reports : " Gray wolves occur 
in small numbers in this county, and a few cattle have recently been 
killed by them." 

In disposition the ' loafer ' is quite different from the coyote, lack- 
ing its cunning and assurance in the vicinity of man, and showing 
greater intelligence in the wild state and a better disposition when 
tamed. A half-grown ' loafer ' that I found playing about the hotel at 
Portales, a little town on the edge of the Staked Plains, was like a 
big, good-natured puppy, full of fun and play, but soon became fight- 
mg angry if roughly handled. Although running at liberty over the 
town, he had never tried his puppy teeth on the chickens and pigs 
around him. He was the only survivor of a litter of seven, dug out of a 
burrow before their eyes were open. The others died, but * Sampson ' 
was nursed on a bottle for seventeen days — until his eyes opened. 
When I saw him in June he already gave promise of becoming a 
good-sized ' loafer.' He had a powerful voice and always responded 
to music with a doleful howl. 

Canis (ater?) Richardson. Black Wolf. 

The black wolf is reported from a few localities in the timbered 
legion of eastern Texas, but in most cases as " common years ago, now 
very rare or quite extinct. " The more numerous reports of a " large 
gray wolf " or " timber wolf " in the same region merely indicate 


variation in color, and show that only a minority of the individuals 
are entirely black. Presumably they all are of the same species. 
Apparently there is not extant a Texas skin or skull of this wolf to 
show whether or not it is the same species as the one in Florida, and it 
is greatly to be hoped that specimens will find their way to the 
National Museum before the species becomes entirely extinct. 

Audubon, who had more experience with these wolves in their wild 
state and original abundance than any naturalist will ever have again, 
considered the black wolf of eastern Texas, Louisiana, southern Mis- 
souri, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Florida as one species, and 
carefully distinguished it from the " red wolf " of southern Texas 
and the white or gray wolf of the plains." 

Canis ruius Aud. and Bach. Texan Red Wolf. 

Since his work on the coyotes in 181)7, Doctor Merriam has made 
special effort to procure specimens of the large coyote or small wolf 
of southern Texas. As a result there are at the present time fourteen 
skulls and four skins of this wolf in the Survey collection from 
Columbus, Corpus Christi, O'Connorport, Port Lavaca, Kerr County, 
Edwards County, and Laredo, in addition to two skulls in the 
National Museum, one from Fort Richardson, Jack County, Tex., 
and one from Matamoras, Mexico. Based on these specimens and the 
field reports of the Biological Survey a definite range can be as- 
signed the species, covering the whole of southern Texas north to the 
mouth of the Pecos and the mouth of the Colorado, and still farther 
north along the strip of mesquite country east of the plains, approxi- 
mately covering the semiarid part of the Lower Sonoran zone. As 
yet there are no specimens to show whether these wolves extend into 
the more arid region west of the Pecos. While apparently nowhere 
overlapping the range of the larger, lighter-colored ' lobo ' or 
'loafer' of the plains, they take its place to the south and east as 
soon as the plains break down and the scrub oak and mesquite 
country begins, but their whole range is shared with the coyote. The 
ranchmen invariably distinguish between them and coyotes, and 
with good reason, for the wolves kill young cattle, goats, and colts 
with as much regularity as the coyotes kill sheep. While paying a 
bounty of $1 or $2 for coyotes, the ranchmen usually pay $10 or $20 
for red wolves. 

Canis nebracensis Merriam. Plains Coyote. 

Five coyote skulls from Canadian and three from Sherwood. Tex., 
and three from Clayton and two from 30 miles southeast of Carls- 
bad. N. Mex., agree with typical nebracensis skulls from Johnstown, 
Nebr. ; while a flat skin from Monahans is ns pale as the type of 

"And. and Bach., Quad. X. Am.. II, pp. 130-131 and •_>)::. 1851. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 175 

tiebracensis. This gives to the species a perfectly logical range over 
the Panhandle and Llano Estaeado, or the open Upper Sonoran 
plains of Texas, but specimens from many more localities are needed 
before its full range can be accurately outlined. At Lipscomb, in the 
northeast corner of the Panhandle, Howell reported coyotes July 10. 
1U03, as " common at some seasons." At Canadian, where five old 
skulls were secured at Simpson's ranch on Clear Creek, he reported 
them as "killed here in winter in some numbers;" and at Texline 
he stated that they were " fairly common in this region," and added 
that " two were seen during my stay (August 1-8), and another was 
killed at Buffalo Springs." 

In crossing the summit of the Staked Plains I have often seen the 
coyotes, both from the train and from our camp wagon, and night 
after night from our camp fires have heard their long quavering 
howls. But when seen they were always just out of rifle range. 
They were not afraid, and in this open, level country have little 
reason for fear. 

Canis nebracensis texensis " subsp. nov. Texas Coyote. 

Type from 45 miles southwest of Corpus Christi, Tex., $ young adult. No. 
116277, U. S. Nat. Mus., Biological Survey Coll. Collected by J. M. 
Priour, Dec. 14, 1901. Original No. 3478, X catalogue. 

General characters. — Similar to C. nebracensis, but darker and 
brighter colored and with lighter dentition. Smaller, brighter, and 
more fulvous than latrans; almost as richly colored as ochropus, but 
without the large ears of that species. Not in the same group as 
irdcrodon, mearnsi, and estor. 

Color. — Fresh winter pelage buffy gray, heavily clouded with 
black, becoming clear, bright, fulvous on legs, ears, and nose, and 
whitish on throat and belly; a strong line of black down front of 
foreleg. Summer pelage duller and darker. 

Skull. — Slightly slenderer than in nebracensis, with conspicuously 
lighter dentition, narrower molars and carnassials. 

Measurements of type. — Total length, 1,143; tail vertebrae, 355 
(measured by collector) ; hind foot, 180 (measured from dry skin). 
Skull of type: Basal length, 100; greatest length of nasals, 67; 
zygomatic breadth, ( .)4; mastoid breadth, 61; interorbital breadth, 
30; length of crown of upper carnassial tooth, 19.8. 

The Texas coyote is more or less common over at least middle and 

a In his Revision of the Coyotes, published in the Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash.. XI. 
26, 1897. Doctor Merriam referred this coyote provisionally to frustror, of 
which the half-grown type was then the only available specimen. A series 
of topotypes of frustror secured since at Red Fork. Ind. T., shows it to 
I"' a widely different species, more nearly related to Canis riifus. The 
coyote of southern Texas is thus left without a name, and its nearest relative 
proves to he the pale nebracensis of the more northern plains. 


southern Texas and apparently eastward on strips of prairie as far 
as Gainesville and Richmond. There are vague reports of a small 
wolf occurring farther east on the coast prairie even to the border of 
Louisiana, but specimens are needed before these reports can be asso- 
ciated with definite species. East of the semiarid mesquite region 
coyotes are rare and probably mere stragglers. True to their name 
of prairie wolf, they do not enter the timbered country to any extent, 
although at home in the scrub oak, juniper, mesquite, and chaparral, 
as well as over the open prairies of the southern part of the State. 
In the extreme southern part of the State their range is slightly over- 
lapped by that of the little microdot, and in the extreme western part 
by that of mearnsi, while specimens from the northern Pan Handle 
country and Staked Plains are nearer to nebracensis. 

In spite of the enmity of man, in spite of traps, poison, gun, and 
dogs, the coyote over most of his old range fairly holds his own. 
Combining with the cunning and suspicion of the fox a speed and 
endurance that almost insures his safety from ordinary hounds, he 
lias little to fear except an occasional long-range shot or the traps 
and poison of the professional coyote hunter. 

On many of the large ranches men are employed by the month to 
kill the coyotes, lobos, and panthers, and some of these men have 
attained such skill as to be able almost to extirpate the coyotes over 
a considerable area. But the coyotes are wanderers, and while they 
soon gather where food is abundant and easily procured, they quickly 
leave an inhospitable region for better hunting grounds. Civiliza- 
tion has little terror for them. I have heard them howling near 
many of the little towns and ranches, where they were attracted by 
the smell of freshly killed beef or by carcasses that were far 
from fresh, and near a ranch corral have found many dead coyotes 
poisoned at the carcass of a cow. After dark they show little fear 
of the ranch dogs, and sometimes seem even to invite a chase. In 
fact they not infrequently cross with the ranch dogs and produce 
hybrids with erect ears and wolfish appearance. I have seen several 
of these hybrids with characters that substantiated the statement 
that they were half coyote. At San Pedro Park, San Antonio, I was 
shown a 6-months-old cross between a coyote and shepherd dog. bred 
and born in the zoo. Except for being nearly black it had the gen- 
eral appearance of a coyote. It was kept chained in the open and 
was on friendly terms with the keeper. 

About our camps the coyotes on rare occasions are surprisingly 
familiar, coming close to the camp wagon, especially if there is fresh 
meat in it, though usually paying their visits after dark. Sometimes 
the first man up in the morning gets a glimpse of one sneaking away 
or on rare occasions gets a good shot within easy range. Except 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 177 

during the breeding season, when they are very quiet, their frequent 
serenades are our regular camp music. 

"Within certain limits the credit and debit sheets of the coyote are 
well balanced. On the one hand, he kills many sheep and a few 
goats, some poultry, and considerable game. On the other hand, 
the bulk of his food the year round consists of rabbits, prairie dogs, 
ground squirrels, gophers, wood rats, mice, and all the small rodents 
that come in his way. An unusual increase of jack rabbits in any 
region is always followed by a corresponding influx of coyotes, 
which probably accounts in part for the often observed fact that 
in the years following their maximum abundance jack rabbits are 
unusually scarce. 

At times the food of the coyote consists largely of fruit, including 
that of several species of cactus, juniper and forestiera berries, per- 
simmons, and the. sugary pods of mesquite; but in times of scarcity 
a piece of rawhide garnished with a few horned toads, lizards, and 
some horse manure suffices for a meal. 

Canis mearnsi Merriam. Mearns Coyote. 

Four good specimens, skins and skulls, of coyotes collected near 
El Paso late in February, 1903, by James H. Gaut are mearnsi in 
slightly worn and faded pelage. One skull from near the Texas and 
New Mexico line, in Salt Valley, at the west base of the Guadalupe 
Mountains, a good skin and skull from the same valley a little far- 
ther north, several specimens from the edge of Tularosa Valley, 
three old skulls from Sanderson, and two from Samuels, near the 
mouth of the Pecos, a skull from Grand Falls, in the Pecos Valley? 
and one from 30 miles southeast of Carlsbad, N. Mex., all belong to 
this slender, bright-colored desert form of the small-toothed coyotes. 
From the locality 30 miles southeast of Carlsbad, with the skull of an 
old male that is unmistakably mearmi, were collected two skulls of 
nebracensis, while from Sanderson and Salt Valley there are skulls 
that I can refer only to texensis. 

There is not yet material enough to show whether mearnsi grades 
into mierodon farther south or into est or farther north, but it evi- 
dently overlaps the range of both nebracensis and texensis. Nor are 
there any specimens from the Davis Mountain plateau to show what 
form or forms occur there. Canis mearnsi, so far as known, is Lower 
Sonoran in range. 

Coyotes are common throughout the extremely arid valleys of 
western Texas, including the Pecos and Rio Grande valleys south to 
their junction. Distance from water seems to have no effect on their 

3873— No. 25—05 m 12 


abundance, although in this region they can hardly find a spot 
more than an easy night's journey, 20 or 30 miles, from open water. 
We find their tracks along every road and trail, and often see one of 
the animals loping across the valley or watching us from a ridge, 
and frequently hear them from our evening camp fires. At El Paso 
in 1889 I jumped one from under a creosote bush, where it was 
sleeping at midday, within rifle shot of the town, and at another time 
saw four together on the mesa half a mile out from the railroad 
station. At Fort Hancock Gordon Donald reported them in 1902 
as very abundant, and said : " I heard them calling in the evenings, 
and the Mexicans had several young ones that they had caught in 
the vicinity. A ranchman told me that in the low foothills where 
his ranch was situated he saw tw T o or three coyotes every day." 

Canis microdon Merriam. Small-toothed Coyote. 

This little dark-colored coyote of the lower Rio Grande Valley 
overlaps the range of texensis in southern Texas. Specimens from 
Brownsville, Roma, and Alice show all that we know of its range in 
the State. These localities indicate that it is a chaparral rather than 
a prairie species, but there is nothing to prove that its habits are dif- 
ferent from those of texensis. 

Vulpes fulvus (Desm.). Red Fox. 

Apparently the red foxes are not natives of Texas," but since 
their introduction they are becoming locally common, especially over 
the eastern half of the State. Oberholser obtained reports of their 
occurrence at Texarkana, Jasper, and Austin; Hollister, at Antioch, 
Rockland, and Sour Lake; and Cary, from Kerr County and along 
Howard Creek and the Pecos River. The following extract from a 
letter from Mr. T. H. Brown to Mr. H. P. Attwater is, as Doctor 
Allen says, a document of historic interest : 6 

I was the first to introduce ' red foxes ' into this part of the State. We had 
exchanged our old-time native hounds, or, as they are usually called, 'pot 
lickers,' for the Walker dogs from Kentucky, and the gray foxes proved them- 
selves no match for these dogs, only being able to run from twenty to forty-five 
minutes ahead of them. Having the dogs, it became necessary to get game that 
would give them a respectable race. Accordingly, in 1891, I imported from 
Kentucky and Tennessee 10 red foxes and placed them among the Bosque 
brakes, about 4 miles above where it empties into the Brazos River. They 
gradually scattered over a large area of country. The next spring (1892) I 
again brought in 23 more reds from the older States, planting 13 of them 
again among the Bosque brakes and 10 of them on White Rock Creek, on the east 
side of the Brazos River. These foxes afforded us some fine sport ; but they, too, 

"See Aud. & Bach., Quad. X. Am.. II, 271, 1851. 

» Extract of letter from T. II. Brown, Waco, Tex., in Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist, 
VIII, p. 77, 1890. 

Oct.. 1005.] MAMMALS. 179 

gradually scattered, only a few remaining in the neighborhood of their adopted 
home, some wandering off through Bosque and Erath counties. The next 
spring 1 only succeeded in getting 2 reds from the East and planted these 
on the Bosque, and they remained and are still affording fine races. 
In the spring of 1895 1 again planted 5 reds on the river near Lover's Leap, 
where the waters of all the Bosques mingle with the waters of the Brazos. 
Some of the hlnffs here are 300 feet high and have a great many caves in 
them, and these last foxes seem well satisfied with their new home. Occa- 
sionally I hear of a red fox in various parts of this (McLennan) county, and 
I am satisfied that within a few years they will be as numerous here as in the 
old States. 

I understand that Messrs. Eli and James Rosborough and Capt. T. II. Craig, 
all of Marshall. Harrison County, some ten or fifteen years since planted quite 
a number of reds in that, the eastern, part of the State, and occasionally they 
find them where they have located off some 20 or 30 miles from where origi- 
nally turned loose. 

Dr. John D. Rogers has, I think, during the spring of 1895, planted some 
or 8 on his Brazos bottom farms in Brazos and Washington counties. I should 
suppose that in all there have been at least 100 red foxes imported and planted 
in the State. 

Vulpes velox (Say). Swift; Kit Fox. 

So far as known the swift in Texas ranges only over the Upper 
Sonoran Staked' Plains. It is reported at Tascosa and Washburn 
on the northern end of the plains and near Stanton and Midland at 
the southern end. In 1902 Gary secured five flat skins at Stanton, 
but says the ranchmen reported the swifts as scarce there in com- 
parison with their numbers in former years. Most of these skins 
were secured by poison put out in winter, when the swifts were 
said to come to the poisoned bait generally the first night after it was 
put out, while the coyotes usually waited until later. 

Vulpes macrotis neomexicanus Merriam. New Mexico Desert Fox. 

The little desert fox has been taken in the Rio Grande, Tularosa. 
and Pecos valleys just north of the Texas line, and one specimen was 
taken by James H. Gaut in Texas 10 miles north of Fl Paso. It is 
reported from as far south as the mouth of the Pecos. A fiat skin 
brought in to the store -at Sierra Blanca in December, 1889, had the 
characteristic large ear of the group, the ear measuring 78 mm. 
from crown. Apparently the range of the species corresponds in this 
region to that of Dipodomys spectdbilis in the open desert valleys 
of the Lower Sonoran zone. It is by no means common in the region, 
and many of the ranchmen have never seen it, or else have never dis- 
tinguished it from the common and much larger and darker-colored 
gray fox of the genus Urocyon. 



[No. 25. 

Urocyon cinereoargenteus scotti Mearns. Gray Fox. 

Urocyon cinereoargenteus texensis Mearns," Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XX, 
Advance Sheet, January 12, 1897, p. 2. 

The gray fox is common over all the western half of Texas, except 
on the open plains. It is mainly an inhabitant of the timbered or 
brushy country, living in hollow trees or logs, but preferably in 
dens among the rocks. It lacks the cunning and swiftness of the red 
fox, is easily caught in traps, and quickly overtaken by the hounds, 
except wdiere it can keep in dense cover. Often after a short run, 
and sometimes at the very start, it trees or takes to its rock den, 
where it is safe from the dogs; but if no such protection offers there 

Fig. -1. — Gray fox {Urocyon c. scotti) in trap, Langtry, Texas. 
(Photographed by Oberholser.) 

is little hope for the fox. Even over rocks and in the brush I have 
seen the hounds catch one in a •200-yard dash. With a good start. 

a The original label on the type of Urocyon c. texensis reads: "Rio Bravo and 
Nan Pedro. 1851. A. Schott." As is well known,. Rio Bravo is synonymous 
with Rio Grande, and at that time the Devils River was commonly known as 
the San Pedro. (See Baird's Mammals of N. Am., p. 713, and Pacific It. R. 
Rent., Vol. I, p. 110. Also see query after Eagle Pass in Mammals, Mex. Boun- 
dary Survey, Vol. Ik, pt. 2, p. 17.) This seems to necessitate changing the type 
locality of texensis from 'near Eagle Pass' to the junction of the Devils River 
with the Rio Grande, which, however, has no important hearing on the validity 
of the species. In comparing the type of texensis and other specimens from 
near the month of Devils River, Painted Caves, Langtry, San Diego, and the 
Davis Mountains, in western Texas, with the type of scuta and with specimens 
from all around the type locality -near Tucson. Fort Ilnachnca, Fort Bowie, 
Chiricahua Mountains, and Fort Verde — I am unahle to find any constant differ- 
ence, either cranial or external, on which to recognize texensis. 

Oct.. 1905.] 


however, one will lead the hounds a long chase over the roughest 
ground it can find, and if it does not make the mistake of climbing 
a tree, instead of taking to the rocks, it is pretty safe. Strange as it 
may seem, these foxes go up the trunk of a tree with almost cat-like 
ease. I have found them looking down at the dogs from 20 to 40 feet 
up in the branches of nut pines and live oaks, and have known of their 
climbing a yellow pine {Pinus ponderosa) where 20 feet of straight 
trunk over a foot in diameter intervened between the ground and 
the first branch. More often they take to a live oak or juniper, 
where the lower branches can be reached at a bound, and then, 
squirrel-like, hide in the swaying topmost branches. On the approach 
of the hunter they become anxious and seem to doubt the security 
of their position, sometimes making a flying leap to the ground. 
Stones and clubs will usually dislodge them from the tree top, but as 
they still have a good chance to escape the dogs and take to the rocks, 
it is a common and heartless practice to shoot them so as to break a 
leg and make escape impossible. 

With his smaller but laterally flattened tail the gray fox certainly 
equals, if he does not surpass, the red fox in quickness of motion and 
skill at dodging the dogs. If uninjured, he will often strike the 
ground in the midst of the hounds and escape by a few quick bounds 
to right and left. Apparently it is only his small size that puts him 
at a disadvantage in a test of speed with the hounds or with his 
larger cousin, the red fox. 

In choice of food the gray foxes are almost as omnivorous as the 
coon. Various fruits form the bulk of their food in summer and 
part of it in winter, while a great variety of small game, beetles, 
grasshoppers, maggots, mammals, birds, and some poultry fall a 
prey to them during the year. In June they were feeding extensively 
on berries of Zizyphus obtusifolia and Adelia angustifolia along the 
Rio Grande near Boquillas, while around the Davis Mountains in 
earty August they were feeding mainly on the ripe fruit of Opuntia 
engelmanni In December in the Davis Mountains and in September 
in the Guadalupe Mountains they were eating the sweet pulpy berries 
of Juniperus pachyphlcea, which grow in great abundance in these 
ranges and in the Chisos Mountains. Mice, wood rats, ground 
squirrels, rabbits, and various other small rodents are eaten when 
obtainable, and, much to our annoyance, are often taken from our 
traps or carried away, trap and all. At Langtry, Gaut examined several 
stomachs, and in one found part of a mocking bird and in another a 
Perognathus. At most of the ranches there are enough dogs to keep 
the foxes at a respectful distance from the poultry; but they have a 
keen relish for chickens, and are often complained of in vigorous 
terms. Without data for positive statements it seems probable that 


the good done in destroying small rodents equals, if it does not 
exceed, the mischief done among poultry. 

As a game animal this fox is holding its ground better than many 
more important species, and even from the sportsman's point of view 
needs little protection. The skin is of so little value for fur that it is 
rarely saved when the fox is killed. 

Urocyon cinereoargenteus fioridanus Rhoads. Florida Gray Fox. 

A nearly adult male gray fox from the Big Thicket, near Sour 
Lake, Tex., agrees with the Florida specimens in dark color, dusky 
legs, feet, and face, and in most of the cranial characters. The 
shorter, heavier muzzle is evidently due to slight immaturity. A 
flat skin from Tarkington Prairie is less dusky, and while probably 
shading toward scotti, more nearly resembles ocythous. A skull in 
the National Museum from Washington County, a little farther west, 
also shows some of the characters of ocythous, hut is not typical of 
any form. While I have no hesitation in referring the Big Thicket 
Uroc;/on to -fioridanus, it is probable that this is not the only form 
inhabiting the eastern part of the State. Before final conclusions 
can be reached more specimens are needed, especially from farther 

To show how generally the gray fox is distributed over eastern 
Texas the following localities are given from which it is reported as 
more or less common: Henrietta, Gainesville, Arthur, Texarkana, 
Waskom, Rockland, Jasper, Sour Lake, Tarkington Prairie, Ever- 
green, Hempstead, Matagorda, Washington, Antioch, and Long Lake. 
Those from Rockport and Brazos are likely to be nearer to scotti 
My information in regard to the habits of the animal in this region 
has been received mainly from residents, who say that the foxes keep 
in the brush and timber, especially along the river bottoms, where the 
thickest growth is found. They are said to climb trees, and com- 
plaints of their killing poultry are more frequent than in the more 
open country farther west. 

Near Sour Lake Gaut reports them as found mainly in the pine 
woods at the edge of -the thicket, but as occasionally straying down 
into the densest part of the thicket, where he caught one on Black 
Creek, near Mike Griffin's place. The stomach of this individual 
contained a mass of crayfish. 

Bassariscus astutus flavus Rhoads. Civet Cat: Cacomistle. 

The civet cat is common all over Texas except the open plains 
country of the western half from Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Seguin, 
Austin, Brownwood, and Grady westward. It has been reported east 
to Matagorda County, near the coast, and a specimen in the IT. S. 
National Museum is labeled " Red River." One from Gradv. Fisher 

North American Fauna, No. 25. 

Plate XVI. 

Civet Cat; Bassariscus (Bassariscus astutus flavus). 

Oct.. 1905.] MAMMALS. 


County, seems to be the northernmost authentic record for the State 
but the species undoubtedly continues along- the canyons and cliffs of 
the eastern edge of the Staked Plains to the Red and Canadian rivers." 

Although preeminently inhabitants of rocks, cliffs, and canyon 
walls, civet cats are common over the chaparral, mesquite, and cactus 
plains of southern Texas down to the very coast, a peculiarity of 
distribution shared by a number of other mammals which find in the 
thorny cover of dense patches of cactus and tangled thickets of 
chaparral ample protection and a greater abundance of small game 
than in the rocky haunts of the higher country. In habits they are 
catlike, mainly nocturnal and carnivorous. At night they prowl 
along the ledges of cliffs from cave to cave, leaving the prints of their 
little, round, catlike feet in the dry dust of the darkest corners, and 
helping themselves to a liberal share of the Peromyscus and Neotoma 
found in the traps of careless collectors. Usually, however, the small 
rodents are extremely scarce where the civet cats are at all common, 
and the wise collector scatters his small traps out over the valley until 
his steel traps have cleaned the cliffs of carnivorous species. 

Owing to their nocturnal habits and the fastness of their rock dens, 
the civet cats are rarely seen in the wild state, but when tamed the 
ranchmen say they make affectionate pets and are better mousers than 
the domestic cat. A pair was caught in traps in one of the canyons of 
the Rio Grande and the male fought and screamed viciously as we 
approached, but the female was quiet and gentle. Even in the traps 
the animation and brightness of their faces were wonderful. The 
large ears, when directed forward, were in constant motion. The 
long, -black, vibrating moustache, the striking black and light face 
markings, and. most of all, the big, soft, expressive eyes give a facial 
expression of unusual beauty and intelligence. L. A. Fuertes, who 
was with me when these two were caught, made a careful color study 
of the head of the male, which loses but little of its excellence in the 
black and white reproduction. 

An old female caught near Boquillas May 27 contained three nearly 

a The range of Bassariscus has been supposed to extend eastward to Arkansas 
(see Baird, Mammals of North America, p. 147). and a skin in the U. S. 
National Museum is labeled "Red River, Ark." On the remaining fragment of 
the original label of this specimen is only " Red River, Capt. Marcy." There is 
no date on the label, but the skin was entered in the Museum catalogue March 31, 
1853. In 1852 Captain Marcy explored the headwaters of the Red River and in 
his report records Bassariscus from the "Cross Timbers." probably this same 
specimen. (See Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, p. 180, 1854, by 
Capt. Randolph R. Marcy. Also, for route of Captain Marcy. see map opposite 
p. 36 of Annual Report of Wheeler Survey, Rept. Chief of Engineers for 187<i, 
App. JJ.) 


developed fetuses, which, with a litter of four young recorded by 
Mr. Clark from San Pedro River, would indicate small families." 

Most of the stomachs of BassaHscus examined have been found to 
contain the bones and hair of small rodents, which make up also most 
of the excrement found along ledges and in caves where the animals 
live. Fragments of a large centipede were found in the stomach of 
one caught by Gordon Donald on Devils River; and in other localities 
they have been reported as eating fruit. At Langtry, Gaut caught 
several in traps baited with meat. 

Taxidea taxus berlandieri Baird. Mexican Badger. 

The badger is generally distributed over the western half of Texas, 
but apparently is unknown in the eastern part of the State. Its 
eastern limit corresponds, in a general way, with the eastern edge of 
the mesquite country. Specimens have been taken as far east as 
Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Mason, and there are records from 
Clyde, Henrietta, and Mobeetie. A significant fact is that the badg- 
er's eastern limit of range agrees closely with the eastern limits of 
the prairie dog and the Mexican ground squirrel. Its abundance 
depends mainly on food supply, reaching a maximum on the open 
plains in the prairie-dog country and decreasing slightly in the south- 
ern part of the State and in the mountains and rocky country of the 
extreme western part. But in speaking of badgers, abundance may 
mean one to a square mile, while with prairie dogs it may mean 10,000 
to a square mile. 

When food is scarce the badgers become great wanderers. Their 
short legs are fully compensated by their unusual strength and by 
their capacity for digging and fighting, that enable them to escape 
from most enemies. But with such abundance of food as is found in 
a populous prairie dog town, they waste little time in travel. They 
become fat and lazy; but as food grows scarce they start off again 
on their travels, sinking a house in the earth wherever sleeping time 
overtakes them. 

The badger feeds mainly on small rodents, varied with grasshop- 
pers, beetles, scorpions, lizards, or some larger animal found dead. It 
is accused of killing poultry, but the accusation is so rarely substan- 
tiated that it may well be ignored. Pocket gophers, kangaroo rats, 
wood rats, and various kinds of mice are always acceptable, but the 
badger lives mainly on prairie dogs and ground squirrels, which fall 
an easy prey, lie often digs a dozen holes along the interminable 
tunnel of a pocket gopher and then gives up in disgust, but a fat 
spermophile or prairie dog at the bottom of its simple burrow is 
entirely at his disposal, nor does he have much trouble in digging it 

" Baird, Mammals of North America, i>. 147, 1857. 

Oct., 1005.] 



out. A few minutes' work with his powerful claws will unearth the 
spermophile, while by merely enlarging the prairie-dog hole about 
two diameters he enters its deepest chambers and is sure of a good 
square meal at the end. On a ranch in the Pecos Valley I found a 
badger living in an alfalfa field that had been overrun with prairie 
dogs. Every morning there was at least one new hole that he had 
enlarged, and while he may have secured two or three prairie dogs 
in some of the burrows he was evidently destroying at least one a 
day. This badger was needed for a specimen, and at the earnest 
solicitation of the ranch people, who were afraid he would kill their 


Fig. 22. — Prairie-dog burrow enlarged by badger, Pecos Valley. 

poultry, I finally shot him as he came out about -1 o'clock one after- 
noon to get his supper. He had begun on a Swainson hawk that 
had been shot the day before. Otherwise his stomach was empty, 
but the lower part of his alimentary tract was full of wads of prairie- 
dog fur from his meal of the previous night. He was fat and had 
evidently been working all summer in that 20-acre field. The people 
had no reason to believe that he had ever killed any of their poultry, 
but they were afraid that he would. There were already two badger 
skins hanging in the tool house on this ranch, while a 20-acre field 
of alfalfa was rendered almost worthless by prairie dogs. When I 
tried to convince the owners that every badger on the ranch was 


worth $100 to them they only laughed. Some of the ranchmen, 
however, appreciate the services of the animal, but even then the 
temptation to try a shot at one at long range or to let the dogs catch 
one for a fight is often too great to be resisted. Dead badgers are 
frequently seen by the roadside with smashed skulls or bullet holes 
through them, and this most often in the heart of the prairie-dog 
country. When taken to task for their folly in destroying these valu- 
able animals the ranchmen have usually stoutly denied the charge, 
saving that most of them were killed by emigrants and other ' tender- 

The cowboys, however, have a real grievance against the badgers, 
especially those who have been thrown from running horses that had 
inadvertently stepped in old and half-concealed holes. Such acci- 
dents are by no means rare, and sometimes they are fatal to both horse 
and rider. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the cowboys look 
upon the badger as a legitimate target for their six-shooters. In a 
prairie-dog country, however, this is not a fair excuse, for prairie-dog 
holes are just as dangerous, and each badger helps to reduce the 
total number of pitfalls. 

The rapid increase in the abundance of prairie dogs in certain 
parts of the State and their constant extension of range is unquestion- 
ably due in great measure, if not mainly, to the destruction of 
badgers. It seems unaccountable that the intelligent observations of 
ranch people should not result in a strong sentiment in favor of pro- 
tecting badgers, but it must be remembered that without the sup- 
port of protective laws nothing can be done to prevent the destruc- 
tion of the animals by uninterested and irresponsible people. 

Ursus americanus Pallas. Black Bear; Cinnamon Bear. 

Specimens of the black bears collected in the Wichita Mountains, 
Oklahoma, prove to be americanus, and the bears reported from Mo- 
beetie and near Washburn were undoubtedly the same. Others 
reported farther south from west of Austin and even to Kerrville 
may have been the same, also the bears from, the Guadalupe Moun- 
tains, but as no specimens from these Texas localities have been seen 
the species can be admitted to the State list only provisionally. 

At Washburn in 1892 I was told that there were a few black bears 
south of there in the canyon of the Prairie Dog Fork, and at Mobeetie 
in 1901 Oberholser reported them as ''formerly common, now ex- 
tinct." In YMY2 Oberholser obtained a rather indefinite report at 
Austin that " a few bears were still to be found in the rough country 
west of there," and the same year at Kerrville I was told that bears 

a As is well known, the black and cinnamon hears are merely dichromatic 
forms, or color phases of the same species, one cub of a litter often being black 
and another brown. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 187 

were becoming very scarce, but that one had been killed the previous 
year only 7 miles from there. 

Ursus americanus amblyceps Baird. New Mexico Black Bear. 

Black bears are still found in the timbered mountains of western 
Texas, where in a few restricted areas they are fairly common. A 
few specimens examined from the Davis and Chisos mountains can 
best be referred to amblyceps, but there are no specimens from the 
Guadalupe Mountains or from middle Texas to show where this 
form gives place to americanus on the north or to luteolus of the east- 
ern part of the State. The records from Kerrville, west of Austin, 
Prairie Dog Fork, (near Washburn), and Mobeetie I am inclined to 
refer provisionally to americanus. 

In July of 1902 a young black bear was caught by the section men 
on the railroad near Comstoek, and a few were reported from the 
Pecos Canyon and vicinity. Bears were formerly abundant in this 
region, but apparently no specimen has been preserved to show what 
form ranged in the Pecos, Devils River, and Rio Grande country. 
On Onion Creek, 30 miles south of Marfa, in January, 1890, I picked 
up a skull from one of three bears killed near there in 1887. In 
June of 1001 black bears were common in the upper canyons of the 
Chisos Mountains, where fresh tracks of old and young were fre- 
quently seen and where there was an abundance of old 'sign' and- 
turned-over stones. The old excrement was made up largely of 
acorns, juniper berries, and pine nuts, while the seeds of cactus fruit 
were noticed in the fresher deposits. 

In the Davis Mountains black bears hold their own surprisingly 
well against unusual odds. In July, 1901, I found abundant ' sign,' 
fresh tracks, and turned-over stones along the crest of the higher 
ridges on the east slope of Mount Livermore, and again in August, 
190^, found ' sign ' equally abundant in the canyons on the west slopes. 
In following up a deep canyon west of the main peak on August 13 
after a heavy rain of the previous day, I saw fresh tracks of bears of 
at least three different sizes — cubs, yearlings, and adults — and found 
numerous little diggings in the black mellow soil where roots or beetles 
had been unearthed, and many stones freshly turned over for the ants 
and beetles beneath them. In a side gulch a large buckthorn bush 
{Bhamnus purshiana) had been freshly torn up and half stripped of 
its ripening berries, while close by was a lot of fresh bear ' sign,' made 
up entirely of the skins and seeds of these berries. In other places 
on the east slope I found fresh ' sign,' composed mainly of the sugary 
berries of the checker-barked juniper (/. pachyphlcea) , and some 
that was older, largely composed of acorn shells. 

In the southern part of the Guadalupe Mountains, on the upper 
slopes of almost inaccessible canyons, black and brown bears were 


common in 1901. In the head of McKittrick Canyon they had well- 
worn trails leading to and from their feeding grounds on the oak 
and juniper ridges and down the canyon to the upper water holes. 
In places along the sides of narrow, bowlder-strewn gulches the 
trails were series of big, deep tracks, where for ages each bear had 
stepped in the footprints of his predecessor. On the open slopes 
the trails spread out and were lost. On some of these slopes almost 
every loose stone had been turned over by bears in their search for 
insects, but at the time of my visit, in August, they were feeding 
mainly on the sweet acorns of several species of shin oak, berries of 
the checker-barked juniper, and, to a less extent, berries of Berberis 
fremonti. Some of the previous year's excrement contained shells of 
pine nuts (P tints edulis), but this was the off year, when the nut 
pines did not bear. 

Near one of the trails in the head of Dog Canyon in the Gaudalupe 
Mountains a Douglas spruce a foot in diameter had served for many 
years as a gnawing tree, while farther up the gulch a larger yellow 
pine was well blazed and deeply scarred by many old and a few new 
gashes of powerful teeth. In the Davis Mountains, on the ridge just 
north of Livermore, a yellow pine a foot and a half through had 
served as a bear register for apparently ten or twenty years. It was 
deeply scored on all sides from 4 to 6 feet from the ground, but on 
one side from 5 to 6 feet up, the bark had long been cut away and 
the dry weathered wood was splintered and gashed with deep grooves 
of various ages. Two fresh sets of tooth prints showed on opposite 
sides of the tree near the top of the ring, and one little bear had 
lately tried his teeth in the green bark about 4 feet from the ground. 
At the head of a gulch on the east side of Limpia Creek stood another 
big yellow pine that had been similarly treated, and on it, as on the 
others, the upper limit of reach was about 6 feet from the ground. 
Apparently the bear at each visit to one of these register trees had 
given but a single bite, leaving the marks of an opposing pair of 

In January of 1890 I learned that ten or twelve bears had been 
killed in the Davis Mountains the fall before, and the annual bear 
hunt of the ranchmen has become as firmly established an institution 
there as the annual camp meeting. In November a large crowd 
gathers with camp wagons, hounds, and saddle horses for a week's 
bear hunting. In 1900 ten bears were killed by the party, and in 1902 
four were killed. Others are killed each year by local hunters. 

At present the black bears do no serious damage to stock, and it is 
greatly to be hoped that their numbers will not be materially reduced. 

Ursus luteolus Griffith. Louisiana Bear. 

The Louisiana bear formerly ranged over most of eastern Texas, 
and still is found in considerable numbers in the more extensive 

Oct., 1005.] 


swamps and thickets. Skulls examined from Kountze, Sour Lake. 
Tarkington, and Wharton have the long, low brain case and very 
large molars characterizing the species, while the skins are indistin- 
guishable from those of americanus in the black phase. 

The following reports of field naturalists for 1902 from scattered 
localities will give an idea of the oresent status of the bears over 
eastern Texas : 

Texarkana : Now very rare ; one killed a few years ago. 

Waskom : Formerly common ; now very rare. 

Jefferson: Very scarce; one killed near here a few years ago. 

Antioch : Formerly common ; now extinct. 

Rockland : Now very rare or quite extinct. 

Conroe : A few still found in the w big thicket. ' 15 miles south of 

Beaumont : A few still found in the forest northwest of here. 

Brenham : Formerly common along the Brazos ; now extinct. 

Elgin : Formerly common ; now rare or extinct. 

Sour Lake : Still common in the swamps near here ; a few killed 
every year. An old one and two cubs seen during July. 

At Richmond in 1899 I was informed that bears were still fairly 
common in the timbered bottoms along the Bernard River, 18 miles 
to the southwest, where in the fall one old trapper made a business of 
trapping them. At Seguin, in 1901, they were said to have been 
exterminated years ago, though formerly common. 

The following reports, made in 1900 by Oberholser, probably also 
relate to this species : 

Beeville: Bears are still found on the Nueces, 20 miles west of here. 

San Diego : One was seen a few years ago some 12 miles northwest 
of here. 

Uvalde : A few are still found in the canyon of the Nueces. 

At Wharton in November, 1901, I secured the skull of a bear killed 
the previous year by a negro who said there were still a good many in 
the thicket near there. Mr. W. O. Victor also told me that he knew 
where several bears were living in the thicket, and that he hoped to 
kill some of them later in the season when they became fat. Mr. 
Victor has an apiary with a large number of hives located at several 
points in the dense woods and thickets bordering the Colorado River 
below Wharton, and the bears have caused him much trouble and 
considerable loss through their fondness for honey. During the past 
ten years he has killed eight or nine bears, mainly for the protection 
of his bees. Some of these were killed with set guns, some by trap- 
ping, and others in the hunt. One was shot at night by Mr. Victor 

" The Biological Survey is indebted to Mr. J. B. Hooks, of Kountze, for the 
loan of one skull of this species and the presentation of another. 


and two companions who were watching for it in the bee stand. 
When the men approached the bear after he was located, they could 
hear him whining and sniffling as if the bees were making it hot for 
him. This probably accounts for his letting them come near enough 
by moonlight for a fatal shot. This bee stand Avas about 3 miles from 
town and back from any settlement or ranch, and the bear had been 
feasting on honey for several nights before the mischief was dis- 
covered. Mr. Victor says about fifty swarms were destroyed, the 
hives turned over, part of the honey scooped out, and the bees 
scattered. In many cases the bear apparently became enraged at the 
stings and smashed the hives in retaliation. A photograph of this 
bear, taken the following morning, shows him stretched out among 
the overturned hives and gives some idea of the mischief he had done. 

Mr. Victor says the bears in that region ' den up ' for a little while 
during the coldest part of winter, or at least keep quiet in the densest 
thickets. He says they are invariably black, and he thinks the nose 
also is black. 

In November, 190-1, an old bear hunter, Ab Carter, living on the 
west edge of Tarkington Prairie, in Liberty County, told me that 
there were no bears at that time in Liberty County west of the Trin- 
ity River, but the active part taken by Mr. Carter in exterminating 
the bears in that locality makes his statements of peculiar interest. 
Forty-nine years ago he was born on the ranch he now owns, and 
his principal occupation, like that of his father, has been keeping 
hogs and killing bears. To a man with several hundred hogs running 
in the woods, bear killing was the most important part of the season's 
work, but it was not until about 1883 that the extermination of the 
bears began in earnest. At that time Mr. Carter and a neighbor each 
got a pack of good bear hounds and in the following two years they 
killed 182 bears, mainly within a radius of 10 miles from the ranches. 
This reduced the number of bears so that later not more than ten to 
twenty were killed annually up to 11)00, when Mr. Carter killed the 
last two of the vicinity. Two years ago he killed the last of his bear 
dogs, and now keeps only hog and wolf dogs, while his hogs cat acorns 
in safety over 100 square miles of magnificent forest and dense thicket. 

The number of hogs killed in a year could be only approximately 
estimated, but Mr. Carter thinks the bears sometimes got nearly half 
of the pigs and many of the hogs. Pigs were their favorite prey, 
and were easily caught, but the bears took anything they could get. 
One large 4-year-old boar was killed and partly eaten only a mile 
from the house. 

As soon as acorns began to fall the bears would feed on them and 
let the hogs alone for a while, but during spring and summer pork- 
was their principal food. The first berry to ripen in summer, Mr. 
Carter says, is on the ' grandaddy graybeard ' bush (apparently A me- 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 191 

lanchier), of which the bears are very fond. Blackberries and huck- 
leberries are abundant summer food for bears. Later the sour gum 
(Nyssa sylvatica) is a favorite, food, and nearly every sour-gum tree 
in the woods has its top branches bent and twisted and its bark well 

Mr. Carter went with me to an old pine 'measuring tree" in the 
woods that he said had been bitten deep into the wood about as high 
up as he could reach, but when we found the tree it was only a 
charred stump. Fire had destroyed all trace of the bear marks. 
Another small pine that we found had grown well out around the 
old bites that still showed plainly in the dead wood. Mr. Carter 
says cypress trees are sometimes bitten in the same way by bears, but 
less commonly than pines. 

In the Big Thicket of Hardin County black bears were common 
in many parts of the thicket in December, 1904, but not so abundant 
as they were a few years ago. I had no trouble in starting one 
almost every day, but could not get a pack of dogs that would hold 
one till I could get to it. I had five good bear hounds, but each of 
the several bears that we started escaped. The bears in this region 
rarely tree for dogs, and unless the dogs keep one fighting on the 
ground he travels faster than a man can run through the jungle of 
palmettoes, brush, and vines. Horses are useless in the thicket. 

AVhile hunting I found numerous bear beds and old and fresh 
' sign,' some composed of acorns, some of sour gum and other berries. 
We also saw half chewed acorns where the bears had been feeding. 
During summer the bears feed extensively on pigs belonging to the 
settlers, but in December both pigs and bears were rapidly fattening 
on the abundant acorn crop. 

In several places in the heart of the Thicket I found cypress trees 
gnawed by the bears as high as they could reach, 6 to 7 feet from the 
ground, and I photographed two of these trees. One, which was 
about a foot in diameter, had been bitten lately and at different times 
previously for at least eight or ten years. Several large spots of 
wood were dead and bare of bark and full of old tooth prints. The 
other tree, over 2 feet in diameter, had been bitten for a longer time. 
probably fifty years, and the old dead wood was sunken 4 or 5 
inches deep in the surrounding growth. The fresher bites were on 
new spots and some were made apparently the day before, as fresh 
mud had been rubbed against the trunk as high up as 4 feet. One old- 
field pine about. 14 inches in diameter had been well bitten at the 
usual height, but in this region cypress seems to be the favorite biting- 
tree, or ' measuring tree,' as called by the hunters. Several magnolia 
trees showed deep claw marks in the smooth, gray bark, and the 
rough bark of the sour gum is often clawed extensively, although 
the marks are indistinct, The bears are said to feed to some extent 

192 XoKTll AMKKU'AN FAUNA. [No. 25. 

od magnolia berries and very extensively on the berries of the sour 

I have inquired of many hunters and find none who have ever seen 
a brown hoar in this region. The nose is said to be brown in some 
and entirely black in others. The large old male, of which I secured 
the skull and incomplete skin, was said to have had a brown nose, 
as diil the perfect skin of the female sent with it. Dan Griffin, 
who killed it. says it was the largest hear he ever saw. He thinks it 
would have weighed 400 pounds, although poor, and says that two 
men while skinning it had hard work to turn it over. 

TJrsus horribilis horriaeus Baird. Sonora Grizzly. 

The only specimen of grizzly hear that 1 have seen or heard of 
from Texas was killed in the Davis Mountains in October, 1890. by 
C. O. Finley and John Z. Means. The skull, which Mr. Finley has 
kindly sent me for comparison, proves to be that of a large and very 
old male of the Sonora grizzly, agreeing in all essential characters 
with Baird's type of horriaeus from southwestern New Mexico. The 
measurements of the skull are: Greatest length, 370; basal length. 
310: zygomatic breadth. :2:20: mastoid breadth. 157; interorbital 
breadth. 71: postorbital breadth. 69. The claws on the front feet. 
Mr. Finley says, were about 3^ inches long, and the color of the bear 
was brown with gray tips to the hairs. Its weight was estimated at 
1,100 pounds. " if it had been fat.' Mr. Finley says that this bear had 
killed a cow and eaten most of it in a gulch near the head of Limpia 
Creek, where the dogs took the trail. Out of a pack of fifty-two 
hounds only a few would follow the trail, although most of them were 
used to hunting black bear. These few followed rather reluctantly, 
and after a run of about 5 miles over rough country stopped the bear, 
which killed one of them before it was quieted by the rifles of Finley 
and Means. It took four men to put the skin, with head and feet 
attached, upon a horse for the return to camp. 

Nasua narica yucatanica" Allen. Nasua; Coati. 

A specimen of this long-nosed, long-tailed, coon-like animal in the 
National Museum, collected in ls77 at Brownsville by the late Dr. 
.1. C. Merrill, furnishes apparently the only record for the State. A- 
nasuas occur over most of Mexico up to near the border of the 
United States, other records along the Rio Grande may be expected. 

Procyon lotor (Linn.). Raccoon; Coon. 

The raccoon of eastern Texas, as represented by specimens from the 
coast region as far west a- Matagorda and in the interior from Tex- 

" Dr. .T. A. Allen, in Bui. Am. Mns. Nat. Hist. XX. 53, 1904, identifies the 
Brownsville specimen as Nasua narica yucatanica Allen: it is possible, there- 
fore, that this specimen may have been an imported animal that escaped fr<>m 

Oct., 1 9( >5. J MAMMALS. 1 93 

arkana west to Kerrville and Mason, differs but little from typical 
lotov of the northeastern United States. The slightly larger size, 

wider muzzle, and usually heavier dentition show a tendency toward 
mexicanus, into which it grades to the west. The high frontals of 
specimens from the coast marshes of southeastern Texas suggest an 
approach to elucus, the Florida form, but in the light of the present 
material these coast specimens can best be referred to lotor. 

Coons are abundant along- the margins of streams, lakes, and bays, 
along the coast, in marshes, or around water holes, adapting their 
habits to almost any condition save that of dryness. In the timbered 
country hollow trees, hollow logs, cavities under old logs, or upturned 
roots provide them temporary homes in which to spend the day. and 
on the great salt marshes of the coast country masses of fallen grass 
and rushes provide dark cover, or hollow banks and windrows of 
drift stuff afford safe retreats, while the broken walls of rocky can- 
yons and gulches toward the headwaters of the streams furnish the 
favorite, because the safest, dens. It is not uncommon for coons to 
leave the stream where they have been hunting and travel half a 
mile or a mile to dens in a cliff, though otherwise they are rarely 
found so far from water. They are mainly nocturnal, and every 
morning their unmistakable plantigrade tracks mark the shores of 
the streams, following the trails, logs, or mud flats, now in, now out 
of the water, often disappearing where the animals swam from point 
to point or from one side to the other of the stream in search of food. 
Often the coons follow the same line of travel again and again, until 
well-worn trails are formed along the margins of the streams or 
through the marsh grass. Along these trails scattered remains of 
food tell half the story of the coon's life. In places along the Guada- 
lupe River, in Kerr County, almost every little point and island has 
its pile of mussel shells from which the mussels have been eaten, and 
every morning a few shells freshly scooped out are found on the piles 
until sometimes a bushel is accumulated. On the coast marshes the 
[shells of craw T fish are found scattered along the coon trails, while the 
excrement deposited here and there in well-chosen spots is made up 
largely of the indigestible parts of crustaceans mixed with a few T 
scales and bones of fish and occasional traces of frogs and small mam- 
mals. As these marshes swarm with craw T fish and small crabs, the 
coons have a perennial feast and naturally become numerous. On 
Matagorda Peninsula Lloyd reported them feeding on oysters as well 
as crabs and crawfish, and in the stomach of one caught near the 
mouth of the Colorado River he reported finding a meadow lark. In 
their selection of food coons are quite as omnivorous as bears, seeming 
to relish almost any kind of flesh, fruit, grain, nuts, and acorns. At 
Brazos they were reported by B. H. Dutcher as feeding on melons. 
3873— No. 25—05 m 13 


Their nightly raids on fields of green corn are too well known to need 
comment, and small fields of corn planted in or near the woods are 
sometimes almost destroyed, the ears being torn open and the corn 
eaten from the cob from the time of the early milk stage until ripe, 
and even after being cut and shocked. 

In the Big Thicket coons are numerous along every stream and 
bayou, as shown by fresh tracks along roads and trails and in the 
muddy margins of ponds and water ways, and by skins drying under 
the sheds of almost every ranch. Their fur is the principal catch of 
most of the trappers and their abundance makes trapping fairly 
profitable in this region. During November and December they were 
feeding mainly on acorns, but were still eating crawfish, while the old 
shells of mussels, including the enormous pearl-bearing species 
{Quadrula heros) and the smaller thick-shelled Quadrula forsheyi, 
piled here and there along the banks of bayous, apparently marked 
the remains of summer feasts. 

While watching for fox squirrels one morning in the heavily 
timbered bottoms I heard a scratching sound from an old cypress in 
the edge of the swamp near by, followed by a loud splash. A young 
coon less than half grown had fallen from the tree into the water. 
At the sound the old coon and two more young ones came out of a 
hollow some 30 feet up in the trunk and climbed down to near the 
bottom of the tree. They came down the tree slowly but steadily, 
head first, as a squirrel would have done, with the hind feet reversed 
and slightly divergent. When the old coon saw the young one climb 
out of the water upon the tree trunk she turned about and ascended the 
trunk, followed by the three young. The one that had fallen, besides 
being very wet, was slightly hurt, and climbed with difficulty. When 
halfway up he stopped on a limb to rest and began whimpering and 
crying. The mother had already reached the hole, but on hearing hi 
cries turned about and climbed down to him. Taking a good hold of 
the back of his neck and placing him between her fore legs so that he. 
too, could climb she marched him up the tree and into the hollow. 

Procyon lotor mexicanus Baird. Mexican Raccoon. 

Raccoons are common along every stream in Texas, and especially 
common along the coast and on the islands. Specimens from the Rio 
Grande, Pecos, and Devils River country are large and pale; they 
have a long tail and the more quadrate molars of mexicanus, to which 
subspecies they are referred, although differing in having the nar- 
rower basioccipital and yellow nape of lotor." 

« It has been customary to refer specimens from western Texas to hernandezi, 
but a number of specimens of that species from the type region in Mexico, col- 
lected by Nelson and Goldman, prove to be quite different from the Texas 



Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 195 

In the northern part of the State the range of mexicanus is partly 
cut off from that of the smaller, darker coon of eastern Texas by the 
plains ; but near the coast, where there is no break in the ranges, only 
an arbitrary division can be made between the two forms. Specimens 
from as far east as Corpus Christi can safely be referred to mexica?ius 
and others from as far west as Matagorda to lotor, while specimens 
between, from Port Lavaca and Aransas County, can be referred as 
well to one as the other. Assuming, as seems necessary, that Baird's 
redescribing and correctly naming " Procyon lotor variete mexicaine " 
of St. Hilaire a fixes the type locality at Mazatlan, Mexico, the name 
mexicanus becomes- available for the coon of western Texas, which, 
though not typical, is certainly nearer to this form in general char- 
acters, as well as in geographic position, than to any other. 

In western Texas coons are closely restricted to the streams, and 
consequently are rare over the wide intervals of dry desert country 
between. Along the Rio Grande, Pecos, and Devils River valleys 
they are especially abundant, and their dens are almost invariably 
located in the broken Avalls^of cliffs and canyons. In the low country 
toward the coast of southern Texas, where dense chaparral, cactus 
patches, and the tall grass of the salt marshes offer ample shelter and 
streams are not infrequent, they have a more continuous distribution. 
From Corpus Christi to Brownsville their tracks were seen along the 
shores of every stream and pond and were especially numerous near 
the coast, where the animals apparently lived on the little fiddler 
crabs {Gelasimus pugilatorf), always found in abundance on the 
low, sandy soil. Lloyd reported hackberries (probably Momesia pal- 
lida) in the stomach of one caught at Corpus Christi. In the Pecos 
and Devils River canyons the heavy shells of one of the pearl-bearing 
mussels (Lampsilis berlandieri) are often found in piles along the 
banks of the streams, but the ripe fruits of the prickly pear (O puntia 
engelmanni) and of the black persimmon (Brayodendron texanum) 
were their principal food in July and August. The sweet pods of 
mesquite were also eaten, and apparently some of the insipid berries 
of Zizyphus, Gondalia, Adelia, Lycium, and Momesia. 

Intra (canadensis?) (Schreber). Otter. 

Otters are not ulicommon in the streams of eastern Texas, but, 
being unable to procure a specimen from any part of the State, I can 
only provisionally refer the species to canadensis. The only speci- 
men that throws any light on the question is a fine old male collected 
at Tallulah, Madison County, in northeastern Louisiana, by W. E. 
Forbes and X. Hollister, which agrees in most characters with cana- 
densis and shows no tendency toward intergradation with the Florida 
otter, L. c. vaga. 

a Voyage de la Venus, Zoologie, p. 125, 1855. 


In the Big Thicket of Liberty and Hardin counties otters are com- 
mon, and a few are caught each year by the local trappers. During 
low water the black pools of the half-dry bayous, swarming with 
landlocked fish, are their favorite haunts. Oberholser obtained re- 
ports of otters at Mobeetie and along the Red River at Texarkana, 
and along the Neches and San Jacinto rivers near Beaumont and Con- 
roe. Lloyd reported them from Palacio Creek, Matagorda County, 
and John M. Priour writes that they are found on the Colorado 
River in the region of Austin. None of our field men have ever heard 
of them along the Rio Grande or Pecos rivers, however, while several 
old trappers, long familiar with the Rio Grande,- Pecos, and Devils 
rivers, have assured me that otters were never found along these 
streams. In addition to this evidence, Mr. W. H. Dodd, of Lang- 
try, has told me that for many years in buying fur of the local trap- 
pers no skins or even reports of otters had come to his notice in 
that region. Along Big Cypress Bayou, below Jefferson, in north- 
eastern Texas, Mr. Richard Crane told me in 1902 that otters were 
fairly common, and in fifteen years' hunting and fishing along this 
stream he had killed eight or ten, most of which he shot. One that 
came up near his boat and then dived, leaving its tail temptingly 
above water for a second, he caught by the tail, whereupon it 
promptly curled up and severely bit his legs and hands before he 
could kill it. He says $50 would not tempt him to catch another 
otter by the tail. 

Lutreola lutreocephala (Harlan). Large Brown Mink; Southeastern 


Minks are common over approximately the eastern half of Texas, 
but apparently are unknown in the western part of the State." The 
western limit of their range is roughly indicated by specimens from 
Gainesville, Brazos, and Mason, and by reports of occurrences near 
Austin and on the lower Guadalupe River. 

I have examined specimens from Gainesville, Brazos, Mason, Nava- 
sota, Harris County, Matagorda, Tarkington Prairie, Rockland, Anti- 
och, and Texarkana, but find no characters, cranial or external, by 
which to separate them from typical lutreocephala from Maryland 
and the District of Columbia. 

Along most of the streams and bayous of the timbered country of 
cistern Texas, minks are so common as to form an important item in 
the catch of the local trappers. In fall and winter a few of their skins 
are usually found among the more numerous coon, opossum, and 

<*Cary obtained an indefinite report of 'mink ' .-it Fort Stockton, in the Pecos 
Valley, but there is a possibility the name may have been applied to some 
ether animal. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 197 

skunk skins at trappers' camps or cabins, or in general merchandise or 
fur stores of the town. While usually closely associated with stream 
courses, where much of their food consists of fish, frogs, crustaceans, 
birds, and mice, minks are perfectly at home in the dry parts of 
woods and swamp, and even on the open prairie. At Navasota I 
caught one in woods near the river and another in a trap set in a 
cut hank gulch in the middle of a wide field. Both were attracted 
by bodies of birds that had been shot for Specimens, and while in the 
traps had gorged themselves with the bait. At Tarkington Prairie 
minks are said to be much less common in the timber than on the open 
prairie, where myriads of birds roost at night in the long prairie 
grass, and crawfish chimneys thickly dot the margins of shallow 
ponds. Along the coast marshes the minks follow the shores of bayous 
and ditches, where their tracks usually may be found in the mud and 
sand, or range back over the wide expanse of marsh and prairie, 
where tall grass and drift heaps furnish ample cover. Over these 
marshes they feed extensively on crawfish and minnows, as shown by 
their excrement. One caught by Lloyd on Matagorda Peninsula had 
a freshly eaten cotton rat in its stomach. 

The occasional losses from the raids of minks on the poultry yard 
in most cases can be prevented by a little care on the part of the 
farmer in providing roosting places out of reach of the prowling 
minks, if necessary, with tin-covered uprights. Minks are good 
climbers, and will sometimes climb to the top of a tall tree to escape 
the dogs, but they seem to hunt almost entirely on the ground. An 
ordinary poultry fence with fine wire mesh affords perfect protection, 
not only from minks, but from many other troublesome l varmints.'' 
The value of the mink's fur makes the animal of considerable eco- 
nomic importance, especially as it has proved its ability to hold its 
own in thickly settled districts. Its value as a destroyer of small 
rodents compensates in part, if not fully, for its depredations. 

Putorius nigripes And. and Bach. Black-footed Ferret. 

The black-footed ferret has been reported from a number of locali- 
ties in the prairie-dog country of Texas east and south of the Staked 
Plains. A very large weasel, described by B. H. Dutcher in 1893 at 
Stanton, may or may not have been of this species. Merritt Cary 
learned of one that was killed in 1891 at Seymour. J. A. Loring 
found an almost perfect skull of a fine adult at Childress on 
the house of a wood rat. A flat skin in the U. S. National Museum, 
labeled " Gainesville, Texas," probably came from some point west of 
there, as it is merely a rough hunter's skin, evidently not prepared 
by G. H. Ragsdale, whose name is on the label. If this were a bona 
fide record for Gainesville it would be the first from any point far 
out of the range of the prairie dog. 


In September, 1902, Cary writes: 

A number of black-footed ferrets arc said to have been caught at tbe dog 
town south of tbe Stanton stock yard in past years, and every person ques- 
tioned was familiar with the animal and could give a good description of it. 
Doctor Vance, living just north of town, saw one about a week before I 
arrived there and set a rude box trap at the bole in an attempt to capture tbe 
animal alive, but without success. A Mr. Williams, living at Fort Stockton, 
kept for a year or more a black-footed ferret which a Mexican caught in a 
trap set at an old adobe house on tbe edge of a dog town just north of tbe 
Pecos River at Grand Falls. It was described to me as built like a mink, 
with dark-brown feet and a bar across the face. 

At Lipscomb, in July, 1903, A. H. Howell " saw the hide of one 
killed there the previous summer and was told of a den of them 
located near First Creek." 

Putorius frenatus (Lichtenstein). Bridled Weasel. 

While never common, the bridled weasel seems to be generally 
distributed over the low country of southern Texas. There are speci- 
mens in the Biological Survey collection from Brownsville and near 
Hidalgo. Oberholser examined mounted specimens at San Diego, 
Beeville, and Port Lavaca. Lloyd reported the species from Corpus 
Christi, and Attwater from San Antonio. 

Putorius frenatus neomexicanus Barber and Cockerell. New Mexico 

Bridled Weasel. 

This species, so far as I know, is not positively known to occur in 
the State of Texas, but in the winter of 1889 I found the tracks of a 
weasel winding in and out of the Dipodomys and Perodipus holes in 
the sandy bottoms just below El Paso. A record of a weasel taken 
several years ago at Langtry (reported to Oberholser by W. H. 
Dodd, of that place) may have been of this species, and suggests a 
continuous range from the country of fraud us up the Eio Grande to 
the type locality of neomexicanus at Mesilla Valley, X. Mex. 
Spilogale leucoparia Merriam. Rio Grande Spotted Skunk. 

This beautiful little spotted skunk, with broad white stripes, 
occupies the rough country bordering the southern arm of the Stake< 
Plains from Mason and Waring to Langtry. Comstock, and Eagle 
Pass and farther south into Mexico. It is probably the form occupy- 
ing also the rough country east and west of the Pecos Valley. Ti 
the Davis Mountains the ranchmen report a spotted skunk as common, 
and say that it climbs trees as readily as a squirrel. It is often tree< 
by the dogs at night and shot from the branches by the hunter- 
Under the nest of a great horned owl in the face of a cliff at the wesl 
base of the. Davis Mountains I found several jaws of these little 
skunks in the owl pellets. Throughout most of its known range it 
inhabits rocky gulches, cliffs, and canyons, or the brushy bottom! 
usual in such places. 

Oct.. 1905.] 



Spilogale intermpta (Rafinesque). Prairie Spotted Skunk. 

This dark form of the spotted skunk, or spilogale, with the nar- 
row white stripes, comes into Texas from the more northern plains, 
and is represented by specimens from Canadian, Gainesville, and 
Brazos. Beyond these localities there are no specimens to show the 
limits of its range in the State or to indicate whether it grades into 
the neighboring forms to the south. Though the little " spotted 
skunks," " hydrophobia cats," or " phoby cats " are reported from 

Spi/oga/e ind/ano/a 
» leucopar/a 
ft interrupter 

Fig. 23. — Distribution areas of spotted skunks (genus Spilogale) . 

almost every part of Texas, even including the top of the Staked 
Plains, there is still much to be learned of the range and relationships 
of the several forms inhabiting the State. 

Although, broadly speaking, plains animals, these spilogales, like 
most species of the genus, take advantage of any cover in the way of 
bushes, tall grass, stream banks, or old buildings that the country 
offers. In Kansas I have caught them in burrows in the sandy soil, 
but whether the burrows were of their own digging or borrowed 
from spermophiles or other burrowing mammals I could not tell. 
At Canadian, Tex., one was caught in a No. steel- trap set in an old 


tumbledown shed in the corner of a field and baited with the bodies 
of birds that had been skinned for specimens. I had with me a bottle 
of bisulphid of carbon for experiments on prairie dogs. Thinking 
to try a new experiment, I scraped a hollow about 8 inches deep in 
the sand, and with a stick gently loosened the trap chain and slowly 
drew the little skunk to the hole. He tumbled in, thinking he had 
escaped, and curled up in the bottom. I then poured a couple of 
ounces of bisulphid on a bunch of grass and threw it into the hole, 
and after waiting five minutes found the skunk dead and perfectly 
free from unpleasant odor. This method of killing any of the 
skunks, when it becomes necessary to trap them around buildings, 
can safely be recommended. 
Spilogale indianola Merriam. Gulf Spotted Skunk. 

This little spotted skunk inhabits the coast region of Texas from 
Corpus Christ! to southwestern Louisiana and extends inland as far 
as Beeville, San Antonio, and Navasota. So far as known, it is 
mainly an animal of the cactus and chaparral patches of the open 
country. In the Big Thicket region I could get no reports of it east of 
Conroe, but at Navasota I found it common and caught two in traps 
in brushy places. At Beeville Oberholser caught one in a trap set in 
the runway of a wood rat. Of two specimens secured by Lloyd in 
Matagorda County one was taken in a group of burrows in a thicket 
on the prairie and the other in an old cotton gin. In the stomach 
of the former were found parts of a Perognathus hispidus and some 
crawfish. Near Corpus Christi I caught the animals in bunches of 
prickly pear and in wood-rat houses under the mesquites. At Vir- 
ginia Point, on the prairie near Galveston, I shot and trapped them 
in the big bunches of cactus (O punt la engelmanni) found here and 
there on the prairie. Such confidence had they in the protection of 
these thorny masses that one came out repeatedly, thrusting its head 
between the cactus blades to watch me with its keen little eyes, first at 
one window then at another, moving about freely among the thorns and 
refusing to enter its burrow even when I approached to within a few- 
yards. Its motions were quick and alert, and its expression bright 
and weasel-like rather than skunk-like, which, added to its beautiful 
markings, made it a most attractive little animal. The burrows 
under the cactus and thorny huisache bushes were apparently dug 
by skunks, as no other burrowing animal near their size occurs 
there. Tin 1 stomach and intestines of the specimens taken contained 
only shells and legs of a large brown beetle which swarmed about 
the houses at night. A few legs and wings of grasshoppers were 
found in the lower intestines of one individual. 
Mephitis mesomelas Lichtenstein. Louisiana Skunk. 

The Louisiana skunk is common over the whole of eastern Texas 
and about as far west as Wichita Falls and Matagorda Bay. Speci- 

Oct.. 10(i.-,. I MAMMALS. 201 

mens from O'Connorport are clearly intermediate between mesomelas 
and var&cms, as are also specimens from Wichita Falls. There is 
apparently no locality in Texas where skunks are not more or less 
common, and the transition from mesomelas to varians, while not 
abrupt, seems to follow approximately the line of transition from 
humid forest and prairie country to semiarid mesquite plains. 

Skunks are generally less common over eastern than western Texas, 
owing probably to the more thickly inhabited country to the east- 
ward, to the number of dogs kept at every little farm or cabin, and 
to the popular superstition that all skunks convey hydrophobia and 
should be destroyed whenever possible. There are undoubtedly 
authentic cases of rabies in skunks, as well as in other animals 
that have been inoculated with the disease, but there is no reason to 
suppose that they are any more subject to it than dogs or cats nor 
more dangerous to human beings when they do have it. On the 
other hand, they are among the most useful of the predatory mam- 
mals, destroying great numbers of small rodents, grasshoppers, 
beetles, and larva?, and should be protected, except in rare cases of 
mischief. There are a few complaints of their destroying poultry, 
but in most cases this mischief can be easily prevented. 

At Virginia Point, on the prairie opposite Galveston, I trapped a 
skunk one morning in a bunch of cactus and by a bungling shot 
allowed it to discharge its odorous fluid. Being anxious to save the 
skin in spite of its odor, I sat down on a patch of dry sand to skin 
it. and in a few minutes a black shadow passed me on the ground. 
Looking up I saw not less than 50 turkey buzzards and black vultures 
beating up the wind in a long line straight toward me. They were 
flying low and keenly scanning the ground. Many came within 20 
feet, apparently, before seeing me, and soon I was the center, though 
not the object of attraction, of the constantly increasing flock. As 
my work ended and I moved away they pounced on the carcass, and 
soon there was nothing but the large scent gland and its odor to mark 
the spot. Even the bones had mostly disappeared. This is but one 
of many similar instances in which turkey buzzards and vultures 
have quickly responded to the smell of a freshly killed skunk, 
although they usually leave a cleanly picked skeleton as well as the 
scent gland. 

Mephitis mesomelas varians Gray. Long-tailed Texas Skunk. 

The long-tailed skunk ranges over western Texas from Browns- 
ville to El Paso and east to Rockport, San Antonio, Mason, Brazos, 
Canadian, and Lipscomb, or approximately over the mesquite region 
and plains of Texas in both Upper and Lower Sonoran zones. 
Although generally distributed even over the top of the Staked 
Plains, these skunks are most abundant in the chaparral or brushy 


country, especially along bushy-bottomed, rocky walled gulches 
and in canyons, where to an abundance of food are added ample 
cover and the protection of numerous safe retreats. The sandy bot- 
toms and dusty trails are almost invariably marked with their tiny, 
bear-like tracks, and they are frequently met with morning or 
evening racking along the trail on their way home or abroad. At 
night they often come into camp, and leave tracks in the ashes of 
the campfire or around the ' grub box,' but in years of camp life 
where they are common I have never know them, when unprovoked, 
to be discourteous or disagreeable. One morning in the Davis Moun- 
tains we noticed tracks and numerous little holes dug in search of 
beetles around our beds and among the frying pans and kettles. We 
had evidently camped on the favorite digging ground of this par- 
ticular skunk and he had quietly put up with the inconvenience of 
our presence. 

The skunks often acquire the habit of coming to camp for the 
discarded bodies of birds and mammals that have been skinned for 
specimens, but if their favorite foods — grasshoppers, cicadas, beetles, 
and grubworms — are abundant, it is difficult to entice them into 
traps with any kind of bait. Any small game that they can catch 
for themseh T es is welcome and they sometimes raid an unprotected 
chicken coop. I have found their stomachs filled with berries of 
zizyphus, and have noted the remains of cactus fruit, black persim- 
mons, and small berries in the ' sign ' along their favorite trails. 
But legs and shells of grasshoppers and beetles usually form the 
bulk of their ' sign.' One caught at Santa Tomas by Lloyd had just 
dined on a cotton rat, and in other places Lloyd reported them as 
feeding on wood rats. Occasionally they find our traps and eat the 
small rodents caught in them. 

Conepatus mesoleucus mearnsi Merriam. Mearns Conepatus; Hog- 
nosed Skunk. 

The white-backed or hognosed skunk is common over most of west- 
ern Texas, from Kerrville, Mason, and Llano to the Rio Grande and 
beyond, and south to Dimmit County. Along Devils and -Pecos 
rivers and the canyon country of the Rio Grande and in the Davis 
Mountains it is evidently the commonest skunk. It apparently has 
not been taken in the El Paso part of the Rio Grande Valley, but as 
it is found farther north, it undoubtedly occurs there also. Ober- 
holser obtained a report of its rare occurrence at Austin, which is its 
easternmost record. Specimens reported by II. P. Attwater from 
San Antonio are probably of this species. 

The scarcity of specimens of Coriepatus in collections is not due 

" Allen. Mammals of Bexar County, Tex., in Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.. VIII, 72, 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 203 

entirely to the scarcity of the animals. In several localities where 
they were common and their long-clawed tracks and peculiar dig- 
gings were abundant and fresh every morning, I utterly failed to 
trap them, as they would not come near any kind of bait that I could 
offer; but in these localities their favorite food — a large brown 
beetle — was abundant. Near Boquillas, in the side canyons of the 
Eio Grande, the mellow r sandy bottoms were pitted with little 
funnel-shaped holes about 2 inches deep where the animals had dug 
out the beetles, whose round holes perforated the ground on all sides 
like half-inch auger holes. One of the skunks shot by moonlight 
early in the evening on his digging ground had already filled his 
stomach with these crisp juicy beetles to the number of several 
hundred. In skinning him the next morning I was struck with the 
adaptability of his long naked nose to the work of probing the beetle 
holes. A sniff would probabty show T whether the beetle was at home 
and worth digging for or whether the hole was occupied by a taran- 
tula. This and two other specimens, which I failed to shoot in such 
a way as to break their backs and prevent the discharge of their 
scent gland, curled up with their last gasp and drenched their bodies 
from head to tail with the reeking fluid, which differs neither in 
quantity nor strength from that of Mephitis. The repetition of this 
act by the two individuals indicates a habit not shared with the com- 
mon skunk, which to its last breath tries to avoid soiling itself in 
using its weapon of defense. In general the habits of Conepatus and 
Mephitis are very similar even to a choice of the same brush patches 
and gulch bottoms for foraging ground. They must frequently 
meet, whether on friendly terms or otherwise. 

Along Devils River in July Conepatus was common, but as usual 
was difficult to catch. One got into a trap set in a trail and another 
was shot by moonlight as it trotted through camp. They were feed 
ing on beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and the ripe fruit of the prickly 
pear (Opwitia engelmanni). Near Langtry Gaut caught an old 
female, March 24, which contained a single embryo that he thought 
would have been born a week later. 

Conepatus mesoleucus telmalestes subsp. nov. Swamp Conepatus; 
White-backed Skunk. 
Type from the Big Thicket, 7 miles northeast of Sour Lake, Tex., $ ad., 
No. 136551, U. S. Nat. Mus., Biological Survey Coll. Collected by James 
II. Gaut, March 17, 1905. Original No. 34S5. 

General characters. — Similar in general appearance, to Conepatus 
mesolei/exs mearnsi, skull usually slenderer, dentition lighter. 

Color. — Whole upper parts and tail wdiite, the white extending for- 
ward on forehead nearly to eyes; lower parts, sides, legs, and face 



[No. 2.-,. 

Skull of type elongated, with slender muzzle, narrow interorbital 
region and prominent mastoid processes; upper molar relatively 
long and narrow, upper and lower carnassials strikingly smaller thai 
in comparable specimens of mearnsi. a 

Measurements of type. — Total length, (525 ; tail vertebrae, 257 ; hind 
foot, 78. Of two female topotypes: Total length, 010; tail vertebra?, 

Conepafus leuconotus texensfs. 

» meso/eucus mearnsi. 

\ "V* 

n » fe/malestes. 

Fig. 24. — Distribution areas of white-backed skunks (genus Conrpatus). 

2G5; hind foot, 67; and total length, (57(5; tail vertebra?, 304; hind 
foot, 74. 

Skull of type. — Basal length, 05.2; zygomatic breadth. 44.3; inter- 
orbital breadth, 22.3; postorbital constriction, 20; mastoid breadth. 
40.3; alveolar length of upper molar series, 10.3. 

Three skins and four skulls have been examined from the Big 
Thicket, 7 to 10 miles northeast of Sour Lake, in Hardin County, and 
one skin and two skulls from Tarkington Prairie, in Liberty County. 

° The skull of a large male from Tarkington lacks the slender rostrum an< 
narrow interorbital region, but agrees with the others in tooth characters and 
spreading mastoid processes. 

Oct., 1005.J MAMMALS. 205 

At Saratoga, Kountze, and Cleveland the white-backed skunk is said 
to be the commonest species, and under a trapper's shed at a ranch 
on Tarkington Prairie in November, 11)04, I saw eight or ten of their 
skins hanging up to dry with a smaller number of skius of Mephitis 
mesojnelas. They were valued at 40 cents each, or less than half as 
much as the blacker skins of Mephitis. 

Apparently no Conepatus are found in the country west of Liberty 
County until the range of mearnsi is reached near Austin, or that of 
the more widely different texensis at Rockport. The extension of 
range of the genus is less surprising than that a local form of a group 
so generally associated over a wide area with arid desert regions 
should be found restricted to the most humid and densely timbered 
corner of the State of Texas. 

The residents of the Big Thicket country are familiar with these 
animals, which they call " white-back skunks " to distinguish them 
from the black-backed or two-striped Mephitis. I could not learn 
of any difference in habits or habitat of the two species. Gaut re- 
ports two females taken in April as nursing young, and with one of 
these he found two small young about a week old in a hollow stump. 
He also reports that the stomachs of three adults were filled with 
ground up insects — mostly beetles — with a few grubworms, large 
brown flies, and grasshoppers. 

Conepatus leuconotus texensis Merriam. Texas Conepatus. 

From Brownsville, on the lower Rio Grande, this larger form of the 
white-backed skunk extends up the coast as far as Rockport and up 
the Rio Grande Valley to Laredo. Lloyd, who collected specimens 
at Brownsville and Laredo, reported them as rare. He also reported 
them as occurring occasionally on Padre Island and at Nueces Bay. 

Scalopus aquaticus (Linn.). Eastern Mole. 

One specimen from Joaquin and fifteen specimens from the Big 
Thicket, 7 miles northeast of Sour Lake, show no distinguishing 
characters when compared with a large series of typical aquaticus 
from Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The 
slightly lighter color and larger molars indicate a shading toward 
texanus, but in so slight a degree as to be merely a suggestion. 

The sandy pine ridges of eastern Texas, and even the mellow soil 
of the river bottoms and the low mounds above flood level, are criss- 
crossed by innumerable mole ridges, and dotted here and there with 
little heaps of yellow sand pushed up through the carpet of fallen 
leaves and pine needles. The moles are abundant, and save for the 
barriers of rivers have an almost unobstructed range west to the 
black wax land prairies. Their work is most conspicuous on the 
lightest, sandiest soil, which is kept so well stirred and plowed that 


in walking over it the feet constantly sink into the network of old 
burrows. In fields the freshly raised ridges can be traced for long 
distances. The moles are commonly accused of eating sweet potatoes, 
cutting the roots of fruit trees, and of doing other mischief, for most 
of which the pocket gopher or ' salamander ' is responsible. The 
food of the moles consists almost entirely of insects, earthworms, and 
various other inhabitants of the soil, in pursuit of which the animals 
sometimes are troublesome by disturbing the roots of young plants 
and by marring the surface of lawns and parks with ridges and little 
mounds of earth. But all things considered the mole is too valuable 
an ally of the farmer to be destroyed. 

Scalopus aquaticus texanus Allen. Texas Mole. 

So far as known, Scalopus texanus is found only in semiarid Lower 
Sonoran zone, from Cameron County north to Mason. Specimens 
examined from Rockport, Corpus Christi, Santa Rosa Ranch (near 
northwest corner of Cameron County), Padre Island (north end), 
and Mason, as apparently also two imperfect specimens from San 
Antonio and Long Point, while showing marked variation at every 
locality from which perfect specimens were secured, can all be re- 
ferred to this form. While at each locality the specimens are sur- 
prisingly uniform in characters, and the variation is sufficient for 
recognition, a careful comparison of specimens indicates that the 
result of further subdivision would only be confusing. The phys- 
iography of the middle Gulf region of Texas tends to the isolation of 
all burrowing mammals. Some of the rivers with headwaters in 
sandstone and granite formations cut through wide plains of the 
most impervious, waxy soil, in which no mammal can burrow, and 
while some of these streams leave more or less continuous deposits of 
mellow, sandy soil along their courses, others carry their contribu- 
tions to the coast, to be built into interrupted areas of sand flats, 
dunes, and islands, between which the rivers with their wide Hood 
bottoms form as impassable barriers as the wide stretches of waxy 
prairie. In some cases the isolation is complete; in others, partial. 
While the general conditions are similar, locally they are more or less 
varied, and their effect on the burrowing mammals is analogous to 
that on mammals found on a series of oceanic islands. 

In habits f era mis does not differ from other species of the genus. 
At Corpus Christi it is common on the scattered patches of sandy 
soil, and common also over the sandy prairie for a distance of 65 
miles, from near Santa Rosa to Sauz on the Alice and Brownsville 
stage road. Lloyd reported it as abundant on Padre Island. On the 
half-naked sands near the coast mole ridges are usually conspicuous, 
and the mounds, while less numerous, are often as large as those >\ 
the pocket gopher. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 207 

Scalopus aquaticus intermedius Elliot. Plains Mole. 

Two specimens of moles from Mobeetie and three from Lipscomb, 
while not- typical intermedius, are nearer to it than to any other 
species. Externally they agree with topotypes from Alva, Okla., but 
the slender skulls indicate a distant connection with aquaticus farther 
east. One of the specimens from Mobeetie is tinged all over with a 
delicate purple, evidently from the root juice of a Lithospermum. 

Howell reports that these moles are more or less abundant at 
Mobeetie, Miami, Canadian, and Lipscomb, where their runways are 
especially numerous in cultivated fields, among the sand hills, or on 
sandy bottoms, while a few were found on wet bottoms and on ground 
that was flooded in times of high water. At Tascosa in 1899 I found 
mole ridges common over the sandy river bottoms. 

[Sorex personatus Geoffroy Saint Hilaire. Common Eastern Shrew. 
A specimen of this shrew, recorded by Mr. Oldfield Thomas ° as 
received with the William Taylor collection from San Diego, Tex., 
is apparently the only record of a Sore.? for the State. As numerous 
collectors have failed to find the species in the State, or anywhere 
within the life zone including San Diego and most of Texas, it seems 
probable that this specimen originally came from some other part of 
the country.] 

Notiosorex crawfordi (Coues) (Baird MS.). Crawford Shrew. Eared 

Notiosorex differs from BJarlna in having 28 instead of 32 teeth. 
N. crawfordi is larger than B. parva or berlandieri, with more con- 
spicuous ears, and with tail about 2^ instead of H times as long as 
hind foot. 

This shrew was described from specimens collected at old Fort 
Bliss, 2 miles above El Paso, and additional specimens have since been 
collected at San Diego, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio. It has a 
wide range in the arid Lower Sonoran zone of Mexico, southern 
California, and Arizona, and so far as we know reaches its eastern 
limit near Corpus Christi and at San Antonio. 

Blarina brevicauda carolinensis (Bach.). Carolina Short-tailed Shrew. 
A specimen of the Carolina short-tailed shrew from Joaquin and 
two from the Big Thicket, 8 miles northeast of Sour Lake, extend the 
range of this species from eastern Arkansas and western Mississippi 
into eastern Texas. Though these shrews are never abundant and are 
easily overlooked in collecting, they may yet be found over much of 
eastern Texas where the conditions are favorable. Hollister caught 
the Joaquin specimen in a runway Under old grass on low ground at 

a Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1888, p. 443. 


the edge of a cotton field about a mile east of town. It was half 
eaten while in the trap by some other animal, probably by one of its 
own species. Gaut caught the two Big Thicket specimens in traps 
set by old logs in the woods near Mike Griffin's place. 

Blarina parva (Say). Least Short-tailed Shrew. 

This smallest of the United States species of short-tailed shrews 
has been taken at Gainesville, Hempstead, and Richmond. A.3 
throughout a wide range over the eastern United States it is a rare, 
or at least a rarely taken species, it may well be as common over a 
large part of eastern Texas as over the rest of its range. 

The Gainesville specimens in the Merriam collection were taken 
by G. H. Ragsdale, but on the same ground in 1802 I was unable to 
find any trace of these animals save a few old runways under a 
carpet of fallen prairie grass. At Richmond in 1899, while trapping 
for Sigmodon on the big coast prairie, I caught one in its own little 
runway under the prairie grass. At Hempstead Gaut caught one in a 
trap set in the dry grass near a rain pool. 

Blarina berlandieri Baird. Rio Grande Short-tailed Shrew. 

The Rio Grande Blarina is slightly larger and paler than pur '-a. 
but very similar in general appearance. It was described from speci- 
mens collected at Matamoras, Mexico, and other specimens have been 
taken at Brownsville, San Diego, and Del Rio, Tex. Little is known 
of its habits, which apparently are similar to those of parva. 

At Del Rio in February, 1890, I caught one in a Sigmodon runway 
on grassy bottoms of San Felipe Creek a couple of miles from the 
point where the creek joins the Rio Grande.** 

Myotis velifer (J. A. Allen). Cave Bat. 

The four localities from which this little brown bat is known in 
Texas — the mouth of the Pecos, Langtry, New Braunfels, and San 
Antonio — when added to its wider range from Arizona to Missouri 
and south to southern Mexico, indicate that the species covers at least 
the western half of Texas. Specimens collected at mouth of Pecos 
by Lloyd, August 23 and September 4, 1S00. and at Langtry by (rant, 
March 29, 1893, indicate that it is a summer resident along the Rio 
Grande. Lloyd's specimens were " found in a cave tunnel," and 
Gaut's were taken in Pump Canyon, a dee}) box canyon near Langtry. 
I collected three adult males of this bat at Marble Cave, Mo., on June 
28 and 30, 1892. One was caught in the cave 150 feet below the sur- 
face of the earth; the others were shot as they came out of the mouth 

a This Del Rio specimen, which is typical berlandieri, was by some accident 
referred by Doctor Merriam to parva, although he had previously written the 
name berlandieri against it in the catalogue. (N. Am. Fauna, No. 10. p. is, 
1895 — Revision of Shrews.) 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 209 

of the cave in the evening. If this bat is habitually a cave dweller, 
the distribution of caves probably accounts for its somewhat erratic 

Myotis californicus (And. and Bach.). Little California Bat. 

This tiny bright brown bat comes into the desert country of western 
Texas, but evidently is not very common. A single specimen collected 
at Paisano by Lloyd on July 21, and another that I shot at Pena 
Coloral, 5 miles south of Marathon, May 1-1, and one on Terlingua 
('reek. July 1, seem to furnish the only records for the State. The 
species is common in New Mexico just north of the Texas line. Five 
specimens — three males and two females — collected by James H. 
Gaut in the foothills on the east slope of the San Andreas Mountains, 
New Mexico, January 19 and 20, 1903, indicate that the bats are not 
only resident, but are active during winter months. At Santa Rosa, 
X. Mex., I found them common in May, and a female shot on the 29th 
contained one small embryo. On the wing they are scarcely distin- 
guishable from Pipistrellus hesperus, but they are usually found in 
the open or among trees, while hesperus keeps mainly to the canyons 
and cliffs. 

Myotis incautus (J. A. Allen). House Bat. 

Apparently the only known specimens of this bat are the five taken 
at San Antonio by Mr. H. P. Attwater, from which Doctor Allen 
described the species; seven collected by M. Cary and myself 15 
miles west of Japonica, Kerr County; one collected at Langtry by 
James H. Gaut, and eight collected at Carlsbad, N. Mex. The San 
Antonio specimens were collected March 12 and October 10, which 
would suggest that they were migrants. The Japonica specimens 
were taken July 7 and 8, and were on their breeding ground, as prob- 
ably Avere those taken at Carlsbad July 29 and September IT. A 
female collected in Pump Canyon, near Langtry, March 29, may have 
been either resident or migrant. 

Little is known of the habits of this species. On the North Fork 
of the Guadalupe, west of Japonica, Cary and I found them early in 
the evening, flying up and down the rocky bed of the stream in 
great abundance, dipping to the water pools to drink and then zig- 
zagging through the air in pursuit of insects. With a fairly good 
light, we secured seven of the bats after a few minutes' rapid shooting- 
The bats apparently came from the limestone cliffs both above and 
below the open space where we found them. 

At the water tower 3 miles southwest of Carlsbad, where a large 
pool is formed from the pure mountain water pumped up to sup- 
ply the town, these bats came in over the dry plain on the even- 
ing of July 29 from some limestone hills several miles away. 
3873— No. 25—05 m 14 


They were flying straight for the water pool without a crook or turn, 
and I shot four without missing, a rare occurrence in bat shooting. 
These were all females, but four taken on September 17 at the 
Bolles ranch, 6 miles south of Carlsbad, were all males. Three of 
these were shot in the evening as they flew about the house, and 
one was caught in the daytime in a corner of an outhouse. 

In the original description of the species, based on a series of five 
specimens taken at San Antonio b} r Mr. Attwater, March 12 and Oc- 
tober 10, Doctor Allen says : " It is a ' house 7 bat, all of the specimens 
having been taken in the house except one, which was caught in a 
barn." a 

Myotis yumanensis ( H. Allen). Yuma Bat. 

This little light-brown bat was not known from Texas until May 
26, 1903, when Gaut found a breeding colony near Del Rio. He col- 
lected a series of eight adult females and one young, and says : " They 
were taken from a colony of bats, all the same species, in a shallow 
cave near the railroad about 10 miles west of Del Rio. When dis- 
turbed they flew about, the females each carrying a young one cling- 
ing to its breast. One of these young was obtained and prepared." 
It was very small, almost naked, and apparently its eyes were not yet 

Pipistrellus hesperus (H. Allen). Little Canyon Bat. 

These tiny gray bats are easily recognized by their jet-black ears, 
tail, and wings. They come into arid Lower Sonoran zone of western 
Texas as far east as the Pecos Valley. There are speeimens from El 
Paso, Chinati Mountains, Grand Canyon of Rio Grande, Terlingua 
Creek, Boquillas. points 15, 20, and 80 miles south of Marathon. 
Alpine, Paisano, Davis Mountains (east base), Sanderson. Pecos 
River (at mouth), and farther up the Pecos Valley from near Carls- 
bad and Santa Rosa, N. Mex. 

These bats are usually the most abundant of the species where they 
occur, and they are, more than any other species I know, strictly 
canyon or cliff' dwellers. They often follow up the canyons to the 
extreme limits of Lower Sonoran zone on the warm slopes where the 
surrounding country is entirely Upper Sonoran or even Transition, 
and the hotter, dryer, and barer the canyon the thicker these midgets 
swarm. They fly early, sometimes coming out on the shady side of 
a canyon before the last trace of sunlight has disappeared, but even 
with a fair amount of light they are not easily shot. Their flight 
is rapid and crooked, and the collector wastes more ammunition on 
them than on almost any other bat. 

The Texas records for this species are all for summer. May 10 to 

a Bui. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.. VIII. I'.".'.*. 1896. 

Orr., 1905.] MAMMALS. 211 

August 20, and breeding specimens are found throughout their range. 
A female collected 20 miles south of Marathon, May 10, contained two 
half-developed embryos, and two collected near Boquillas, May 23 
and 24, each contained one large embryo. Another taken at Santa 
Rosa, X. Mex., May 27, contained two small embryos. 

In specimens of this bat shot only a few minutes (twenty or thirty 
at most) after they began to fly in the evening, I have invariably 
found the stomachs stuffed full of freshly eaten insects — a fact which 
speaks well for their skill as flycatchers. 

Pipistrellus subflavus (F. Cuvier). Georgian Bat. 

Specimens of the Georgian bat from Clear Creek, in Galveston 
County, Long Lake, Brownsville, Devils River, Comstock, and Del 
Rio indicate a range over the eastern part of the State and as far west 
as the timber extends along streams in Lower Sonoran zone. The 
species has a wide range over the southeastern United States, and 
finds its western limits in Texas. The Brownsville specimen col- 
lected October 10, 1891, may have been a migrant, as may also have 
been those from Clear Creek, taken on March 28. One from Devil- 
River, collected July 23, and three from Long Luke, procured July 
19 and 20, were undoubtedly on their breeding grounds, as were prob- 
ably those from Del Rio, collected May 21 and 22, and one from 
Comstock, collected May 3. 

Vespertilio fuscus Beauvois. Large Brown Bat. 

Specimens of the brown bat from Jefferson, Sour Lake, the Brazos 
River, Grady, and the Davis and Chisos mountains carry the rang 
of the species across Texas from east to west without defining any 
limits of range, but the species apparently has not been taken in the 
southern part of the State The specimen collected by Hollister at 
Jefferson, June 14, may have been a late migrant, as the species 
is supposed not to breed in Lower Sonoran zone. One collected by 
Gaut near Sour Lake, March 17, was undoubtedly a migrant. The 
Brazos River specimen is an old alcoholic (No. 11217, U.S.N.M. ), 
without date. The Davis and Chisos mountains specimens were in 
Transition zone, and probably on their breeding grounds. Both are 
males, and ii; both localities the species seemed to be common. The 
one from the Davis Mountains was shot by L. A. Fuertes on the 
evening of July 12 as it came down the gulch over our camp at 5,700 
feet altitude. The Chisos Mountain specimen was shot by McClure 
Surber, June 9, at our camp in the gulch at 0,000 feet altitude, at the 
edge of Transition zone. 

At Mr. C. O. Finley's ranch, at the west base of the Davis Moun- 
tains, I found two lower jaws of this bat among numerous other bones 
in pellets under the nest of a great horned owl. 


Lasiurus borealis (Miiller). lied Bat. 

The red bat is common over eastern Texas and westward to the 
lower Rio Grande, Devils River, and Wichita Falls. Specimens 
have been taken at Jefferson, Clarksville, Arthur, Paris, Waco, Tar- 
kington Prairie, Wichita Falls, Camp Verde, Ingram, Nueces Bay, 
Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Fort Clark, and Devils River. Its west- 
ern limit in the State apparently corresponds to the limit of essen- 
tially treeless plains. Being a tree bat and partial to the deep shade 
of bottom-land forests, it follows the stream courses into the plains 
as far as they carry timber. 

The dates on Texas specimens, covering a period from March 19 to 
November 30, do not indicate whether the species is migratory or 
resident, or whether, if resident, it hibernates or is active during the 
winter months, but there is abundant proof that it breeds throughout 
its Texas range. A female shot at Clarksville June 10 contained 
two fully developed fetuses, as also another, shot the next evening at 
Paris. Two females shot at Paris June 11, and 3 at Arthur June 16, 
were all nursing young. In a large series of specimens collected by 
F. B. Armstrong at Brownsville there are 39 young, ranging in size 
from tiny, almost naked individuals a few days old to almost full- 
grown animals, and bearing dates from May 19 to July 25. Most of 
the very small young were taken in May, but one of the smallest is 
dated July IS. Adults were collected at Brownsville by Lloyd as late 
as September 10, at Corpus Christi November 13, and at San Patricio, 
near the mouth of the Nueces, November 30. 

These bats are among the least difficult to collect, as they come out 
early in the evening and their flight is comparatively slow. In leafy 
woods they often come out soon after sundown, while there is still 
light enough to distinguish the species by its color, form, and flight. 
At Wichita Falls I shot one as it was flying about in the woods near 
the river in bright sunlight at about 4 p. m. In the big pecan grove 
near the head of Devils River they were very numerous in July. 

Lasiurus bcrealis seminolus (Rhoads). Florida Red Bat. 

A single specimen of this rich mahogany-brown subspecies, recorded 
by Gerrit S. Miller, jr., from Brownsville is the only record for 
Texas. It was killed September 8, 1891, and was probably a migrant 
from its usual summer range in the South Atlantic and Gulf States 
east of Texas. Upon all grounds of geographic distribution this bat 
should be a summer resident of eastern Texas, and it will probably 
be found there when this most neglected group of all our North 
American mammals becomes better known. 

«N. Am. Fauna, No. 13, p. 109, 1S!»T. Revision of X. Am. Bats of the Family 
Vespertilionida?, by Gerrit s. .Miller, jr. 

Oct., 1905.] • MAMMALS. 213 

Lasiurus cinereus (Beauvois). Hoary Bat. 

The hoary bat probably migrates over the whole of Texas, but it 
is known in the State only from nine specimens collected at Browns- 
ville and one from the Davis Mountains. The seven available 
Brownsville specimens are dated October 23, November 16, December 
20, January, May 7, and May 23, and probably are migrants. The 
Davis Mountain specimen was shot by L. A. Fuertes, July 10, 1891, 
at 5,700 feet altitude, in a gulch northeast of Mount Livermore. It 
is an adult male, and was shot early in the evening as it came down 
the gulch from the east side of the mountain. 

Dasypterus intermedins H. Allen. Yellow Bat. 

Specimens of this large, yellow, short-eared bat from Brownsville 
and the south end of Padre Island, Texas, and Matamoras, Mexico, 
furnish all that is known of the range of the species, a range covering 
scarcely 30 miles near the Gulf coast in the semiarid cactus and mes- 
quite country of Lower Sonoran zone. 

None of the collectors of this bat have written anything on its 
habits, but a male collected by Lloyd on Padre Island August 26, and 
a series of 57 males, females, and young collected by Armstrong at 
Brownsville from May 12 to August 4, show that this region is the 
breeding ground of the species. Females collected May 12, 14, and 
19 contained each two large fetuses, and seven young collected June 7 
to 17 are about half grown, while one taken July 16 is but little larger. 

Nycticeius humeralis Rafinesque. Evening Bat. 

This little, dark brown bat has been taken over eastern and southern 
Texas at Paris, Arthur, Texarkana, Jefferson, Jasper, Hidalgo, 
Lomita Ranch, and Brownsville, at dates ranging from May 8 to 
August 19. At Texarkana Oberholser took two nearly full-grown 
young, June 23, and at Jasper three not fully adult specimens on 
August 18 and 19. At Brownsville a series of fifteen less than half- 
grown young was collected by F. B. Armstrong, June 1 to 12, and 
two about half-grown young on June 17 and 24. Twelve adults 
taken May 8 to June 17 were all females, but an apparently adult 
male was taken by Lloyd on July 23. It was " found hanging on 

At Texarkana Oberholser reports this species as " the common 
bat of the bottoms," and at Jasper as abundant. Near Jefferson 
Hollister shot two on the evening of June 13 at our camp in the tim- 
ber by Big Cypress Creek, where bats apparently of this species were 


Corynorhinus macrotis pallescens Miller. Long-eared Bat. 

A single specimen of this pale subspecies of the long-eared bat, col- 
lected by Lloyd in the " east " Painted Cave, September 5, 18i)0, a ap- 
parently forms the only record for Texas. From its wide range over 
Mexico and arid Lower Sonoran of southern California and Arizona, 
the species may be expected to inhabit at least a large part of western 
Texas. In the eastern part of the State its place would naturally be 
taken by the darker colored macrotis, which has not yet been recorded 
from Texas, but which breeds abundantly in southern Louisiana. 

Antrozous pallidus (Le Conte). Pale Bat. 

This large, light-colored bat is common throughout the summer in 
jirid Lower Sonoran zone of western Texas from Sycamore Creek, 
Devils River, and the Pecos Valley westward, and a single specimen 
was obtained at Tascosa, in the northwestern part of the Panhandle. 
The records cover a period from April 18 to October 11. but these 
limits are apparently dates of collectors 1 entering and leaving the 
legion rather than of the migration of the bats. Still in the Rio 
Grande Valley enough winter work has been done to prove that the 
bats either migrate or hibernate during cold weather. That they 
breed in the region is amply proved by their remaining throughout the 
summer months, and by a female shot near Boquillas, May 28, and 
three females taken at Comstock May 11, each containing two large 
fetuses. Lloyd collected a half-grown young at Paisano, July 18. 

During the day they hide in cracks of buildings, and probably 
also in cliffs, as they inhabit rocky country where there are no build- 
ings. At Comstock, May 11, 1001, Oberholser found "eight or nine 
roosting behind the signboard of a store, and they were said to have 
been driven from a similar place at the railroad station." He 
secured five of these, which proved to be four females and one male. 
On July 21 and 25 of the following year Hollister caught seven more 
(four males and three females) from behind the signboard at the 
railroad station at Comstock. At Van Horn one came into my room 
in the evening of August 23, and was caught. Near Carlsbad. X. 
Mex., these bats were abundant around the house on the Bolles 
ranch in September, coming out of cracks in buildings early in the 
evening and flying softly around the house in the twilight before the 
smaller bats began to appear. During the day I often heard them 
squeaking behind the casings, and with a pair of forceps took live 
from behind a board. Of six specimens taken, three were males and 
three females. In this species I have never found a striking pre- 
ponderance of either sex. probably because I have found them only 
in the breeding season. 

" Probably the third cave, about a mile below t lie mouth of the Pecos. 

Oct., 1905.] MAMMALS. 215 

Their flight is soft and noiseless, and, while rapid, it is not so 
quick and jerky as that of most bats. Their light color and large 
size render them unmistakable in the early evening; even the long. 
projecting ears can sometimes be distinguished as the bats fly over. 
An old female, previously mentioned as containing two fetuses, 
measured 315 mm. (approximately a foot) from tip to tip of wings 
while fresh. 

Nyctinomus mexicanus Saussure. Free-tailed Bat. 

The free-tailed bat is the most abundant species over approxi- 
mately the western half of Texas in arid Lower Sonoran zone. Its 
eastern limit of range, so far as known, agrees closely with the 
eastern limits of mesquite. There is a specimen in the U. S. National 
Museum collection labeled Indianola. The species is abundant at 
San Antonio, and I have examined specimens from Brazos, San 
Angelo, Kerrville, Ingram, Padre Island, Brownsville, Hidalgo, 
Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Comstock, mouth of Pecos, Langtry, Boquillas, 
Alpine, Davis Mountains, Fort Stockton, and up the Pecos Valley as 
far as Roswell, X. Mex. The abundant bats in the town of El Paso 
are probably of this species. 

In at least a part of their Texas range these bats are not only 
resident, but active throughout the winter months. At Del Rio I 
found them abundant in January and February, 1889; Lloyd and 
Streator found them common at Eagle Pass in November, and Lloyd 
collected one on Padre Island November 11. At Brazos Cary found 
them as late as October 9, 1902, and says : " I shot twenty of these bats 
in a crack in the bridge where the Texas Pacific Railroad crosses 
the Brazos. The bats were in the cracks by hundreds." Most of his 
alcoholic specimens are very fat, which would suggest that later 
they might have hibernated. At San Angelo Oberholser reported 
the species April 2 to 4, 1901 : '"Abundant along the Concho, where 
one was taken. All the bats seen were apparently of this genus/" 
At Fort Stockton, in August, Cary reports them as the " most 
abundant bat." At Alpine, Jul} 7 5, they swarmed out of the adobe 
walls of empty houses in the evening until the town was full of them 
and their musky odor. A few were shot in the canyons of the Davis 
Mountains July 10, and their unmistakable odor was very noticeable 
among the old adobe walls at Fort Davis. At the ranch of Mr. 
HoAvard Lacey, near Kerrville, these bats were numerous May 1 to 7, 
1899. Some were shot around the ranch buildings in the evening, 
and one of their roosting places was found in a crack under an 
overhanging rock of a high cliff. I heard them squeaking and 
apparently fighting in the crack. A few shots of the auxiliary 
brought sixteen of them to the ground, and examination showed these 


to be males and females in about equal numbers. The embryos in 
these females were just beginning to enlarge noticeably, but a female 
shot at Boquillas May 28 contained a half-developed embryo. On ;i 
hot May evening in San Antonio I have watched a stream of these 
bats fly from under the cornice of the old adobe hotel, making the 
hot air heavy with their odor. They are partial to towns and adobe 
houses. At Del Rio, in January and February, 1889, they were 
excessively numerous. At dusk the air seemed full of them, and sev- 
eral people told me that their houses were so infested with bats that 
no one would rent them. On visiting one of these vacant houses in 
the evening I found bats pouring out of cracks and holes in the boards 
that covered the adobe walls. There was an incessant squeaking and 
scratching as they climbed over the inner surface of the boards and 
fought and pushed each other at the narrow places of exit. The 
noise could be heard across the street. I stood at a knothole and 
caught them as they came out one at a time, until I had nine in my 
hands, but by the time I had dispatched these the others were all 
out and on the wing. My specimens were covered with lice and 
redolent with a peculiar rank, musky odor that did not leave my 
hands for a couple of days. The odor is like that of the house 
mouse, only much stronger, and it is often noticeable as you walk 
along the sidewalk past some of the bat-infested houses. 

Promops calif ornicus (Merriam). Bonnet Bat. 

A single specimen of this large bat, collected at Langtry, Tex., 
March 8, 1903, by James H. Gaut, adds the species to the Texas fauna 
and extends its range from the southern parts of Arizona and Cali- 
fornia. Gaut says it was caught in the pump house at the bottom of 
Pump Canyon, near Langtry. 

Mormoops megalophylla senicula Rehn. Rehn Bat. 

The only specimen of this Mexican and West Indian bat recorded 
from the United States was taken by Dr. E. A. Mearns at Fort 
Clark, Tex., December 3, 1897. Doctor Mearns says: 

A lady called me to her house to see a 'very remarkable hat' which had 
attached itself to the inner side of a door-screen. I found this hat very much 
alive, at a season when all other hats of the locality were dormant or had 
migrated. No other hats were seen until the following March, when the com- 
mon Vyctinomus reappeared in the usual abundance." 

oProc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XIII, p. 1GG, 1900. 


[Names of new species in black-face type. Synonyms in italics.} 

Acacia farnesiana, 25. 

roemeriana, 65. 
Acknowledgments, 10. 
Adelia angustifolin, 181. 
Adolphia infesta, 33. 
Agave applanata, 31,38,66. 

lecheguilla, 30, 74. 

wislizeni, 31,33,65,66. 
Agkistrodon contortrix, 39,49. 

piscivorus, 49. 
Ammospermophilus interpres, 81-83. 
Amyris parvifolia, 18. 
Anolis carolinensis, 39. 
Anota modesta, 43. 
Antelope, 67-68. 
Antelope squirrel, Texas, 81. 
Antilocapra americana, 67-68. 
Antrozous pallidus, 214-215. 
Aphelocoma couchi, 33. 

cyanotis, 33. 

texana, 33. 
Armadillo, 14, 52. 
Armadillo, Texas, 52. 
Artemisia filifolia, 93, 159. 
Asclepias latifolia, 33. 

speciosa, 33. 
Ascyrum, 20. 
Astragalus, 33. 
Atriplex, 88. 
Austroriparian of Eastern Texas 18. 

birds of, 21. 

crops of, 22. 

lizards of, 21. 

mammals of, 20. 

plants of, 22. 

snakes of, 21. 
Badger, Mexican, 184. 
Baiomys, 16. 

dusky, 102. 

Taylor, 101. 
Baptisia, 19. 
Bascanion flagellum, 46. 

ornatum, 46. 
Bassariscus astutus flavus, 182-184. 
Bat, bonnet, 216. 

cave, 208. 

evening, 213. 

Florida red, 212. 

free-tailed, 215-216. 

Georgian, 211. 

hoary, 38, 213. 

Bat, house, 209. 

large brown, 211. 

little California. 209. 

little canyon, 210. 

long-eared, 214. 

pale, 214. 

red, 212. 

Rehn, 216. 

yellow, 213. 

Yuma, 210. 
Batrachium divaricatum, 121. 
Beaches, 20. 
Bear-grass, 65. 
Bear, black, 186. 

cinnamon, 186. 

Louisiana, 188. 

Sonora grizzly, 192. 
Beaver, broad-tailed, 124. 

Texas, 122. 
Berberis fremonti, 188. 
Bighorn, Mexican. 70. 
Birds of eastern Texas Austroriparian, 21. 

of lower Sonoran, 27. 

of mainly Tropical range, 15. 

of Transition, 36-37. 

of Upper Sonoran, 33-34. 
Bison bison, 68-70. 
Black prairie, 18-19. 

wolf, 173. 
Blarina berlandieri, 208. 

brevicauda carolinensis, 207-208. 

parva, 208. 
Brayodendron texanum, 32, 195. 
Buffalo, 68. 
Button-bush, 25. 
Cacomistle, 182. 
Calothorax lucifer, 33. 
Callirhoe, 19. 

C;illisaurus draconoides. 41. 
Callopeltis obsoletus, 39, 46. 
Canadian zone, 38. 
Canis ater, 173-174. 

estor, 177. 

frustror, 175. 

griseus, 171-173. 

mearnsi, 177-178. 

microdon, 178. 

nebracensis, 174-175. 

nebracensis texensis, 11, 175, 177. 

rufus, 174. 
Castalia elegans, 18. 




Castela nicholsonii, 18. 

Castor canadensis fxond&tor, 124-127. 

canadensis texensis, 11, 122-124. 
Cat, leopard, 166. 

red and gray, 14, 167. 
Cenchrus tribuloides, 87. 
Cephalanthus occidentalis, 25. 
Cercocarpus parvifolius, 33, 71. 
Cereus stramineus, 86. 
Cervus canadensis, 00. 

merriarai, 60. 
Chameleon, Carolina, 39. 
Chionactis episcopus isozonus, 47. 
Chipmunk, gray-footed, 81. 
Chordeiles henryi, 3:3. 
Citellua mexicanus parvidens, 47, 86. 

spilosoma annectens, 88. 

spilosoma arens, 88. 

spilosoma major, 87-88. 

spilosoma marginatum, 88. 

tridecemlineatus pallidus, 87. 

tridecemlineatus texensis, 86-87. 

variegatus buckleyi, 84-85. 

variegatus couch i, 83-84. 

variegatus grammurus, s5-86x 
Civet cat, 182. 
Cnemidophorus gularis, 44. 

perplexus, 44. 

sexlineatus, 44. 

tessellatus, 41. 
Coast marshes, 20. 

prairie, 19. 
Coati, 192. 

Coeligena clemenciae, 33, 
Coleonyx brevis, 44. 
Condalia obovata, 24. 
Conepatus leuconotus texensis, 204, 205. 

Mearns, 202. 

mesoleucus mearnsi, 202, 204. 

mesoleucus telmalestes, 11,203-205. 

Texas, 205. 
Coon, 192. 
Copperhead, 49. 
Coreopsis, 19. 

Corynorhinus macrotis pallescens, 214. 
Cottonmouth, 49. 
Cotton rat, Berlandier, 117. 

Chisos Mountain, 118. 

Texas, 114. 
Cottontail, Bangs, 156. 

Chapman, 156. 

desert, 157. 

mountain, 159. 

plains, 159. 
Cougar, Mexican, 162. 
Covillea tridentata, distribution of, 25. 
Coyote, Mearns, 177. 

plains, 174. 

small-toothed, 17.H. 

Texas, 175. 
Crassina grandiflora, 97. 
Cratogeomys castanops, 132-133. 
Creosote bush , 25. 
Crotalus atrox, 19. 
confluentus, 50. 
horridus, 39, 49. 

Crotalus lepidus, 51. 

molossus, 50. 
Crotaphytus collaris,39. 
collaris bailey i, 40. 
reticulatus, 40. 

wislizenii, 40. 
Cynomys ludovicianus, 89-92. 
Cyrtonyx mearnsi, 33. 
Dasylirion texanum, 31, 66. 
Dasypterus intermedius, 213. 
Dasypus novi mcinctus var. mexicanus, 52. 
Daubentonia longifolia, 17,20. 
Deer, gray mule, 65. 

plains white-tailed, 68. 
Sonora. 64. 

Texas white-tailed, 60. 

white-tailed, 61. 
Diadophis regalis, 45. 
Didelphis marsupialis texensis, 57-58. 

virginiana, 56-57. 

virginiana pigra, 19, 57. 
Diospyros virginiana, 32. 
Dipodomys elator, 14s-i4'.t. 

merriami, 149-150. 

merriami ambiguus, 150. 

spectabilis, 113, 147, 148. 
Drymarchon corais melanurus, 47. 
Drymobius margaritifenis, 16. 
Elaps fulvius, 39, 48. 
Ephedra trifurcata, 74. 
Erethizon epixanthum, 150-151. 
Eumeees brevilineatus, 45. 

guttulatus, 45. 

obsoletus, 45. 

quinquelineatus, 45. 
Eustoma, 19. 
Eutainia cyrtopsis, 48. 

elegans marciana, 39, 48. 

proxima, 48. 
Eutamias cinepeicollis canipes, 81. 
Fallugia paradoxa, 33. 
Felis apache, 167. 

cacomitli, 167-169. 

coryi, 163. 

couguar, 1 «;:^ - 

eyra, 167. 

hippolestes aztecus, 162-163. 

onca, 163. 

onca hernandezi, 163-166. 

pardalis, 166. 

pardalis limitis, 166-167. 

yaguarundi, 167. 
Ferret, black-footed, 197. 
Fiber zibethicus, 120-121. 

zibethicus ripensis, 121-122. 
Flying squirrel, Florida, 79. 
Fox, Florida gray, 182. 

gray, 180. 

kit, 179. 

New Mexico desert, 1T'.». 

red, 178. 
Fox squirrel. Louisiana. 75. 

western . 75. 

Texas, 77. 
Garrya lindheimeri, S3. 

i lecko, 44. 



Belasimus pugilator, 195. 
Geomys arenarius, 130-131. 

breviceps, 127-128. 

breviceps attwateri, 129. 

breviceps llaneiisis, 11, 129-130. 

breviceps sagittalis, 19, 128. 

lutescens, 132. 

personalis, 20, 131. 

personatus fallax, 131-132. 

texensis, 130. 
Gerrhonotus Jiocephalus infernalis, 44. 
Goniostachyum, 31. 
Gopher, chestnut faced, 132. 

lachuguilla, 134. 

little gray, 135. 

Louisiana, 127. 

mesquite plains, 129. 
Grackle, boat-tailed, 17. 

great-tailed, 17. 
Grand Prairie, 18-19. 
Grasshopper mouse, Arizona, 94. 

pale, 93. 

Texas, 93. 
Grindelia. 1'.". 
Ground squirrel, brown, 88. 

large spotted, 87. 

Padre Island, 88. 

pale, 87. 

Rio Grande, 86. 

Texas, 86. 
Gulf Strip, 10. 

Gutierrizia microcephala, 97. 
Hartmannia, 19. 
Harvest mouse, big-eared, 106. 

little gray, 106. 

Louisiana, 105. 

Merriam, 106. 

Rio Grande, 104. 
Heterodon nasicus, 39, 45. 

platirhinos, 4H. 
Heteromys alleni, 127. 
Holbrookia, long-tailed, 41. 

maculata, 41. 

maculata lacerata, 41. 

propinqua, 41. 

spotted sided, 41. 

spotted tailed, 41. 

texana, 40, 41. 
Horned toad, 43. 
Huisache, 17, 25. 
Hymenocallis, 19. 
Ibervillea lindheimeri, 18. 
Iguana, 25. 
Inodes texana, 15. 
Islands, 20. 
Jackdaws, 17. 
Jack rabbit, black-naped, 151. 

Kansas, 155. 

Texas, 152. 
Jaguar, 14, 163. 
Jatropha macrorhiza, 18. 

multifica, 18. 
Javeline, 58. 
Juglans rupestris, 86. 
Junco dorsalis, 38. 
Juniperus flaccida, 33. 

monosperma, 33. 

paehyphlcea, 33, 84, 85, 181, 187. 

Kangaroo rat, El Paso, 150. 

large, 147. 

Loring, 148. 

Merriam, 149. 

Ord, 144. 

Padre Island, 146. 

Richardson, 144. 

Sennet t, 145. 
Karwinskia humboldtiana, 18. 
Koeberlinia spinosa, 24. 
Laciniaria punctata, 33. 
Lampropeltis getula holbrooki, 47. 
Lampsilis berlandieri, 195. 
Lantana camara, 17. 
Lasiurus borealis, 212. 

borealis seminolus, 212. 

cinereus, 213. 
Lecheguilla, 30. 
Leiolopisma laterale, 45. 
Leopard cat, 166. 
Lepus aquaticus, 160-161. 

aquaticus attwateri, 161. 

arizona- baileyi, 159. 

arizome minor, 157-159. 

rloridanus alacer, 156. 

ftoridantu) camclunus, 156. 

rloridanus chapmani, 156-157. 

merriami, 19, 151-152. 

pinetis robustus, 11, 159-160. 

simplicicanus, 156. 

texianus, 152-155. 

texianus griseus, 152. 

texianus melanotis, 155. 
Life zone, Canadian, 11, 38. 

Lower Austral, 11, 16. 

Transition, 11, 36. 

Upper Austral, 11, 33. 
Life zones and crop zones, 12. 
Liomys texensis, 127. 
Liopeltis vernalis, 39, 46. 
Lizard, leopard, 40. 

ring-necked, 39. 

whip-tailed, 44. 
Loafer, 171. 
Lobo, 171. 

Lower Austral zone, 16. 
Lower Sonoran, breeding birds of, 27. 

conspicuous plants of, 29. 

extreme arid, 25. 

lizards of, 28. 

mammals of, 26. 

of western Texas, 23. 

reptiles of, 28. 

snakes of, 28. 
Loxia curvirostra stricklandi, 38. 
Lutra canadensis, 195. 

canadensis vaga, 195. 
Lutreola lutreocephala, 196-197. 
Lynx, 108. 

baileyi, 170-171. 

rufus texensis, 169-170. 

Texan, 169. 
Malpighia glabra, 18. 
Mammals of eastern Texas Austroriparian. 20. 

of extreme arid Lower Sonoran, 26. 

of Lower Sonoran of western Texas, 26. 

of Texas, report on, 51. 

of Upper Sonoran, 34. 



Manfreda maculosa, 18, 24. 
Massasauga, 49. 
Megaquiscalus, 17. 
Mephitis mesomelas, 200-201. 

mesomelas varians, 201, 202. 
Meriolix, 19. 
Merriam elk, 60. 
Mesophytic plant region, 23. 
Mesquite, 31. 
Microrhamnus, 88. 
Microtus ludovicianus, 19,119-120. 

mexieanus guadalupensis, 119. 

pinetorum auricularis, 120. 
Mimosa biuncifera, 33. 
Mink, large brown, 196. 

southeastern, 196. 
Mole, eastern, 205. 

plains, 207. 

Texas, 206. 
Momesia pallida, 24, 104, 157, 195. 
Monarda, 19. 
Morella cerifera, 20. 
Mormoops megalophylla senicula, 216. 
Mountain lion, 162. 

sheep, 70-75. 
Mouse, grasshopper, 93. 

harvest, 104, 105, 106. 

house, 92. 

pocket, 135, 137, 138, 139, 140. 141, 142, 143. 

white-footed, 94, 95, 96. 
Mus alexandrinus, 93. 

musculus, 92. 

norvegicus, 92. 

rattus, 92. 
Musk hog, 58. 
Muskrat, 120. 

Pecos River, 121. 
Myotis califomlcus, 209. 

incautus, 209-210. 

velifer, 208. 

yumanensis, 210. 
Nasuanarica yucatanica, 14, 192. 
Natrix clarkii, 47. 

fasciata transversa, 47. 
Neotoma albigula, 113-114. 

floridana attwateri, 110-111. 

floridana baileyi, 109-110. 

floridana rubida, 107-109. 

mexicana, 114. 

micropus, 111-113. 
New species of mammals, 10-11. 
Nolina lindheimeriana, 65. 

texana, 33. 
Notiosorex crawfordi, 207. 
Numenius longirostris, 33. 
Nuttallornis borealis, 38. 
Nycticeius humeralis, 213. 
Nyetinomus mexieanus, 215. 
Ocelot, 14, 166. 
Odocoileus couesi, 61, 64-65. 

hemionus, 65. 
Odocoileus hemionus caniis, 65-67. 

louisianaj, 61. 

virginianus, 61-63. 

Virginian us macrourus, 63-64. 

virginianus texanus, 60-63, 64. 
Onychomys leucogaster pallescens, 93-94. 

longipes, 98. 

torridus, 94. 

torridus arenicola, 94. 

Opheodrys testivus, 46. 
Ophlsaurua ventralis, 44. 
Opossum, Florida, 57. 
Texas, 57. 
Virginia, 56. 
Opuntia arborescens, 154. 
cymochila, 33. 
engelmanni, 24, 26, 75, 83, 84, 85, 86, 111. 154, 

181, 195, 200, 203. 
lepticaulis, 24. 
macrorhiza, 87. 
Oryzomys aquations, 104. 
palustris, 19, 103-104. 
palustris texensis, 103. 
Otocoris leucolsema, 33. 
Otter, 195. 

Ovis mexieanus, 70-75. 
Padre Island, 20, 24. 
Panther, 162. 

Adirondack, 163. 

Florida, 163. 
Parabuteo u. harrisi, 112. 
Parkinsonia aculeata, 17, 24. 
Peccary, Texas, 58. 
Pedomys, 119. 
Pentstemon, 65, 75. 
Perodipus compactus, 20, 146, 147. 

montanus richardsoni, 144-145. 

ordi, 144. 

sennetti, 145-146. 
Perognathus flavescens copei, 143. 

flavus, 140-141. 

hispidus, 135-137, 200. 

hispidus paradoxus, 137-138. 

hispidus spilotus, 138. 

intermedins, 139-140. 

merriami, 141-142. 

merriami gilvus, 142-143. 

nelsoni, 140, 

nelsoni canescens, 140. 

penicillatus eremieus, 138-139. 
Peromyscus, Attwater. 100. 

attwateri, 100. 

boylei laceyi, 11, 99-100. 

boylii penicillatus, 98. 

boylei rowleyi, 98. 

caniis, 96. 

desert, 100. 

eremieus, 100-101. 

eremieus arenarius, 100. 

frosted, 97. 

gossypinus, 97-98. 

Lacey, 99. 

leucopus, 94-95. 

leucopus mearnsi, 96. 

leucopus texanus. 95-96. 

little pale, 96. 

michiganensis pallescens, 96-9 1 

pine woods, 97. 

Rowley, 98. 

Sonoran, 97. 

sonoriensis, 97. 

sonoriensis blandus, 97. 

taylori, 16, 19. 101-102. 

taylori subater, 11, 17, 19, 102-103, 106. 

hint Mo, 95. 
Persimmon, black, 32. 

Japanese, 31. 

Texan, 31. 

yellow, 32. 



Personnel, 10. 

Philadelphia microphyllus, 71. 

Phrynosoma cornutum, 43. 

hernandesi, 43. 

modestum, 43. 
Pine squirrel, 79. 
Pinus eembroides, 33. 

echinata, 18. 

edulis, 33, 188. 

flexilis, 37. 

palustris, 18. 

ponderosa, 36, 181. 

taeda, 18. 
Pipilo mesoleucus, 33. 
Pipistrellus hesperus, 210-211. 

subflavus, 211. 
Pistachio, 30. 
Pistaeia mexicana, 30. 

vera, 30. 
Pituophis sayi, 47. 
Pitymys, 120. 
Plants characteristic of humid eastern Texas, 22. 

of Chisos Mountains, 38. 

of coast prairie, 19-20. 

of Davis Mountains, 38. 

of extreme arid Lower Sonoran, 26. 

of Guadalupe Mountains, 37. 

of Gulf Strip, 17-18. 

of Lower Sonoran, 29. 

of semiarid Lower Sonoran, 24. 

of Transition Zone, 36, 

of Upper Sonoran Mountains and foothills, 35. 

of Upper Sonoran plains, 35. 
Pocket gopher, Attwater, 129. 

Davis Mountain, 133. 

desert, 130. 

fulvous, 133. 

Nueces, 131. 

Padre Island, 131. 

Sierra Blanca, 134. 

Texas, 130. 

white-throated, 128. 

yellow, 132. 
Pocket mouse, Baird, 140. 

black-eared, 138. 

Cope, 143. 

desert, 138. 

Dutcher, 142. 

gray brush-tailed, 140. 

hispid, 135. 

intermediate, 139. 

Kansas, 137. 

Merriam, 141. 

Nelson, 140. 
Pocket rat, spiny, 127. 
Podasocys montanus, 33. 
Polygala alba, 33. 
Pocecetes eonfinis, 33. 
Populus tremuloides, 38. 
Porcupine, yellow-haired, 150. 
Prairie, Black, 18, 19. 

Coast, 19. 

dog, 89. 

Grand, 19. 

Nevils, 19. 
Procyon elucus, 193. 

lotor, 1S2-194. 

lotor hernsndezi, 194. 

lotor mexieanus, 194-195. 

Promops californicus, 216. 
Prosopis glandulosa, 31. 

pubescens, 31. 
Psaltriparus lloydi, 33. 

plumbeus, 33. 
Psoralea, 33. 
Putorius frenatus, 198. 

frenatus neomexicanus, 198. 

nigripes, 197-198. 
Quadrula forsheyi, 194. 

heros, 194. 
Quercus emoryi, 33, 84. 

grisea, 33, 64. 
Rabbit, Attwater swamp, 161. 

black-naped jack, 151. 

Kansas jack, 155. 

swamp, 160. 

Texas jack, 152. 
Raccoon, 192. 
Rat, black, 92. 

brown, 92. 

rice, 20, 103. 

Rio Grande rice, 104. 

roof, 93. 

spiny pocket, 127. 

wharf, 92. 
Ratibida, 19. 
Rattlesnake, brown, 51. 

eastern, 49. 

green, 51. 

plains, 50. 

western diamond, 49. 

white, 51. 
Red wolf, Texan, 174. 
Reithrodontoruys aurantius, 19, 105-106. 

griseus, 11, 106-107. 

intermedins, 104-105. 

laceyi, 104. 

megalotis, 106. 

merriami, 19, 106. 
Reptiles of Lower Sonoran, 28. 
Rhamnus purshiana, 187. 
Rhinocheilus lecontei, 47. 
Wins mexicana, 30. 
Rice rat, 20, 103. 

Rio Grande, 104. 
Rock squirrel, 85. 

black backed, 84. 

Couch, 83. 
Sabal mexicana, 15. 
Salix nigra, 25. 
Sandhill crane, 24. 
Scalopus aquaticus, 205-206. 

aquaticus intermedius, 207. 

aquaticus texanus, 206. 
Sceloporus clarkii, 42. 

consobrinus, 39, 42. 

dispar, 42. 

merriami, 42. 

spinosus floridanus, 39, 42. 

torquatus poinsettii, 42. 
Schmaltzia mexicana, 30. 

microphylla, 65. 
Sciuropterus volans querceti, 79-81. 
Sciurus carolinensis, 78-79. 

fremonti lychnuchus, 79. 

ludovicianus, 75-76. 

ludovicianus limitis, 77-78. 



Sciurus ruflventer, 75. 

texianus, 77. 
Screw bean, 31. 
Semiarid Lower Sonoran, 23. 
Median cavanUlesii, 17. 
Shrew, Carolina short-tailed, 207. 

Crawford, 207. 

eared shrew, 207. 

eastern, 207. 

least short-tailed, 20X. 

Rio Grande short-tailed, 208. 
Sigmodon hispidus berlandieri, 115,117-118. 

hispidus pallidum, 117. 

hispidus texianus, 19,114-117. 

ochrognathus, 115,118. 
Sistrurus catenatus consors, 49 
Skink, 45. 
Skunk, hog-nosed, 202. 

long-tailed Texas, 201. 

Louisiana, 200. 

prairie spotted, 199. 

Rio Grande spotted, 198. 

white-backed, 202. 
Snake, blow, 46. 

coral, 48. 

garter, 4s. 

glass, 44. 

hog-nosed, 45. 

king, 47. 

prairie bull, 47. 

ring, 45. 

rough green, 46. 

smooth green, 46. 

spotted garter, 48. 

striped water, 47. 

water, 47. 

whip, 46. 
Snakes, 21,28,45^51. 

lizards and, 38. 
Solanum triquetrum, 18. 
Sonora deer, 64. 
Sorex personatus, 207. 
Sotol, 31. 
Spilogale indianola, 19,199,200. 

interrupta, 199-200. 

leucoparia, 198-199. 
Spotted skunk, prairie, 199. 

Rio Grande, 198. 

gulf, 200. 
Squirrel, gray, 78. 

Louisiana fox, 75. 

pine, 79. 

spotted sand, ss. 

Texas antelope, 81. 

western fox, 75. 
Storeria dekayi, 39, 48. 
Swamp rabbit, L60. 

Attwater, 161. 
Swift, 179. 

Tamaulipan subdivision of Lower Sonoran, 14. 
Tantilla gracilis, 18, 
Tatu novemcinctum mexicanum, 53. 

noveincinctum texanum, 11,52-56. 
TaiUSia mi .rirmia, 52. 
Taxidea taxus berlandieri, lsi-180. 
Tayassu angulatum, 68-60. 
Tecoma stans, 74. 

Texas palm, 15. 

Thomomys aureus lacliuguilla, 134-135. 


fulvus, 133. 

fulvus texensis 1 33-13* 

perditus, 135. 
Tillandsia baileyi, 18. 

Transition zone, 36. 

birds, 37. 

mammals, 36. 

plants of the Chisos Mountains, 38. 

plants of the Davis Mountains, 38. 

plants of the Guadalupe Mountains, 37. 
Tropical elements of lower Rio Grande region, 14. 
Tropidoclonium lineatum, 39, 48. 
Ungnadia speciosa, 110. 
Upper Sonoran, 33. 

birds of, 34. 

lizards of, 35. 

mammals of, 34. 

plants of, 35. 

snakes of, 35. 
Urocyon cinereoargenteus floridanus, 182. 

cinereoargenteus ocythous, 182. 

cinereoargenteus scotti, 180-182. 

cinereoargenteus texensis, 180. 
Ursus americanus, 186-187. 

americanus amblyceps, 187-188. 

horribilis horriaeus. 192. 

luteolus, 188-192. 
Uta ornata, 41. 

stansburiana, 41. 
Vachellia farnesiana, 17, 20, 24. 
Vespertilio fuscus, 211. 
Vireo plumbeus, 33. 

stephensi, 33. 
Vole, bluegrass, 120. 

Guadalupe, 119. 

Louisiana, 119. 
Vulpes fulvus, 178. 

macrotis neomexieanus, 179. 

velox, 179. 
Water moccasin, 49. 
Weasel, bridled, 198. 

New Mexico bridled, 198. 
White-footed mouse, 94. 

M earns, 96. 

Texas, 95. 
Wildcat, plateau, 170. 
Whooping crane. 24. 
Wolf, black. 173. 

gray, 171. 

Texan red, 174. 
Wood ibis, 24. 
Wood rat, Attwater, 110. 

Baird, ill. 

Mexican. 114. 

Nebraska. 109. 

swamp. 107. 

white-throated, 113. 
Kerophytic plant region, 23. 
Yucca baccata, 33. 

glauca, ;;:;. 

macrocarpa, 66. 

strieta. 85. 

treculeana, 18. 
Zizyphus obtusifolia, 24, 181. 





IISTo. 2 6 

[Actual date of publication, November 24, 190G] 




Prepared under the direction of 






North American Fauna, No. 26. U. S. Dept Agr., Biological Survey. 

Plate I. 

Provisional Map of the Distribution of the Genus Spilogale. 

Prooertv ot the United States Gov**-* 




No. 2 6 

[Actual date of publication, November 24, 1906] 


15 V 


Prepared under the direction of 




1 9 6 

«*ta ' 



U. S. Department of Agriculture, 

Biological Survey, 
Washington, I). C, July 25 < 1906. 
Sir: I have the honor to transmit for publication as North Ameri- 
can Fauna No. 26, a Revision of the Skunks of the genus Spilogab , 
by Arthur H. Howell, Assistant. 

Respectfully, C. Hart Meeriam, 

Hon. James Wilson, 

Secretory of Agriculture. 

Chief Biological Survey. 



Introduction 5 

History and material 5 

Distribution 7 

Habits 7 

Food 8 

External characters 9 

Nomenclature 10 

Generic names 10 

Specific names 11 

Genus Spilogale 12 

Generic characters 12 

Key to species and subspecies 12 

List of species and subspecies, with type localities 13 

Descriptions of species and subspecies 14 

Table of cranial measurements ^ 36 




Plate I. Map of the distribution of genus SpUogale Frontispiece. 

II. Skins of SpUogale putorius, S. interr>ipla, and S. leueoparia 38 

III. Skins of SpUogale phenax and S. p. olympica 40 

IV. Skins of SpUogale ambarvalis, S. angustifrons, and S. pygmsea 42 

V. Skulls of SpUogale ambarvalis, S. putorius, and S. indianola 44 

VI. Skulls of SpUogale leueoparia, S. tenuis, and S. gracilis 46 

VII. Skulls of SpUogale phenax and S. p. latifrons 48 

VIII. Skulls of SpUogale ambigua, S. arizoniv, and »S'. a. martirerms 50 

IX. Skulls of SpUogale angustifrons, S. a. tropicalis, and S. a. elata 52 

X. Skulls of SpUogale lucasana, S. microdon, and S. pygmsea 54 


No. 26. NORTH AMEEIOAN FAUNA. November, 1906. 


By Arthur H. Howell, 

Assistant Biologist. 



The little spotted skunks were apparently known to naturalists as 
early as the middle of the seventeenth century, but for many years 
they were confused with other groups of ill- smelling animals, and not 
until the early part of the nineteenth century — in the time of Gray 
and Lichtenstein — did their characters and habitat become definitely 

Hernandez, in 1651, referred to a variety of the Mexican " yzquipatV 
having many white stripes, and this probably is the first mention in 
literature of the spotted skunks. a 

The first account of a United States species is that given by Catesby 
in his 'Natural History of Carolina,' published in 1743. His descrip- 
tion of the 'pol-cat' of Carolina was very inaccurate, but as I have 
elsewhere shown 6 was undoubtedly drawn from personal observation 
of a spotted skunk. This description was made the chief basis of the 
first scientific name applied to any member of the group — Viverra puto- 
i'Ihs Linnaeus, 1758. 

Buffon, in 1765, copied Catesby's figure, and attached to it the 
appellation He Conepate? Another species, which he called i le 
ZorilleJ was described from a specimen in the cabinet of a curate in 
Paris; this was doubtless the first specimen of Spilogale to find its way 
into the hands of any naturalist, and the figure with the accompanying 
description furnishes the first accurate portrayal of any species of the 
genus. Buffon wrongly ascribed the animal to South America, and 
the error was not corrected for many years. Schreber, in 1776, copied 
Buffon's description and figure, and latinized the vernacular ' zorille'' 
into Viverra zorilla. 

« Thesaurus Rer. Med. Novse Hisp., p. 332. 
&Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, pp. 2-4, 1902. 

C A modification of 'zorillo,' the vernacular name of the skunks in Mexico. 



Little advance was made in the stud}' of the spotted skunks for the 
next half century. The species described by Buffon and Schreber 
became confused with the South African ' iiiuiahond'' — a four-striped 
black and white animal having the ill-smelling qualities of a skunk, 
but belonging to a quite different group — and it was not until Lichten- 
stein published his monograph of the skunks in 1838 that the mistake 
was corrected. In this paper only two species of spotted skunks — 
Mephitis zopilla and M. interrupta — were recognized, the latter having 
been described in 1820 by Rafinesque. Gray, in 1837, proposed 
Mephitis hicolor as a new species, but in his revision of the Mustelidae, 
published in 1865, a adopted interrupta instead, placing both hicolor 
and sorilla under it as synonyms. As early as 1837 he pointed out 
some of the characters which distinguish the spotted skunks, and placed 
his M. hicolor in a subdivision by itself; but not until 1865, when he 
proposed Spilogale, was the genus provided with a name. The prac- 
tice of 'lumping' all the forms of the genus under one name was con- 
tinued by most later authors, Baird in his 'Mammals of North 
America' using the name hicolor, and Coues 6 in his monograph of the 
family reviving the Linnsean name putorius for the species collectively; 
and it was not until 1800, when Doctor Merriam published his prelim- 
inary revision of the genus/ that an adequate attempt to define the 
species was made. The total number of specimens available for stud} 7 
at that time was only 39 skins and 38 skulls, but in spite of the meager- 
ness of the material 10 species and subspecies were recognized, 8 of 
which were described as new. All of these are retained in the present 
paper, and in addition eight more forms described since 1890 are recog- 
nized. One species and one subspecies (Spilogale microdon and S. 
angustifrom elata), five herein described as new, bringing the total 
number of known forms up to 20. 

The present revision is based on a study of about 380 skins with 
skulls and 75 additional skulls. The bulk of this material is in the 
collection of the Biological Survey, but this has been supplemented 
by additional specimens from the collections of the U. S. National 
Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History, and the pri- 
vate collection of Dr. C. Hart Merriam. The author acknowledges 
gratefully his obligation to the following gentlemen for the loan of 
valuable material from the collections under their charge: To Dr. J, 
A. Allen and Mr. Frank M. Chapman, of the American Museum of 
Natural History; Mr. Gerrit S. Miller, jr., of the U. S. National 
Museum; and Dr. D. G. Elliot, of the Field Columbian Museum. To 
Dr. C. Hart Merriam I am indebted also for much valuable criticism. 

«Proc. Zool. Soc. London for 1865, p. 150. 
''Fur-Bearing Animals, p. 239, 1877. 
«N. Am. Fauna No. 4, pp. 1-16, 1890. 



The genus Spilogcde has a much more restricted distribution than 
the genus Mephitis, and its affinities are decidedly southern. The 
northern limits of its range may be roughly indicated as follows: 
Northern Virginia, southern Minnesota, central Wyoming," southern 
Idaho, southeastern Washington, 6 and southern British Columbia 
(Howe Sound). Most of the species are confined to the Sonoran or 
Austral zones, but a few (S. phenax and its subspecies, S. putorius and 
S. tenuis) occur in the Transition, and two (&. tropicalis and lucasana) in 
the Tropical. 

To the southward the genus spreads over the greater part of Mexico, 
including Lower California, and reaches Yucatan," Guatemala,'' and 
Costa Rica. In the latter region, according to Mr. George K. Cherrie, 
it is very rare. 

The members of this genus are much less uniformly distributed 
than the large skunks {Mephitis), and are absent from extensive areas 
where they might be expected to occur. No species, so far as known, 
occupies the coastal plain of eastern Mexico, from Tamaulipas to 
Yucatan. Spotted skunks are likewise absent or very rare in the 
coastal region of Georgia and the Carolinas, although occurring much 
farther north along the Alleghenies. 


The little spotted skunks are more agile than the large skunks of 
the genus Mephitis, and, unlike the latter, often climb bushes and 
small trees. Most of the species prefer rocky situations, and when- 
ever they are available make their homes in rock piles or crevices in 
cliffs. On the Northwest Coast the} r live in hollow logs or stumps, 
and on the prairies of southern Texas are found under patches of 
cactus and mesquite. Some species live in brush}" river bottoms, and 
these occasionally dig burrows for themselves, though more frequently 
they occupy deserted burrows of other animals. A den examined by 
the writer in South Carolina consisted of a burrow dug beneath the 
roots of a fallen tree. The habit of digging small holes in the ground 

a Merritt Gary, of the Biological Survey, tells me that Spilogale is reported by sheep 
herders as occurring on the Caspar plains north of Douglas, Wyoming. He also 
reports that several spotted skunks were killed in the Black Hills, near Elk Moun- 
tain, South Dakota, in 1902 and 1903. 

6 I am informed by S. E. Piper, of the Biological Survey, that he captured two 
specimens of Spilogale at Almota, Washington, in the Snake River canyon, in 1897. 
These specimens can not now be found, so that their identity can not be deter- 
mined, but they probably are referable to the Great Basin form, S. gracilis saxatilis. 
Although the genus reaches British Columbia on the Pacific coast, Almota is the 
most northerly place in the interior from which it has been recorded. 

r Recorded by Alston in Biologia Centrali Americana, but no specimens from these 
regions have been examined. 


in search of insects is attested by several observers. Dr. W. L. 
Ralph tells me that in Florida spotted skunks are- often found occu- 
pying the burrows made by burrowing owls ( Speotyto c. floridana), and 
the supposition is that they had made way with the original occupants, 
or at least with their eggs. Both the Florida species and the Pacific 
Coast forms are known to frequent ocean beaches. The spotted skunks 
frequently take up their abode under houses or outbuildings, and have 
been known to come boldly into occupied dwellings. They are strictly 
nocturnal in habit, and therefore are rarely seen afield except on moon- 
light nights. Dr. C. Hart Merriam tells me that when moving about 
in the moonlight their markings blend with the lights and shadows in 
such a wa}^ as to render the animals very inconspicuous. 

The fluid secreted by the anal glands and used as a means of defense 
possesses the same properties as that of the allied genera," and is of 
equally disagreeable odor. 6 

In many parts of the West these skunks are known as 'hydropho- 
bia cats' and are greatly dreaded on account of the prevalent notion 
that their bite produces rabies. While there are a few authentic cases 
of skunk bite having resulted fatally/ there are also many instances in 
which it has produced no ill effect whatever. The recorded cases of 
skunk rabies are nearly all from the plains region of the West (Kan- 
sas, Texas, and Arizona) and relate more to Mephitis than to Spilogale. 
The most phiusible explanation of these facts seems to be that at cer- 
tain periods rabies may become locally epidemic among dogs and 
wolves, and by them be communicated to skunks. 


The food of the spotted skunks, judged by the records of seventeen 
stomach examinations made by the collectors of the Biological Sur- 
vey, consists in large measure of insects, chiefly beetles and grass- 
hoppers. These are supplemented by mice and other small mammals, 
lizards, salamanders, small birds, and crayfish. One stomach con- 
tained persimmons and several species of fungus. 

In some localities these skunks are known to destroy hens' eggs, 
and doubtless wild birds' eggs also are frequently eaten. Most of the 
reports received b}^ the Biological Survey with reference to damage 
done in the poultry yard by the spotted skunks come from the Pacific 
Coast, where they art' particularly abundant. 

S. E. Piper, of the Biological Survey, examined a Spilogale den in 
the Holston Mountains, Tennessee, and found in it the remains of 

a See N. Am. Fauna No. 20, pp. 12-13, 1901. 

1>I am informed by Dr. A. K. Fisher that a solution of chlorinated soda (Labar- 
raque's fluid) is a highly effective agent in destroying the odor of the skunk's 

c See Coues, Fur-bearing Animals, pp. 223-235, 1S77. 

.nuv., 1906.] EXTERNAL CHARACTERS. 9 

three gray squirrels (Soiurus earolinensis). The capture of so large a 
mammal as a squirrel by these skunks is, however, unusual. 

The spotted skunks doubtless do much good in destroying- rats. 
H. C. Oberholser, of the Biological Survey, reports that at Port 
Lavaca, Texas, they are known to capture wood rats (JYeotoma), which 
the} r secure by following them into their runways. D. E. Lantz, also 
of the Biological Survey, has recorded an instance where a Spilogale 
proved to be a valuable aid in destroying house rats and mice. He 
says : 

At. one time my family occupied for two years a house with large cellar openings 
on the outside. * * * The cellars, and in fact the entire house, were overrun 
with rats and mice. A couple of months after we had first occupied the house I 
noticed that a little striped skunk was present in the cellar. "We could often hear 
the rights between it and rats, and I was careful not to disturb it when I went to the 
cellar for coal. I olten saw it in the cellar, and it did not seem to fear my presence 
there. In a very few weeks we could hear no more of the fights with the rats, and 
all the rats and mice were either killed or driven from the place. « 

C. J. Maynard, writing of the Florida species, says: 
These skunks are easily domesticated, and I have frequently known of their being 
used in the houses for the purpose of catching mice. Sometimes the animals are 
captured and the scent glands removed, but they are often simply decoyed about the 
premises by exposing food, when they will take up their abode beneath the build- 
ings and will soon become so tame as to enter the various apartments in search of 
their prey. b 

Recorded observations on the food habits of the spotted skunks seem 
to indicate that while in regions where they are abundant they destroy 
more or less poultry, the fact that their diet consists chiefly of injuri- 
ous rodents and insects entitles them to be considered valuable allies 
of the farmer, and their presence about the farm should be encouraged. 


The members of this genus are, with one exception, smaller than 
any of the species of Mephitis. In form they are more slender and 
weasel like. The pads on both the front and hind feet are divided 
into four tubercles at the base of the toes. The fur is somewhat finer 
and closer than that of Mephitis, and the tail hairs are unicolored to 
the base. In other respects, aside from the pattern of coloration, 
the spotted skunks externally are essentially similar to their larger 

The teats vary in number from six to ten, the usual arrange- 
ment being as follows: Pectoral, 2-2; abdominal, 1-1; inguinal, 1-1. 

a Bull. 129, Kansas State Agric. Coll., pp. 389-390, 1905. 

6 Bull. Essex Inst., IV, p. 140, 1872. 

c Spilogale lucasana almost equals in bulk the smallest of the hooded skunks 
{Mephitis m, vittata), and exceeds it in cranial measurements; the feet of Spilogale are 
always smaller than those of Mephitis. 


Recorded observations as to the number of young- produced at a birth 
are very meager. Two records furnished by collectors of the Biological 
Survey give the number of embryos as four and rive, respectively. 

Spilogale exhibits less variation in markings than does Mephitis. 
Most of the species are quite constant in the pattern of coloration, and 
only one {interrupt a) shows a large amount of variation. The usual 
color pattern may be described as follows: Body and tail black; a more 
or less triangular white spot on the forehead between the eyes; four 
parallel white stripes on the upper parts, commencing- between or 
slightly behind the ears, and extending to about the middle of the back; 
the outer one on each side continued forward under and in front of the 
ear; another white stripe on each side commencing- just behind the fore- 
leg and running parallel with the dorsal stripes and a short distance 
beyond them, where it curves up on to the back and almost or quite 
meets the median stripe on the corresponding side; between the ends 
of these two lateral stripes on the back are two narrow white patches 
in the same line with the median dorsal stripes. On the hinder part 
of the body, in front of the hips, are two transverse white bands reach- 
ing to the line of the median stripes; a small white patch on each side 
of the rump, sometimes continuous with a stripe on the thigh; a nar- 
row white patch or stripe on each side of the tail at its base, usually 
confluent posteriorly; end of the tail usually white. 



The synonymy of the genus Spilogale is not extensive, but since there 
has been considerable discussion with regard to the application of the 
generic name/' and as it is now established on a firm basis, it will be 
well to consider briefly its status and history. As stated in my paper 
on the large skunks, 6 the genus Mephitis of Cuvier (1800) included 
two species, Vlverra mephitis and T\ putorius^ the latter being one of 
the spotted skunks. Lesson in 1812 made V. mephitis the t} T pe of tjie 
genus Chincha, thus restricting Mephitis Cuvier to the spotted skunks/ 
and it was on the basis of this restriction that I proposed to adopt the 
name Mephitis in place of Spilogale Gray, 1865. In making this 
change, and until quite recently, I was unaware that the genus Mephitis 
was first proposed by E. Geoffroy and Cuvier in 1795/' five years earlier 

«See Allen, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., XIV, pp. 325-334, 1901; Howell, Proc 
Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, pp. 1-9. 1002; Allen, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, pp. 59-66, 

&N. Am. Fauna No. 20, p. 14, 1901. 

«Nouv. Tabl. Regne Anini., Mam., p. 67, 1842. 

*Mag. Encyclop. II (6), p. 1ST. Mephitis proposed for the 'Mouffettes'; Vlverra 
mephitis the only species mentioned (p. 185). The correct citation is given in Sher- 
borne's 'Index Animaliiun,' and has been verified for me in the Paris Library by 
Mr. G. S. Miller, jr. 

Nov., 190C] SPECIFIC NAMES. .11 

than its use b} r Cuvier in his i Legons <V Anatomie Compareef which 
has always been quoted as the primary reference. As originally pro- 
posed in 1795, the genus Mephitis included only a single species, 
Viverra mephitis Schreber, and hence has no bearing on the spotted 
skunks, which remained without a name until separated by Gray in 
1865 as the genus Spilogale. 


Very few changes in the currently accepted names have been deemed 
necessary, and it remains only to consider briefly those which have 
been found to be unavailable or which in the present paper are used 
in a new connection. These are as follows: - 

bicolor (Mephitis) Gray, 1837. Mag. Nat. Hist., I, p. 581. 

This name was proposed for a species said to inhabit North America, 
but as there are no diagnostic characters in the description the name 
must be rejected as unidentifiable. It was used in a collective sense 
by Baird in 1857, and was applied to the Florida species by Allen in 
mapurita ( Viverra) Midler, 1776. Natursystems Suppl., p. 32. 

The species described under this name is based on the Zorille of 
Button, and the name is therefore a synonym of Viverra zorilla 

putida (Muslela) G. Cuvier, 1798. Tabl. Elem. Hist. Nat. Anim., pp. 116, 117. 

The description under this name is clearly that of a spotted skunk, 
.and the references show that the name is a synomym of Viverra puto- 
fvus Linn., for which it was evidently proposed as a substitute. 

quaterlinearis (Mephitis) Winans, 1859 (see Coues, Fur-Bearing Animals, pp. 239- 
240, 1877) . 

This name was published by Edgar W. Winans in a newspaper, and 
was accompanied by an accurate description of a specimen taken in 
Kansas. It is a synonym of Mephitis interrvpta Ratinesque. 

ringens (Spilogale) Merriam, 1890. N. Am. Fauna No. 4, p. 9. 

This name was given to the species occupying the southern Alleghe- 
nian region of the United States. Later investigations have shown that 
this should bear the name putorins given to it by Linnams in 1758. 
Detailed consideration of this question will lie found on page 16. 

striata ( Viverrd) Shaw, 1800. General Zool., I, p. 387. • 

The species described under this name is based on Viverra putorius 
Linn., of which name striata is therefore a synonym. 

zorilla ( Viverra) Schreber, 1776. Saugthiere, III, p. 445 (1777), tab. 123 (1776). 

The species described under this name is clearly based on the Zorille 
of Button, since Schreber's plate is practically a copy of Button's, and 


his description likewise is abridged from Daubenton, Buffon's collabo- 
rator. Button states that his knowledge of the zorille was obtained 
from a specimen in the collection of M. Aubrey, a curate in Paris, 
and his figure shows evidence of having been drawn from an actual 
specimen, rather than from the descriptions of travelers. Under these 
circumstances it would be highly desirable to make use of the name if 
there were any way of determining to what species it applies. But 
unfortunately there is nothing in either the description or the figure 
by which it can be identified. Buffon erroneously ascribed the animal' 
to South America, where the genus is not known to occur, and he was 
followed in this, as in other details, by Schreber. The picture resem- 
bles quite strongly both the Florida species, and the several forms of 
Spilogale angustifrons inhabiting Mexico. The specimen examined 
by Buffon may have come from either locality — more probabty, it 
seems to me, from Mexico. Licb ten stein was the first author to use the 
name in a restricted sense, and his application of it to the California 
species" might be accepted were it not for the fact that at the time of 
the publication of Buffon's description California was not inhabited by 
civilized peoples; the possibility that his specimen was received from 
there is therefore very remote. In view of the uncertainty attaching 
to this name, and since all the known species are now supplied with 
names, it seems best to reject it altogether. 

Genus SPILOGALE Gray. 

Spilogale Gray, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1865, p. 150. Type, Mephitis interrupta 

Generic characters. — Skull flattened, with rostrum onl} T slightly 
depressed below plane of upper surface; periotic region and audita! 
bulla 1 greatly inflated; mastoid and paroceipital processes obsolete or 
very small; postorbital processes well developed; 'step' in lower 
jaw not pronounced (sometimes lacking); tube of auditory meatus 
directed forward; zygoma ta highly arched, with the highest point at tin' 
middle of the arch; antero-posterior diameter of upper molar loss than 

o_0 1 1 0_ O "I 1 

transverse diameter. Dental formula: /. 3 _ ;J ; c. ^; pm. 3 _ s ; ///. .,_.>= 34. 
Key to Species and Subspecies. 

i Based Oil adult males.) 

Dorsal stripes not broken into patches on hinder parts P!f9 mil " 

Dorsal stripes broken into patches on hinder parts. 

Upper molar with greatest convexity near mi<l<llt> of tooth. 

Tail without prominent white tip (usually wholly black | interrupts 

Tail with prominent white tip. 

Size larger: mastoids greatly inflated putorius 

Size smaller; mastoids not greatly inflated indianola 

"Abhand. Akad. Wise. Berlin for 1836, p. 282, 1838. Specimens collected by 
Deppe at Monterey. 


Upper molar with greatest convexity behind middle of tooth. 
Cranium relatively narrow and high. 

Rostrum narrower (interorbital breadth less than 13.5 mm.) angustifrons 

Rostrum broader (interorbital breadth more than 13.5 mm.) 
Teeth lighter. 

Size large ( interorbital breadth more than 15 mm.) m icrodon 

Size small (interorbital breadth less than 15 mm. ) tropicalis 

Teeth heavier. 

Skull long and narrow elata 

Skull short and wide. 

White patches at base oi tail small (about 30 mm. in length) . .ambigua 
White patches at base of tail large (about 50 mm. in length ).ambarvalis 
Cranium relatively broad and flat. 

Mastoids greatly inflated leucoparia 

Mastoids not greatly inflated. 
Black markings predominating. 

Rostrum broader (interorbital breadth more than 17 mm. ) latifrons 

Rostrum narrower (interorbital breadth less than 17 mm.) olympica 

White markings predominating. 
Skull larger; dentition heavy. 

Size larger (mastoid breadth over 35 mm. ) lucasana 

Size smaller (mastoid breadth under 35 mm. ) phenax 

Skull smaller; dentition light. 

Zygomata broadly expanded and highly arched. 

Rostrum narrower (interorbital breadth about 12.5 mm. ) rtirensis 

Rostrum broader (interorbital breadth about 15 mm.) arizonx 

Zygomata not broadly expanded nor highly arched. 

Skull longer (basilar length of Hensel 51-52 mm. ) tenuis 

Skull shorter (basilar length of Hensel 47-50 mm.) . 
Postorbital processes well developed; lateral stripe reduced. saxatUis 
Postorbital processes not well developed; lateral stripe promi- 
nent gracilis 

List of Species and Subspecies, with Type Localities. 

Spilogale ambarvalis Bangs Micco, Florida. 

jmlorius ( Linmeus ) South Carolina. 

interrupta ( Rafinesque ) " Upper Missouri ' ' River. 

indianola Merriam Indianola, Texas. 

leucoparia Merriam Mason, Texas. 

tenuis Howell Arkins, Colorado. 

gracilis Merriam Grand Canyon, Arizona. 

gracilis saxatilis Merriam Provo, Utah. 

ambigua Mearns Eagle Mountain, Chihuahua. 

angustifrons Howell Tlalpam, Federal District, Mexico. 

angustifrons tropicalis Howell San Mateo del Mar. Oaxaca. 

angustifrons elata nobis San Bartolome, Chiapas. 

pygmiea Thomas Rosario, Sinaloa. 

arizonte Mearns Fort Verde, Arizona. 

arizonse martirensis Elliot San Pedro Martir Mountains, Lower Cali- 

phenax Merriam Nicasio, California. 

phenax latifrons Merriam Roseburg, Oregon. 

phenax olympica Elliot Olympic Mountains, AVashington. 

m icrodon nobis Comondu, Lower California. 

lucasana Merriam Cape St. Lucas, Lower California. 


Descriptions of Species and Subspecies. 
SPILOGALE AMBARVALLS Bangs. Florida Spotted Skunk. 

Mephitis bicolor Allen, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., II, p. 169, 1871. 

Spilogale putorius Coues, Bull. U. S. Geol. and Geog. Surv. Terr., 2d ser., No. 1, p. 12, 

1875 (part); Merriam, N. Am. Fauna, No. 4, p. 7, 1890. (Not Viverra putorius 

Mephitis (Spilogale) putorius Coues, Fur- Bearing Animals, p. 239, 1877 (part). 
Spilogale ambarvalis Bangs, Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., XXVIII, p. 222, 1898. 

Type locality. — Oak Lodge, opposite Miceo, Brevard County, Florida. 

Geographic distribution. — Eastern portion of peninsular Florida, 
from New Smyrna south to Lake Worth. 

General characters. — Size small; tail very .short/ 'white markmgm 
extensive,' skull short and broad, with highly arched cranium. 

Color. — White markings extensive, the white dorsal stripes about 
equaling in width the intervening black areas; median pair of dorsal 
stripes little, if any, narrower than outer pair; lateral stripes " very 
broad; frontal spot large; white patch in front of ear large, and 
always continuous with outer dorsal stripe; tail with terminal third 
above and terminal half below, white; a large white patch, roughly 
U-shaped, on upper surface of tail near base. White patches some- 
times occur on the thighs, and others on the upper surfaces of the hind 
feet, but these markings are not constant. 

Cranial characters. — Skull short and broad; brain case relatively 
high and narrow; f ronto-parietal region elevated above plane of upper 
surface; postorbital processes well developed; interorbital constric- 
tion slight; mastoid capsules moderate!}' and audital bullae greatly 
inflated; zygomata spreading in an even curve and never widely 
expanded; upper molar and sectorial tooth small, the former with pro- 
jection of inner lobe considerably behind middle of tooth. 

Measurements. — Eight adult males from type locality: Total length, 
356-407; tail vertebra?, 10(3-134; hind foot, 37-13; average, 374; 120; 
40. Average of 5 adult male topotj'pes, as measured by Bangs, 383.8; 
143.5; 41.1. Average of 5 adult females from type locality,* 354.6; 
121.2; 38.8. Skull: (See table, p. 36.) 

General remarks. — This species is confined, so far as known, to the 
east side of the Florida peninsula, where, according to Bangs, it is 
locally distributed/' Its occurrence there was first made known to 
science in 1871, when Dr. J. A. Allen recorded its discover v by 
Mr. C. J. Maynard several years previously/' Up to that time the 

"The term 'lateral stripes,' as used in this paper, refers to the white stripes 
which hegin behind the foreshouldera and extend along the sides, parallel to the 
dorsal stripes, to a point somewhat beyond the middle of the body, where they con- 
tinue transversely to the middle of the back. 

'' Fide Bangs. 

«Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist, XXVIII, p. 224, 1898. 

<*Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., II, p. 170, 1871. 

nov, 1006.] SPILOGALE PUTOKIUS. . 15 

presence of any species of Spilogale east of the Mississippi Valle}' - 
was unsuspected. Maynard, in 1872, gave its probable distribution as 
extending from New Smyrna to Jupiter Inlet/' and later investigations 
have largely confirmed this range. 

This species, as I am informed b}^ Mr. Frank M. Chapman and Dr. 
W. L. Ralph, lives in holes in the sand, both in the scrub palmetto 
along the coast and in dry pine barrens farther inland. 

Doctor Merriam, in his preliminary revision of the genus, 6 applied 
the Linmean name p atari us to this species on the assumption that Cates- 
bv's description, on which the name was primarily based, might have 
been drawn from either the Florida or the Carolina animal. Bangs has 
since rejected this application of the name, chiefly on the ground that 
the character given b} T Linnaeus — li cauda longitudine corporis''' — is not 
applicable to the Florida animal, which has a tail about half as long as 
the bod}V The present writer has examined the evidence on this 
point with much care, and the reasons for applying the name jyutorius 
to the Carolina rather than to the Florida animal will be found under 
the next species (p. 16). 

The Florida spotted skunk is a strongly characterized form, easily 
recognizable by its small size and extensive white markings. In skull 
characters it most nearly resembles the group of species occupying the 
Mexican table-land. Its range, however, is entirely cut off from the 
range of the Mexican forms by that of S. indianola, which occupies 
the intervening region of southern Texas. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 19, from the following 

- Florida: Oak Lodge, opposite Micco, 9; Fort Kissimmee, 3; Kissimmee Prairie, 
1; Lake Worth, 3; Cape Canaveral, 1; Canaveral, 1; Palm Beach, 1. 

SPILOGALE PUTORIUS (Linn.). Allegheniax Spotted Skunk. 

I'irrrra putorim Linmeus, Syst. Nat., ed. X, p. 44, 1758. (Not Spilogale putorius Mer. 

riam. ) 
Viverra striata Shaw, Gen. Zool., I, p. 387, 1800. 
Spilogale ringens Merriam, N. Am. Fauna No. 4, p. 9, 1890. 

Type locality. — South Carolina. 

Geographic distribution. — Mississippi, Alabama, western Georgia, 
western South Carolina, and northward along the Alleghenies to 
northern Virginia; western limits of range unknown. 

General diameters. — Size large; tail Jong / white markings of mod- 
erate extent; skull and teeth heav} T . 

Color.— White markings less extensive than in S. amharvalis; black 
areas broader; median pair of dorsal stripes narrower than outer pair, 

«Bull. Essex Inst., IV, p. 140, 1872. 

&N. Am. Fauna No. 4, p. 5, 1890. 

cProc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., XXVIII, pp. 223-224, 1898. 


rarely interrupted; white patch on forehead and one in front of ear 
small, often not continuous with outer dorsal stripe; tail with a large 
white patch at tip, occupying one-fourth to one -half of upper surface. 

Gran'ml characters. — Skull long- and relatively narrow; dentition 
heavy,' cranium highly arched; fronto-parietal region elevated, but 
much less so than in arnbarvdlis; postorbital constriction marked; 
postorbital processes well developed; z}gomata not broadly expanded, 
but nearly parallel to axis of skull; mastoids and audital bulla? large; 
anterior border of inter-ptervgoid fossa scarcely reaching plane of the 
posterior border of molars; upper molar evenly rounded on inner side, 
with projection near middle of tooth. 

Measurements. — Seven adult males from Greensboro, Alabama! 
Total length, 470-563; tail vertebra?, 193-219; hind foot, 45-51; 
average: 512; 204; 47.5. Six adult females from same locality: Total 
length, 437-544; tail vertebra?, 166-204; hind foot, 38-45; average: 
482; 189; 42. Skull: (See table, p. 36.) 

General remarks. — This species was characterized by Doctor Mer- 
riam in 1890, under the name ringe?is, from specimens collected at 
Greensboro, Alabama. The present writer has already shown in some 
detail that the Linntean name putorius, based on the 'pol-cat' of 
Catesby, is strictly applicable to this species/' and not to the Florida 
species, on which it was rixed by Doctor Merriam. It is unnecessary 
to repeat all of the evidence here, but since additional light on the 
question has recently been obtained, a statement of the reasons for 
applying this name to the Carolina, instead of to the Florida species, 
is deemed advisable. 

In October, 1905, the writer visited South Carolina in order to deter- 
mine what species of Spilogale occurs in the region where Catesby 
traveled. Two localities in the coastal plain of that State were visited — 
Hardeeville, Beaufort Count} 7 , and Robertsville, Hampton County. 
Apparently Spilogale does not occur in this region, since the animal is 
unknown to the residents, and careful trapping with the aid of a local 
hunter failed to secure a specimen. Proceeding next to Cleora. in the 
rough hill country of Edgefield Count} 7 , definite evidence of the occur- 
rence of Spilogale there was obtained. Local hunters reported that 
the small 'polecats,' as they are called, were frequently chased by 
dogs while hunting at night, and their statement that the skunks take 
refuge in trees makes it certain that Spilogale is the animal referred 
to. The writer was shown a den dug beneath the roots of a fallen tree 
in a wooded hollow, and a Spilogale tail was picked up near by. None 
of the animals were secured at this time, but in January of the present 
year a specimen in the flesh was sent to the Biological Survey from 
Cleora, thus affording definite data for the determination of Catesby *s 
animal, which proves to be the same as Spilogale ringens of Merriam. 

«Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, pp. 2-6, 1902. 

nov., 1906.] SPILOGALE PXJTOKIUS. 17 

The locality where this specimen was collected is well within the 
limits of Catesb} T \s journeyings, for he tells us that he remained for 
some time "at and about Fort Moore, a small Fortress on the Banks 
of the River Savanna, which runs from thence a Course of 300 Miles 
down to the Sea, and is about the same Distance from its Source, in 
the Mountains."" 

The reasons for fixing- the name putorius upon this species may be 
summarized as follows: 

(1) As shown above, the only species of SpUogale known to occur 
in the region traversed by Catesbv is the Alleghenian species — 8. 
ri/ngens of Merriam. 

(2) The evidence that Catesbv ever visited peninsular Florida is 
based solely on the title of his work and on his statement that he 
remained "almost three years in Carolina and the adjacent parts 
(which the Spaniards call Florida, particularly that Province lately 
honour d with the name of Georgia)." It seems highly probable that 
had he made a journey to the region south of St. Augustine, the pres- 
ent habitat of the Florida spotted skunk, he would have given some 
details of the trip in his itinerary, as he did in the case of his expedi- 
tion to the Bahamas. 

(3) In his description of the "pol-cat," Catesby says: "The} 7 hide 
themselves in hollow Trees and Rocks * * *." This is exactly in 
accord with the habits of the Carolina species, but could not apply to 
the Florida species, since there are no rocks in the region where it lives. 

(4) Linnaeus, in his original description of Viverra putorius, says of 
it: " Cauda longitudine corporis." This was doubtless a rough com- 
parison of the length of the head and body with the length of the tail, 
including hairs. The Carolina SpUogale agrees very closely with these 
proportions, but the Florida species has the tail much shorter than the 

The present form is strikingly distinct from S. amoarvaiis, but is 
rather closely related to interrupta and indianola. No specimens from 
the Mississippi Valley are available; therefore the question whether 
intergradation occurs between putorius and interrupta can not now be 
determined. However, specimens of interrupta from the Wichita 
Mountains, Oklahoma, present certain intermediate characters, and 
suggest the probability that the range of putorius extends to the west- 
ward of the Mississippi River. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 35, from the following 
localities : 

West Virginia: White Sulphur Springs, 1. 
Virginia: Winchester, 1. 
Tennessee: Holston Mountains, 1. 

«The distance from the sea is clearly erroneous, since a journey of 300 miles would 
have carried him far above the source of the river. 
5639— No. 26—06 2 


North. Carolina: Roan Mountain, 1; Magnetic City (foot of Roan Mountain), 

8; Valley River, Cherokee County, 1. 
South Carolina: Cleora, Edgefield County, 1. 
Georgia: Mimsville, 1. 
Alabama: Greensboro, 18; Mobile, 1. 
Mississippi: Corinth, 1. 

' SPILOGALE INTERRUPTA (Rafinesque). Prairie Spotted Skunk. 

Mephitis interrupta Rafinesque, Annals of Nature, I, p. 3, 1820; Lichtenstein, Abhand. 

Akad. Wiss. Berlin for 1836, p. 281, Tab. II, fig. 1, 1838. 
Mephitis quaterlinearis Winans, [Kansas?] newspaper, 1859 (see Coues, Fur-Bearing 

Animals, pp. 239-240, 1877). 
Spilogale interrupta Merriam, N. Am. Fauna No. 4, p. 8, 1890. 

Type locality. — "Upper Missouri*' River. 

Geographic distribution. — Iowa, southern Minnesota, Nebraska, 
Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma; south in eastern Texas to about 
the middle of the State. 

General characters. — Resembling S. putorius, but with much more 
black; tail without prominent white tip. 

Color. — White markings much reduced; dorsal stripes variable in 
width, but averaging narrower than inputorius, frequently interrupted 
(in about one-third of the specimens examined) and sometimes reduced 
to a few widety separated spots; median pair usuall} T narrower than 
outer pair; white patch on forehead small, often a mere speck; patch 
in front of ear much reduced, often absent, and usually not continu- 
ous with outer dorsal stripe; tail usually wholly black, but occasionally 
with a very slender tuft of white hairs at the tip, entirely surrounded 
by the black hairs. 

Cranial characters. — Skull closely resembling that of /S. putorius, 
but averaging shorter, and relatively broader; rostrum narrower,' mas- 
toid capsules only slightly inflated, but with well-developed 2)rocesses; 
upper molar as in putorius. 

Measurements. — Eight adult males from Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, 
and Oklahoma: Total length, 490-536; tail vertebra-, 181-223; hind 
foot, 41-51; average: 515; 210; 18.5. Average of two females from 
Cairo, Kansas: 473; 170; 42.5. Skull: (See table, p. 36.) 

General remarks. — Doctor Merriam has shown the pertinence of the 
name interrupta to this species, a and it is unnecessary 7- to repeat the 
evidence here. The species may be readily recognized by its black tail. 
Specimens from the Wichita Mountains, Oklahoma, are intermediate 
in skull characters between interrupta and putorius. Externally they 
agree with interrupta. Intergradation with indianola probably takes 
place in central or southern Texas, though the material at hand is not 
sufficient to show this clearly. 

«N. Am. Fauna No. 4, p. 9, 1890. 


The .southern and western limits of the range of interrupta are not 
accurately known, and only recently it has been ascertained to reach 
the southern portions of Minnesota and South .Dakota. Mr. Ernest 
Thompson Seton has kindly furnished the Biological Survey with the 
two most northerly records, and has sent a specimen from Sioux Falls, 
South Dakota, where these skunks are said to be common. He states 
that two were killed by a trapper in March, 1904, on the Mississippi 
River 40 miles southeast of Minneapolis. The animal was previously 
unknown to the trappers in that region, so that this is doubtless an 
instance of recent extension of range. 

Spec! mens examined. — Total number, 11, from the following 

Kansas: Onaga, 8; Trego County, 8; Fort Leavenworth, 1; Manhattan, 2; 

Burlington, 1; Long Inland, 3; Cairo, 3; Fort Riley, 1 (skull). 
Iowa: Gladbrook, 1; Marshalltown, 2. 
South Dakota: Sioux Falls, 1. 
Nebraska: London, 1; Beemer, 1. 
Missouri: Courtney, 1. 

Oklahoma: Alva, 1; Mount Scott, Wichita Mountains, 4. 
Texas: Canadian, 1; Cooke County, 1 (skull); Brazos, 3. 

SPILOGALE INDIANOLA Merriam. Gulf Spotted Skunk. 
Spiloga/e indianola Merriam, N. Am. Fauna No. 4, p. 10, 1890. 

Type locality. — indianola, Texas. 

Geographic distribution. — Coast region of Texas and Louisiana; 
south to Victoria, Tamaulipas. 

General characters. — Resembling S. interrupta, but with a pro- 
nounced white tip to the tail; skull relatively narrow. 

Color. — Similar to interrupta; dorsal stripes frequently interrupted, 
the median pair usually narrower than outer pair; tail with a white 
patch at tip occupying about one-fourth of the upper surface. 

Cranial characters. — Skull similar to that of putorius, but much 
smaller and relatively narrower across mastoids; cranium highly 
arched, as in the eastern species, but fronto- parietal region only very 
slightly elevated above plane of skull; zygomata long (in male skulls) 
and nearly parallel to axis of skull. Compared with interrupta: 
Skull of about the same length, but relatively narrower; inflation of 
mastoid capsules greater. Teeth as in putorius and interrupta. 

Measurements.- — Seven adult males from the coast region of Texas 
(Virginia Point to Corpus Christi): Total length, 110-520; tail verte- 
bras, 165-201; hind foot, 16-50; average, 472; 183; 18. Average of 
two females from San Antonio, Texas: 106; 162; 39.5. Skull: (See 
table, p. 36.) 

General remarks. — When this species was described, only two skulls 
(both of females) were available. The skin characters and cranial 
characters of the males were unknown. Since that time a good series of 


both skins and skulls has been secured by the collectors of the Biolog- 
ical Survey, which shows that the species is even more strongly marked 
than the describer supposed. Externally it closely resembles the 
whiter specimens of inU rrupta, but may be distinguished by the white- 
tipped tail. Skulls of males and females show greater differences than 
is usual in this genus, the former being longer, broader in the mastoid 
region, and flatter in the fronto-parietal region than skulls of females. 
Comparison with ambarvalis is hardly necessary, the reduction of the 
white markings and long skull with heavy dentition being sufficiently 

The relationships of this species are wholly with the forms occupy- 
ing the regions to the northward, and not with the Mexican or western 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 20, from the following local- 

Texas: Indianola, 2 (skulls); Virginia Point, 2; Elliott's, Matagorda County, 1; 
Edna, 1; Rockport, 2; Beeville, 1; Corpus Christi, 4; San Antonio, 5. 

Louisiana: Iowa, Calcasieu Parish, 1. 

Tamaulipas: Victoria, 1 (skull). 

SPILOGALE LEUCOPARIA Merriam. Rio Grande Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogale leucoparia Merriam, N. Am. Fauna, No. 4, p. 11, 1890. 

Type locality. — Mason, Texas. 

Geographic distribution. — Arid region of western Texas and south- 
ern New Mexico; south over the eastern side of the Mexican table-land 
to Hidalgo; west to central Arizona. 

General characters. — White markings extensive; skull with greatly 
inflated mastoid capsules. 

Color. — White markings very broad, especially the lateral stripes 
and outer pair of dorsal stripes; frontal spot and patch in front of ear 
large; no white on legs; tail with terminal fourth above and terminal 
two-thirds below, white. 

Cranial characters. — Skull of about the same length as that of 
indianola, but brain case broader and flatter; mastoid capsules greatly 
inflated; audital bulla? larger; upper molars similar in shape, but 
decidedl}" smaller; lower carnassial slightly smaller. 

Measurements. — Average of three adult males from Rio Grande Val- 
ley (Eagle Pass, Laredo, Samuels): Total length, 402; tail vertebrae, 
145; hind foot, 47.7. Average of three adult females from Texas 
(Eagle Pass, Langtry, Waring): 377; 147; 41. Skull: (See table, 
p. 36.) 

General remarks. — This species, as would be expected, is more 
closely related to the forms occupying the arid regions of the West than 
to those in the Mississippi Valley. Its peculiar skull serves readily 
to distinguish it from the other members of the genus. Two speci- 

Nov., 1906.] SPILOGALE TENUIS. 21 

mens from Sierra Encarnacion, Coahuila, have slightly larger skulls 
than the t} r pe, with the postorbital processes well developed; the white 
body stripes are also slightly narrower than in the typical form. A 
specimen from Tulancingo, Hidalgo (provisionally referred to this 
species), likewise has less white on the body. A specimen from Fort 
Clark, Texas, is apparently intermediate between leucoparia and 
ambigua. It resembles the former in having large bulla? and inflated 
mastoids, but the cranium is relatively narrow and high, as in 

A specimen from Flagstaff, Arizona (No. 1900, Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.), 
is larger than typical specimens, and the rostrum is very broad and 
flat; in other respects it agrees perfectly with leucoparia, as does also 
another specimen (No. 1890, Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.), from Fossil Creek, 

Specimens examined.- — Total number, 22, from the following 

Texas: Mason, 3; Comstock, 1; Waring 1; D'Hanis, Medina County, 1; Eagle 

Pass, 2; Turtle Creek, Kerr County, 2; Laredo, 1; Samuels, 1. 
New Mexico: Tularosa, 1. 

Arizona: Flagstaff, 1; Fossil Creek, Verde Eiver, 1. 
Nuevo Leon: Monterey, 2 (skulls). 
Coahuila: Sierra Encarnacion, 3; Saltillo, 1. 
Hidalgo: Tulancingo, 1. 

SPILOGALE TENUIS Howell. Rocky Mountain Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogale tenuis Howell, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, p. 241, 1902. 

Type locality. — Arkins, Colorado. 

Geographic distribution. — Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains 

in Colorado and northern New Mexico; limits of range unknown. 

. . . 

General characters. — Size large; white markings prominent; skull 

long and narrow. 

Color. — Similar in markings to S. leucoparia, but lateral stripe nar- 
rower; frontal patch long and narrow (in type specimen, 32 by 16 
mm.); terminal third of tail white. 

Cranial characters. —Skull similar in general shape to that of 
indianola, but longer and relatively narrower,' brain case broad and 
very flat; fronto-parietal region not elevated above plane of skull; 
rostrum and postorbital region narrow , but without pronounced con- 
striction, the narrowness including also the anterior portion of 
brain case; zygomata not widely expanded, and nearly parallel to axis 
of skull; palate long, reaching beyond the plane of last molars; audital 
bullae and mastoid capsules moderately inflated; teeth rathe* - small; 
upper molars with projection of inner lobe behind middle of tooth. 
Compared with leucoparia the skull of tenuis is much longer and rela- 
tivel}- narrower; brain case flatter and mastoids much less inflated. 



[xo. 26. 

Measurements. — Type (adult S ): Total length, 450; tail vertebras, 
165; hind foot, 51; 3 7 oung female from near Folsom, New Mexico: 
400; 160; 47. Skull: (See table, p. 36.) 

General remark*. — This species is most nearly related to A'. leucoparia\ 
which it resembles in markings but from which it differs widely in 
skull characters. The skull of a young female from the type locality 
is shorter, and broader interorbitally than that of the type, but is 
narrower across the mastoids — a condition due in part to immatu- 
rity. An adult female skull from Estes Park agrees with the type in 
narrowness, but is much smaller. An adult male skull from near 
Folsom, New Mexico, is broader than the type, both z3gomatically 
and in the rostral and postorbital regions, but is slightly narrower 
across the mastoids. 

No specimens are available from farther north than Arkins, Colo- 
rado, but it is not unlikely that the form occupying the Black Hills 
and eastern Wyoming ( se e antea, p. T) ma}^ prove to be referable to 
this species. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 5, from the following localities: 

Colorado: Arkins, 2; Estes Park, 1. 

New Mexico: Oak Canyon, 5 miles north of Folsom, 2. 

SPILOGALE GRACILIS Merriam. Canyon Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogale gracilis Merriam, N. Am. Fauna No. 3, p. 83, 1890. 

Type locality. — Grand Canyon of the Colorado (north of San Fran- 
cisco Mountain), Arizona. 

GeogrupJiic distribution. — Northern Arizona and desert ranges of 
southeastern California; south in the Sierra Madre to Jalisco and 

General character*. — Similar in size and color to S. leucoparia; skull 
with mastoid capsules less inflated. 

Color. — Markings essentially as in S. leucoparia,' white in tail pro- 
portionally less. 

Cranial characters. — Skull about the size of that of indianola, 
but relatively broader; brain case flattened; fronto-parietal region 
depressed to general level of upper surface of skull; postorbital con- 
striction pronounced; mastoid capsules moderately inflated; post- 
orbital processes slightl} 7 developed; teeth of similar shape, but 
smaller. Compared with leucoparia: Postorbital constriction usually 
greater; audita] bulla? and mastoid capsules much, less inflated/ teeth 

Measurements. — Five adult males from Grand Canyon, Arizona, and 
Panamint Mountains, California: Total length, 334-400; tail verte- 
bra?, 130-160; hind foot, 41-46; average: 381; 143; 44.3. Adult 
female from Inyo Mountains, California: 330; 120; 37. Skull: (See 
table, p. 36.) 


General remarks.— Arizona specimens of this genus have proved 
extremely puzzling, and the material in hand is insufficient to deter- 
mine with certainty the relationships and ranges of the several forms. 
Four species or subspecies apparently occur in the Territory — gracilis, 
ambigua, arizonse, and leucoparia. S. gracilis occupies the northern 
and central portions of the Territory (intergrading at the north with 
the Great Basin form, saxatilis) and apparently extends far south 
along the Sierra Mad re into Mexico. S. ambigua belongs to the high- 
skulled type represented throughout Mexico, the range of which 
extends northward to central Arizona, where it overlaps that of gra- 
cilis. S. arizonse occurs with the preceding forms over most of cen- 
tral and southern Arizona. S. leucoparia enters the region from New 
Mexico, and appears to be nearly typical at Flagstaff, in central 
Arizona. These four forms either intergrade or hybridize in this 
region, with the result that many individuals can not satisfactorily be 
referred to one or the other. There are no appreciable color differ- 
ences, and in identifying specimens dependence must be placed alone 
upon skull characters. 

S. gracilis is a small, slender species with a moderately flattened 
skull. It seems to maintain its characters with little change over an 
extensive area. A specimen from Patzcuaro, Michoacan, a place 
widely separated from the type region, is remarkably close to the 
type in characters; its skull is a little smaller and has a slightly 
slenderer rostrum. A specimen from near Fort Verde, Arizona, how- 
ever (No. 1906, Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.), shows some indication of inter- 
gradation with aimjbigua, its skull being somewhat higher than that of 
typical gracilis. A very old skull from Prescott, Arizona (No. 2997, 
Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.), has a more swollen brain case and larger post- 
orbital processes than is usual in skulls of gracilis. Three specimens 
from Panamint Mountains, California, have skulls even smaller and 
slenderer than that of the type. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 13, from the following local- 

Arizona: Grand Canyon, north of San Francisco Mountain, 2; Prescott, 1: Rio 
Verde, 20 miles south of Fort Verde, 1. 

California: Panamint Mountains, 3; Inyo Mountains, 2. 

Chihuahua: Colonia Garcia, 1. 

Jalisco: Lagos, 1; San Sebastian, 1. 

Michoacan: Patzcuaro, 1. 

SPILOGALE GRACILIS SAXATILIS Merriam. Great Basin Spotted Skunk. 
SpUogcUe saxatilis Merriam, N. Am. Fauna, No. 4, p. 13, 1890. 

Type locality. — Provo, Utah. 

Geographic distribution. — Utah, western Colorado, northern Nevada, 
southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, and northeastern California. 

General characters. — Similar to S. gracilis, but slightly larger and 
with lateral stripe usually absent. 


Color. — Essentially as in gracilis, but lateral stripe usually absent 
or very much reduced. In the type and three topotypes it is faintly 
indicated by a narrow band. A little less white in tail. 

Cranial characters. — Skull similar to that of gracilis, but slightly 
larger; brain case broader; postorbital processes more strongly 
developed; ridge on mastoids pronounced. 

Measurements. — Two males from type locality: Total length, 422- 
450; tail vertebra?, 163-176; hind foot, 45-49. Average of two females 
from type locality: 403; 152; 41.5. Adult male from Harney, Oregon: 
455; 155; 50. Average of three adult females from Oregon: 360; 
129; 40. Skull: (See table, p 36.) 

General remarks. — This form is closel} r related to S. gracilis, from 
which it differs chiefly in larger size and the reduction of the white 
side stripes. Specimens from eastern Oregon (Harney, Shirk, and 
Plush) have the white markings somewhat reduced in extent, and the 
lateral stripe is entirely absent in several of them. The dorsal stripes, 
especiall} T the median pair, are narrower than in the typical form. 

The deep emargination of the nares, shown in the skull of the type 
proves to be an inconstant character, for the skulls of the three topo- 
types examined do not differ from skulls of gracilis in depth of 
emargination. In a skull of saxatiUs from Harney, Oregon, the 
emargination is about half as deep as in the type skull. In the post- 
orbital constriction of the skull saxatilis does not differ appreciably 
from gracilis. 

A specimen from St. George, Utah, though agreeing with gracilis 
in markings, is nearer to saxatilis in skull characters. Its skull is the 
longest one in either series and has the ridge on the mastoids pro- 
nounced, as in saxatilis; the postorbital processes^ however, are very 

No specimens of Spilogale have been examined from Idaho, but 
Doctor Merriam reports this form common in the canyons of Snake 
River, and records a skin taken by himself at Marsh Valley [in 
Bannock County, southeast of Pocatello]/' 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 16, from the following 

Utah: Provo, 4; St. George, 1. 

Colorado: Grand Junction, 1; Coventry, 1. 

Nevada: Cottonwood Range, 1. 

Oregon: Plush, Lake County, 4; Shirk, Harney County, 1; Harney, 2. 

California: Susanville, 1. 

SPILOGALE AMB1GUA Mearns. Chihuahua Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogcde ambigua .Mearns, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., XX, p. 460, 1S!»7. 

Type locality. — Eagle Mountain, Chihuahua (about -1 miles youth of 
Monument No. 15, Mexican boundary line). 

«N. Am. Fauna No. 5, p. 84, 189L 

Nov., 1906.] SPILOGALE AMBIGUA. 25 

Geographic distribution. — From central Arizona south over the 
western edge of the Mexican table-land to Jalisco. 

General diameters. — Closely similar in markings to S. gracilis; 
skull with highly arched cranium, as in ambarvalis and other eastern 

Color. — Essentially as in gracilis; lateral stripes very broad; a 
white band on the thighs. 

Cranial characters. — Skull very similar to that of S. ambarvalis; 
Irani case highly arched; fronto-parietal region elevated ; interorbital 
constriction pronounced; postorbital processes well developed; zygo- 
mata broadly expanded; mastoid capsules and audital bullae not greatly 
inflated; sagittal crest slightly developed; palate short, ending on a 
line with posterior border of molars; upper molars of exactly similar 
shape and size to those of ambarvalis; upper carnassial averaging 
larger. Compared with gracilis: Skull shorter and relatively broader; 
brain case higher; rostrum more depressed; zygomata more abruptly 
expanded; postorbital processes larger. 

Measurements. — Type" (adult S): Total length, 411; tail vertebra?, 
liT; hind foot, 13. Average of two adult males from Chihuahua and 
Jalisco: 377; 121; 15.5. Skull: (See table, p. 36.) 

General remarks.- — As stated by Doctor Mearns, this species has 
closer relationship with the forms inhabiting central Mexico than with 
?ny of the United States species. It is in fact only the most northerly 
ranging member of a distinct group of species occupying the Mexican 
table-land, from the United States boundary to Guatemala. This fact 
makes all the more surprising its remarkably close resemblance in 
cranial characters to S. arnbarvalis of Florida, the range of which is 
entirely cut off from that of ambigua. The skull of the type of 
ambigua can be very closely matched by specimens of ambarvalis^ the 
most noticeable difference being the slightly greater zygomatic breadth 
and the larger upper carnassial of ambigua. In external characters, 
too, the differences between ambarvalis and ambigua are slight. The 
latter has a white band on the thigh not possessed by the former, and 
the white patches at the base of the tail are much smaller. The tail 
is usually longer. 

The range of ambigua meets that of gracilis in central Arizona and 
probably at many points in Mexico, the latter species apparently 
occupying the more mountainous regions, while ambigua occupies the 
table-land. A specimen from Fossil Creek, Arizona, is typical, as is 
also one from Barranca Ibarra, Jalisco. 

Spt rim ens examined. — Total number, 8, from the following localities: 

Chihuahua: Eagle Mountain. 4 miles south of monument No. 15, Mexican 

boundary line, 1; Chihuahua, 1. 
Jalisco: Barranca Ibarra, 1; Ocotlan, 1. 
Arizona: Huachuca Mountains, 3; Fossil Creek, near Verde River, 1. 

o Fide Mearns. 


SPILOGALE ANGUSTIFRONS Howell. Table-land Spotted Skunk. 
Spiloijiib: angustifrons Howell, Pine. Biol. Sue. Wash., XV, p. 242, 1902. 

Type locality. — Tlalpam, Federal District, Mexico. 

Geographic distribution. — Southern portion of the Mexican table- 
land, from Guanajuato to the isthmus of Tehuantepec. 

General characters. — Size small; coloration as in 8. ambigua^ but 
usually without white bands on thighs. Skull slender, and without 
prominent ridges. 

Color. — Similar to that of ambigua, but lateral stripes averaging 
broader; white bands on thighs usualty absent. 

Cranial character*. — Skull similar to that of ambigua, but smaller 
and narrower; cranium highly arched; rostrum narrow; sagittal crest 
practically obsolete; postorbital constriction slight; postorbital proc- 
esses small; audital bullae relatively large; mastoid capsules moderately 
inflated; molars smaller than in ambigua, the upper and lower car- 
nassials decidedly so. 

Measurements. — Type (adult <?): Total length, 345; tail vertebras, 
130; hind foot, 40. Average of three adult males from the type 
locality: 333; 121; 42. Adult female from type locality: 325; 105; 36. 
Skull: (See table, p. 36.) 

General remarks.- — This species belongs to the group of narrow- 
skulled species inhabiting the eastern United States and northern 
Mexico. Its nearest relative is 8. ambigua, with which it may inter- 
grade, though no intermediate specimens are known. Its slender 
skull, without ridges and with narrow rostrum, distinguishes it from 
any of its relatives. A specimen from Yautepec, Morelos, differs 
from the typical form in having thigh bands; its skull, however, is 
entirely typical. 

Specimen* examined. — Total number, 8, from the following locali- 
ties in Mexico: 

Mexico: Tlalpam, 5. 
Morelos: Yautepec, 1. 
Guanajuato: Santa Rosa, 2. 

Spilogale angustifrons tropicalis Howell, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., XV, p. 242, 1902. 

Type locality. — San Mateo del Mar, Oaxaca, Mexico. 

Geograp/iic distribution. — Coast region of southern Oaxaca. 

Gi-m-ral character^. — Similar to 8. angustifrons, but larger: skull 
with smaller teeth and larger mastoid capsules. 

Color. — Averaging with more white than angustifrons; lateral 
stripes large, and reaching down on to forelegs; white patches at base of 
tail large; white bands on thighs usually present, but variable in size. 

Cranial characters. — Skull larger and more angular than that of 


ungustifrons; rostrum broader; mastoid capsules more inflated; audital 
bullae flatter; upper molars and last lower molars relatively smaller; 
upper molars not evenly rounded on inner side, but with a narrow pro- 
jecting lobe at the postero-internal corner; palate long, usually reach- 
ing beyond the posterior border of molars. Compared with ambigua, 
the mastoid capsules are more inflated, zygomata less widely expanded, 
and teeth much smaller. Skulls of females are but little smaller than 
those of males, and lack the sagittal crest. 

Measurements. — Five adult males from type locality: Total length, 
334-387; tail vertebra?, 114-145; hind foot, 40-46; average, 303; 134; 
43. Average of three adult females from type locality, 339; 125; 38. 
Skull: (See table, p. 37.) 

General remarks, — This form apparently is confined to the tropical 
lowlands on the west side of the isthmus of Tehuantepec. Specimens 
from the city of Tehuantepec, which is only a few miles from the type 
locality, are not typical, but show intergradation with the highland 
form (elata) in skull characters. 

Although the habitat of tropicalis is widely removed from that of 
ambigua, the two seem to be closely related. No intermediate speci- 
mens have been examined, however. 

The present form is remarkable for the great amount of variation in 
the size of the skull. In the type series of eight specimens this 
amounts in the basilar length to 17 per cent of the average." 

/Specimens exam ined. — Total number, 12, from the following localities: 
Oaxaca: San Mateo del Mar, 8; Tehuantepec, 3; San Geronimo, 1. 

SPILOGALE ANGUSTIFRONS ELATA subsp. nov. Highland Spotted 


Type from San Bartolome, Chiapas. Adult $ , No. 133186, U. S. 
National Museum, Biological Survey Collection. Collected March 19, 
1904, by E. A. Goldman. Original No. 16618. 

Geographic distribution. — Highlands of Chiapas and Costa Rica; 
Guatemala (?); limits of range unknown. 

General characters. — Similar to S. a. tropicalis, but with narrower 
skull and heavier dentition. 

Color.- — Agrees with tropicalis in markings, but has a little less white 
at base of tail. The type specimen has a small white patch on the 
thigh, scarcely continuous with the white spot on flank. 

Cranial character's. — Skull about the size of that of tropicalis, b but 
much narrower across mastoids; rostrum broader, and only slightly 
depressed below level of upper surface; postorbital processes well 

a See table of measurements, p. 37, where the averages of the two largest and of the 
three smallest male skulls are given. 

b Comparison is made with the type of tropicalis; the others in the series from the 
type locality are somewhat smaller. 


developed; mastoids not inflated, but with a pronounced ridge; upper 
molars larger than in tropicalis and more evenly rounded on inner side; 
lower carnassial decidedly broader; inter-pterygoid fossa broader. 

Measurements. — Type (adult $): Total length, 385; tail vertebras, 
123; hind foot, 45. Skull: (See table, p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This form is closely related to S. tropicalis, from 
which it differs chiefly in cranial characters. It differs from angusti- 
frons in having a much larger skull, but agrees with it in the form of 
the upper molars. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 3, from the following localities: 

Chiapas: San Bartolome, 1; Pinabete, 1. 
Costa Rica (locality not known «) , 1. 

SPILOGALE PYGMjEA Thomas. Pygmy Skunk. 
Spilogale pygmsea Thomas, Proc. Zool. Soc. London for 1897, p. 898, 1898. 

Type locality. — Rosario, Sinaloa. 

Geographic distribution. — Known only from the type locality and 
from Acapulco, Guerrero. 

General characters. — Size very small; dorsal stripes not broken into 
patches on hinder parts; a transverse band of white across face between 
the eyes. 

Color. b — Median pair of dorsal stripes grayish (caused by intermix- 
ture of black and white hairs), connected anteriorly, each divided at the 
middle of the back into two narrow stripes, the outer one of which is 
continued transversely until it joins the lateral stripe, while the inner 
one extends across the rump to the under surface of the body, where 
it nearly joins the corresponding stripe on the other side; a narrow 
transverse band on each thigh, confluent with a small patch at base of 
tail; lateral stripes broad, and of a distinctly yellowish hue; outer 
pair of dorsal stripes also yellowish, narrow, except anteriorly, where 
they spread out into broad patches behind the ears; frontal patch white, 
broader than long, and united by a narrow stripe with the outer dorsal 
stripes; upper surface of both fore and hind feet white; tail all white, 
except for the basal half -inch below, and a slight admixture of black 
above covering the basal two-thirds. 

Cranial characters. — Skull very small; cranium narrow and highly 
arched; fronto-parietal region scarcely elevated above plane of skull; 
postorbital constriction slight; postorbital processes minute; no trace 
of a sagittal crest; palate short, not reaching plane of posterior border 
of molars. 

«This specimen was sent to the World's Fair at Chicago by the Costa Rican Com- 
mission. Mr. George K. Cherrie, in response to an inquiry concerning it, states 
that his recollection is that the specimen came from the neighborhood of Alajuela, 
at about 3,000 feet altitude, on the Pacific side of the Cordillera. 

b Description drawn from a specimen in the Biological Survey Collection. 

Nov., 1906.] SPILOGALE ARIZONA. 29 

Measurements. — Adult male from Acapulco, Guerrero: Total length, 
240; tail vertebra?, 72; hind foot, 33. Type (adult ? ): 182; 68; 34. a 
Skull: (See table, p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This remarkable species may be easily distin- 
guished from all its relatives by its exceedingly small size and pecu- 
liar pattern of coloration. It evidently is not a common species, for 
up to the present time onty two examples have found their way into 
museum collections — the type in the British Museum, and one speci- 
men in the Biological Survey collection taken by Nelson and Gold- 
man. The latter specimen was caught in a trap set below the surface 
of the ground in the burrow of a pocket gopher (Orthogeomys). It is 
an adult male and is even smaller than the t}^pe* (a female), but agrees 
in every other respect with the description given by Mr. Thomas. 

SPILOGALE ARIZONA Mearns. Arizona Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogale phenax arizonse Mearns, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., Ill, p. 256, 1891. 

Type locality. — Fort Verde, Arizona. 

Geographic distribution. — Central and southern Arizona, southwest- 
ern New Mexico, and adjacent parts of Mexico. 

General characters. — Similar to S. gracilis, but with larger and more 
angular skull. 

Color. — Markings as in leucoparia and gracilis; lateral stripe very 
broad; tail with terminal fourth above, and terminal half below, 

Cranial characters. — Skull larger than that of gracilis; zygomata 
widely and abruptly expanded, arched upward at widest point so as to 
be decidedly higher than in gracilis; brain case broad and flat; ros- 
trum and inter-temporal region narrow; postorbital processes much 
larger; bulla? slightly larger; upper molars relatively small. 

Measurements. — Type (adult $\. Total length, 445; tail vertebra?, 
160; hind foot, 50. c Average of 3 adult males from Fort Huachuca, 
Arizona, and San Jose Mountain, Sonora: 122; 151; 45.3. Adult 
female from Fort Huachuca, Arizona: 380; 148; 40. Skull: (See table, 
p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This species, although represented by only a 
small number of specimens in the series examined, is apparently a 
well-marked form. The material available at the present time shows 
that it is not, as the describer supposed, a subspecies of phenax. Com- 
pared with the latter species, arisonae is very much smaller, with rela- 
tively broader brain case and larger audital bulla?. Although occu- 
pying a portion of the range of gracilis, no intermediates between 
these two forms have been discovered. Intergradation with leucoparia 
is more probable, though the material at present available is not suffi- 
cient to determine this question with certaint3 T . Two specimens of 

a Fide Thomas. & See table of cranial measurements, p. 37. c Fide Mearns. 


nearly typical leucqparia have been taken within the range of arizonse, 
but on the other hand a .specimen from Pinal County, Arizona (No. 
610, Am. Mus. Nat. Hist.), is in some respects intermediate between 
the two forms. 

Typical ambigua also occurs in the range of arizonse, and at least one 
specimen (No. 1902, Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., from Whipple Barracks) 
combining the characters of these two species has been examined. 
By reason of the wide differences between typical specimens of the 
two species, and in view of the fact that they occur together in the 
typical forms, it seems preferable to consider the intermediate speci- 
mens as the product of hybridization rather than of intergradation. 

Specimens exam hod. — Total number, 8, from the following localities: 

Arizona: Fort Verde, 1; Fort Huaehuca, 3; Pinal County, 1 (not typical); 

Whipple Barracks, 1 (not typical). 
New Mexico: Rio Mimbres (near head), 1. 
Sonora: San Jose Mountain, 1. 

SPILOGALE ARIZONA MARTIRENSIS Elliot. Peninsula Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogale arizmse. martirensis Elliot, Field Columb. Mus., Zool. Series, III, p. 170, 1903. 

Type locality. — Vallecitos, San Pedro Martir Mountains, Lower 
California, Mexico. 

Geographic distribution. — Lower California, from San Pedro Martir 
Mountains south to Comondu. Range probably not continuous. 

General characters. — Similar to S. arizonae, but smaller. 

Color.— Not appreciably different from S. arizonx. 

Cranial characters.— Skull decidedly smaller than that of aHzonm 
with very narrow rostrum; zygomata narrower and less abruptly 
expanded; molars smaller. 

Measurements— -Type (adult $): Total length, 395; tail vertebra- 
US; hind foot, 11; five adult males from San Pablo, San Ignacio, and 
Muleje: Total length, 365-101; tail vertebrae, 133-155; hind foot, 12- 
47.5; average: 381; 118; 15.3. Average of two adult females from 
San Ignacio and Comondu: 375; 112; 10.2. Skull: (See table, p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This subspecies was based on specimens collected 
at an altitude of 9,000 feet in the San Pedro Martir Mountains. The 
collector, Mr. Edmund Heller, considers the animals to be very scarce 
in that region. Nelson and Goldman collected at the type locality in 
1905, but secured no skunks. Specimens of this form, however, were 
taken by them much farther south on the Peninsula at an altitude but 
little above sea level. A specimen from Muleje agrees very closely 
with the type, except that the lower carnassial is somewhat smaller. 
The skulls of two adult males from San Ignacio are slightly broader 
interorbitally and narrower across the mastoids. Although the range 
of this form is probably cut off from that of arisonx by the Colorado 

Nov., 1906.] SPILOGALE PHENAX. 31 

Desert, the close resemblance in skull characters which it bears to 
wrizonae, makes a subspecific designation desirable. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 9, from the following localities: 

Lower California: »San Pedro Martir Mountains, 2; San Pablo, 1; San Igna- 
cio, 4; Muleje, 1; Comondu, 1. 

SPILOGALE PHENAX Merriam. California Spotted Skunk. 

? Mephitis bicolor Gray, Mag. Nat. Hist., I, p. 581, 1837; Baird, Mamni. N. Am., p. 197, 
1857 (in part — specimen from California). 

Mephitis zorr ///a Liechtenstein, Abh. Akad. Wiss. Berlin for 1836, p. 282, 1838. (Speci- 
mens from Monterey collected by Deppe. ) " (Not of Schreber. ) 

Mephitis zorrilla Audubon & Bachman, Quad. N. Am. Ill, p. 276, 1854. (Not of 
Schreber. ) 

Spilogale phenax Merriam, N. Am. Fauna Nix 4, p. 13, 1890. 

Type locality. — Nicasio, California. 

Geographic distribution. — Greater portion of California, excepting 
extreme northern part and southeastern desert regions. 

General characters. — Similar to S. putorius in size and coloration, 
but tail shorter; skull heavy and angular. 

Color. — White markings less prominent than in S. arizonse or S. 
leucoparia; coloration practically the same as in S. putorius, but dor- 
sal stripes extending a little farther forward, to a point between the 
ears; white frontal patch and patches in front of ears larger; white 
patch at base of tail smaller; lateral stripes broad (rarely absent); tail 
with terminal fourth above and terminal half below, white. 

Cranial characters. — Skull large and prominently ridged; resem- 
bling that of S. interrupta in general shape, but brain case flatter; 
postorbital processes usually well developed; zygomata broadly and 
abruptly expanded; audital bulla? and mastoid capsules not greatly 
inflated, the latter with pronounced ridges; sagittal and occipital crests 
well developed; teeth relatively rather small; upper molar with pro- 
jection of inner lobe behind middle of tooth, as in most of the western 
species. Females have much smaller skulls than males and the sagit- 
tal crests and mastoid ridges are less developed. 

Measurements. — Four adult males from San Francisco Bay region 
(Mount St. Helena, Point Ikcyes, Fairlield, and Glen Ellen): Total 
length, 460-485; tail vertebra?, 150-158; hind foot, 51-54; average: 
470; 154.5; 52.5. Eight adult males from San Luis Obispo, Santa 
Barbara, and Ventura counties: Total length, 4-24-480; tail vertebrae, 
142-195; hind foot, 47-51; average: 455; 173; 50. Average of four 
adult females from same localities: 408; 158; 45. Average of two 
adult females from Glen Ellen and Auburn: 390; 140; 45. Skull: (See 
table, p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This species is one of the largest of the genus, 
being exceeded in size by S. lucasana only. It exhibits very little 
variation in markings, but the difference in size between adult males 
from the same locality is remarkable. This is well shown by a com- 

«The source of Deppe's specimens is given by Lichtenstein in a later paper (Abh. 
Akad. Wiss. Berlin for 1838, p. 422, 1839) . 


parison of the external measurements, and more especially those of 
the skull. Thus, for example, two specimens from Ventura River 
show a variation of 33 mm. in length of tail vertebra 1 , 4.S mm. in 
basilar length of skull, and 5.7 mm. in occipito-nasal length. Speci- 
mens from Los Angeles and San Diego counties apparently have 
smaller hind feet than the typical form, but do not differ appreciably 
in other respects. Specimens from Three Rivers and San Emigdio 
have skulls averaging longer and narrower inter-temporally than those 
of the typical form. The skull of an adult male specimen from Alila, 
Tulare County (in the San Joaquin Valley), differs from typical skulls 
in being smaller and relatively broader zygomatically, the z3'gomata 
spreading abruptly at the posterior end and curving strongly upward. 
In these characters it resembles the skull of 8. arizonse^ but it differs 
widely from that species in other respects. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 05, from the following locali- 

California: Baird, Shasta County, 1; Stillwater, Shasta County, 1; Dyer- 
ville, 1; Rio Dell, Humboldt County, 5; Auburn, 1; Mount St. Helena, 1; 
(ilea Ellen, 2; Nicasio, 3; Point Reyes, 5; Berkeley, 1; Fairfield, 1; Sausa- 
lito, 1; Carbondale, 1; Tracy, 1; Santa Clara, 2; Boulder Creek, 1; Motto, 
1; Pozo, 1; San Luis Obispo, 5; Santa Ynez Mission, 2; Ventura River, 2; 
Santa Paula, 2; Wawona, 1 (skull); Three Rivers, 6; Kaweah, Tulare County, 
1; Milo, 3; Kern River Lakes, 2; Alila, 5; Delano, 1; Portersville, 1; San 
Emigdio, 5; Box Spring, Riverside County, 2; San Bernardino, 4; San Ber- 
nardino Peak, 1; Alhambra, 4; Los Angeles, 1; San Jacinto Mountains, 1; 
Twin Oaks, 1; Santa Ysabel, 3; Witch Creek, 1; Dulzura, 6; La Puerta. San 
Diego County, 1; San Diego, 2; Valley Center, San Diegc County, 1; Santa 
Cruz Island, 1. 

SPILOGALE PIIENAX LATIFRONS Merriam. Oregon Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogale phenax latifrons Merriam, N. Am. Fauna No. 4, p. 15, 1890. 

Type locality. — Roseburg, Oregon. 

(r, ographic distribution. — Coast region of Oregon and northern 

General characters. — Smaller than & phenax; black markings 
more prominent; rostrum broader. 

Color. — Slack markings 'prominent; outer pair of dorsal stripes 
averaging narrower than in phenax; median pair usually very narrow. 
though sometimes of same width as outer pair; lateral stripe fre- 
quently absent or much reduced; white patches and transverse bands 
on hinder part of bod} T small. 

( 'run inl characters. — Skull shorter and relatively broader than that 
of S. phenax; rostrum actually as well as relatively much l>ro<i<l< r. 

Measurements. — Six adult males from Oregon (Gardiner, Goldbeach, 
Beaverton, and Marshfield): Total length, 382-435; tail vertebrae, 
117-146; hind foot, 45-50; average: 408; 127; 47.7. Eleven adult 
females from Oregon: Total length, 335-408; tail vertebra 1 , 105-140; 
hind foot, 3t>-4<; ; average: 373; 122; 42.8. Skull: (See table, p. 37.) 


General remarks. — This subspecies, originally described from a single 
female specimen, proves to be a well-marked form. It has somewhat 
more black than 8. phenax and a shorter tail. The broad rostrum 
proves to be a constant and distinctive character. Intergradation 
with phenax apparently takes place in Shasta County, California, but 
strangely enough a specimen from Point Reyes, California, where 
typical phenax occurs, is clearly referable to latifrons. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 39, from the following locali- 

Oregon: Roseburg, 2; Eugene, 2; Yaquina, 2; Beaverton, 3; Gardiner, 5; 
Goldbeach, 3; Hermann, Lane County, 10 (skulls); Marshfield, 4; Marmot, 
Clackamas County, 2 (skulls); Mount Hood, 1. 
California: Hornbrook, 3; Point Reyes, 1; Siskiyou Mountains, 1. 

SPILOGALE PHENAX OLYMPICA Elliot. Puget Sound Shotted Skunk. 
Spilogale olympica Elliot, Field Columbian Museum, Zool. Ser., I, p. 270, 1899. 

Type locality. — Lake Sutherland, Olympic Mountains, Washington. 

Geographic distribution. — The Olympic Peninsula and shores of 
Puget Sound; north (probably) to Howe Sound, British Columbia. 

General character*. — Similar to S. j>. latifrons; tail slightly shorter; 
rostrum narrower. 

Color. — Markings as in 8. p. latifrons, but white spot on forehead 
apparently averaging longer, and narrower anteriorly. 

Cranial characters. — Skull slightly smaller than that of 8. p. lati- 
frons, with narrower rostrum. Compared with 8. phenax, it is 
decidedly smaller, and brain case relatively narrow and high; upper 
molar more nearly square. 

Measurements. — Type (immature $): Total length, 320; tail ver- 
tebra?, 104; hind foot, 41 a . Average of 8 adult males from eastern side 
of Puget Sound (Mount Vernon, Washington; Sumas, Port Moody, 
and Hastings, British Columbia): 411; 112; 17.5. Average of 7 adult 
females from same localities: 381; 101; 43.7. Skull: (See table, p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This form is apparently a slightly differentiated 
subspecies, differing from 8. p. latifrons chiefly in cranial characters. 
Compared with latifrons the skull of olympica has a decidedly nar- 
rower rostrum, the narrowing being chiefly toward the anterior por- 
tion. The average width of the rostrum in three male specimens of 
latifrons, measured across the alveoli of the canines, is 14.2 mm.; the 
average of five male specimens of olympica measured in the same way 
is 12.8 mm. 

Specimens from the eastern side of Puget Sound (Mount Vernon, 
Washington, and Port Moody, British Columbia) average a little 
smaller than the series from the Olympics, and the narrowing of the 
rostrum is more pronounced. On the other hand, some of the indi- 
viduals in the series from Tenino, at the southern end of the Sound, 

« Fide Elliot. 
5639— No. 26—06 3 


approach very closely to latifrons in skull characters, showing- that 
intergradation takes place in that region. 

The upper molar in this subspecies is more nearly square than in S. 
phenax, and the projection of the inner lobe is less pronounced. In 
some specimens the inner lobe is evenly rounded, almost as in .V. inter- 
rupta, but the point of greatest convexity is farther back than in the 
latter species. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 90, from the following locali- 

"Washington: Lake Sutherland, Olympic Mountains, 1; Port Angeles, 2; Lake 
Cushman, Olympic Mountains, 9 (skulls); Tenino, 8; Steilacoom, 1; Quini- 
ault Lake, 1; Keechelus Lake, 1; Hamilton, 3 (skulls); Mount Vernon, 19 
(6 skins with skulls, 13 odd skulls). 
British Columbia: Sumas, 3; Hastings, 3; Port Moody, 39 (9 skins with skulls, 
30 odd skulls. ) 

SPILOGALE MICRODOX sp. nov. Small-Toothed Spotted Skunk. 

Type from Coinondu, Lower California. Adult $ , No. 145887, 
U. S. National Museum, Biological Survey Collection. Collected 
November 8, 1905, by Nelson and Goldman. Original No. 18501. 

Geographic distribution.— Known only from the type locality. 

General characters.— Slightly smaller than S. phenax, but tail rela- 
tively longer and hind foot shorter; teeth very small. 

(\>h>r. —Practically identical with S. phenax; outer pair of dorsal 
stripes but little wider than median pair; frontal patch large: tail 
rather scantily haired, the terminal third white. 

Cranial characters. — Skull about the size of small skulls of S. phe- 
nax; brain case relatively narrow and high; rostrum somewhat broader 
interorbitaliy; zygomata less widely and abruptly expanded; mastoid 
■ capsules greatly inflated; teeth very small, particularly the molars and 
sectorial teeth. Compared with S. a. martirensis, skull much larger 
and teeth relatively smaller. 

Measurements.— Type (adult <? ): Total length, 410; tail vertebra". 
158; hind foot, 15. Skull: (See table, p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This species is apparently most nearly related to 
S. planar. Out whether or not their ranges meet can not now be deter- 
mined with certainty. No specimens of phenax are known from 
farther south than Dulzura, California, and the intervening region i> 
occupied by another species ( .v. arizonae martirensis). The skull of an 
adultmale topotype differs from that of the type in being somewhat 
narrower interorbitaliy and in having a Hatter brain ease. 

Specimens examined. — Two, from the type locality. 

SPILOGALE l.rcASAXA Merriain. Cape St. Lucas Spotted Skunk. 
Spilogale lucasana Merriam, X. Am. Fauna, No. -4. p. 11. I*'" 1 - 

Type locality.— Cape St. Lucas. Lower California. Mexico. 
Geographic distribution. — Cape region of Lower California. 

n»v., 1906.] SPILOC4ALE LUCASANA. 35 

Gem. ral characti rs. — Size very large; resembling 8. phenax in mark- 
ings, but median pair of dorsal stripes broader; skull broad and flat. 

Color. — Markings similar to those of 8. phenax, but median pair 
of dorsal stripes broader (nearly equaling outer pair in breadth); lateral 
stripes continuous with median dorsal stripes; throat with two narrow 
white streaks or patches on each side of the median line. Tail nearly 
all black above, the white confined to a small patch at tip and outer 
edges of the terminal half; below, the white occupies more than half 
of the terminal portion. 

Cranial characters. — Skull much larger than that of any other spe- 
cies; brain case fiat and very broad; zygomata nearly parallel to axis 
of skull; postorbital constriction slight; occipital and sagittal crests 
highly developed; mastoids not inflated, but with pronounced ridge 
continuous with occipital crest; audital bullae broad and flattened; par- 
occipital processes well developed, as in Mephitis; lower jaw strongly 
convex below, and with a suggestion of the 'step' found in Mephitis; 
molars as in 8. phenax. Skull of female of about the size of female 
skulls of phenax, but molars larger. 

Measurements. — Average of 3 adult males from vieinit}^ of type 
locality: Total length, 531; tail vertebra?, 198; hind foot, 56. Aver- 
age of 2 adult females from type locality: 131; 166; 46.5. Skull: 
(See table, p. 37.) 

General remarks. — This species is so much larger than any of its 
congeners that detailed comparison is unnecessary. Its large size is 
especially remarkable, since in this genus the southern species are 
generally smaller than the northern ones. In this case, however, 
S. lucasana is much larger than either its nearest neighbors on the 
north (8. arizonse martirensis and 8. microdon), or the forms occupying 
the mainland of Mexico. Females, however, are much smaller than 
males, and but little larger than females of S. phenax. 

In some of its characters, notably the development of the paroccip- 
ital processes and the 'step' in the lower jaw, this species shows an 
approach to the genus Mephitis. In some specimens the paroccipital 
processes are as strongly developed as is ordinarily the case in Mephi- 
tis; in others these processes are much reduced. Externally this 
species is characterized by broad white stripes, and there is little vari- 
ation in the extent of the markings; a white thigh band is present in 
most of the specimens examined. A specimen from Santa Anita shows 
an unusual amount of white on the underparts, the large transverse 
stripe on the hips curving forward on the ventral surface and connect- 
ing with the lateral stripe near the middle of the belly. 

So far as known, the range of this species is confined to the imme- 
diate vicinity of Cape St. Lucas. 

Specimens examined. — Total number, 0, from the following localities: 
Lower California: Oape St. Lucas, 7; Santa Anita, 2. 



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(Greatly reduced, and relative sizes not accurately shown, owing to differences in preparation of 

skins. ) 

Fig. 1. Spilogale putorius (Linn.). Roan Mountain, North Carolina (No. 66304, U.S. 
Nat. Mus.). 

2. Spilogale inlerrupta (Rafin. ). Onaga, Kansas (No. 25270, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 

3. Spilogale leucoparia Merr. Type; Mason, Texas (NO. 1701, Merriam Collec- 



North American Fauna, No. 26, U. S. Dept. Agr., Biological Survey. 

Plate II. 

Skins of Spilogale. 
1, Spilogale putorius; J, Spilogale interrupta; 3, Spilogale leucoparia. 


(Greatly reduced, and relative sizes not accurately shown, owing to differences in preparation of 


Fk;. 1. Spilogale pheriax Merr. San Emigdio, California (No. 31249, U. S. Nat. Mus. ). 

2. Spilogale phenax Merr. Side view of same specimen shown in fig. 1. 

3. Spilogale phenax olympica Elliot. Quiniault Lake, Washington (No. 89551 

U. S. Nat. Mus.)! 


North American Fauna, No 26, U. S- Dept. Agr., Biological Survey, 

Plate III 

Skins of Spilogale. 
1, 2, Spilogale phenax; 3, Spilogale phenax olympica. 


(Greatly reduced, and relative sizes not accurately shown, owing to differences in preparation of 

skins. ) 

Fig. 1. SpilogaU ambarvalis Bangs. Micco, Florida (No. 101988, U. S. Nat. Mus.) . 

2. Spilogale angustifrons Howell. Tlalpam, Federal District, Mexico (No. 

50823, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 

3. Spilogale pygmsea Thomas. Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico (No. 70581, V. S. 

Nat. Mus.). 

4. Spilogale pygmiva Thomas. Side view of same specimen shown in fig. 3. 


North American Fauna, No. 26, U. S. Dept. Agr.. Biological Survey. 

Plate IV. 

Skins of Spilogale. 
1, Spilogale ambafvalis; 2, Spilogale angustifrons; 3, 4, Spilogale pygmsea. 


(Natural size.) 

Figs. 1, 2, 3. SpUogale ambarvalis Bangs. $, Micco, Florida (No. 70304, U. S. Nat. 
4, 5, fi. SpUogale putorius (Linn.). $ , Greensboro, Alabama (No. 33846, V. S. 

Nat. Mus. ) . 
7, 8, 9. Spilogmle indianola Merr. $ , Elliot's, Matagorda County, Texas (No* 
44244, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 


North American Fauna, No. 26, U. S. Depi. Agr., Biological Survey. 

Plate V. 




- dHM 


Skulls of Spilogale. 
1, 2, 3, Spilogale ambarvalis; 4, 5, 6, Spilogale putorius; 7, 8, 9, Spilogale indianola. 


(Natural size.) 

Figs. 1, 2, 3. Spilogale leucoparia Merr. $ , type; Mason, Texas (No. 2270, Merriam 
4, ">, (i. Spilogale tern/is Howell. $ , type; Arkins, Colorado (No. 99365, I". S. 

Nat. Mua.). 
7, 8, 9. Spilogale gracilis Merr. <£ , type; Grand Canyon, Arizona (No. 24S!^7, 
U.S. Nat. Mus.). 


North American Fauna, No. 26, U, S. Dept Agr., Biological Sur 

Plate VI 


9 c> )■> 


Skulls of Spilogale. 

1, 2, 3, Spilogale leucoparia; 4, 5, 6, Spilogale tenuis; 7, 8, 9, Spilogale gracilis. 


(Natural size.) 

Figs. 1, 2,8. Spilogale phenax Merr. $, Fairfield, California (No. 44381, F. S. Nat. 
4, 5, 6. Spilogale phenax Merr. 9 > Glen Ellen, California (No. 44151, F. S. 

Nat. Mus.). 
7, S, 9. Spilogale phenax latifrons Merr. $ , Hermann, Lane County, < )regon 
(No. 146291, F. S. Nat. Mus.). 


North American Fauna, No. 26, U. S. Dept. Agr., Biological Survey. 

Plate VII. 

Skulls of Spilogale. 
1-6, spilogale phenux; 7. 8, 9, Spilogale phenax latifrons 

5639— No. 26—06 4 


(Natural s:ze.) 

Figs. 1, 2, 3. Spilogale ambigua Mearns. $ , type; Eagle Mountain, Chihuahua 
(No. 35606, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 
4, 5, 6. Spilogale arizonse Mearns. $ ; Fort Huachuca, Arizona (No. 46325, 

U. S. Nat. Mus.). 
7, 8, 9. Spilogale arizonse martirensis Elliot. $ , type; San Pedro Martir 
Mountains, Lower California (No. 10752, Field Museum Nat. Hist. ). 


North American Fauna, No. 26, U. S. Dept Agr., Biological Survey. 

Plate VI 


Skulls of Spilogale. 

1, 2, 3, Spilogale ambigua; 4, 5, 6, Spilogale arizoiue; 7, 8, 9, Spilogale a. martirensis 


(Natural size.) 

Figs. 1, 2, 3. Spilogale angustifrom Howell. $ , type; Tlalpam, Federal District. 
Mexico (No. 50825, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 

4, 5, 6. Spilogale angustifrom tropicalis Howell. $ , type; San Mateo del Mar. 
Oaxaca (No. 73523, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 

7,8,9. Spilogale angiistifroim elata Howell. $ , type; San Bartolonit', Chi- 
apas (No. 133i86, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 


North American Fauna, No. 26, U. S. Dept Agr., Biological Survey. 

Plate IX. 



JV- t *. 

6 " 

Skulls of Spilogale. 

1, 2, 3, Spilogale angustifrons; 4, 5, 0, Spilogale a. tropicalis; 7, 8, 9, Spilogale a. elata. 


(Natural size.) 

Figs. 1, 2, 3. Spilogale lucasana Merr. $ , type; Cape St. Lucas, Lower California 

(No. 4219, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 
4, 5, 6. Spilogale microdon Howell. $ , type; Comondu, Lower California (No. 

145887, U. S. Nat. Mus.). 
7, 8, i>. Spilogale pygmsea Thomas. $ ; Acapulco, Guerrero (No. 70581, U. S. 

Nat. Mus.). 


North American Fauna, No. 26, U. S. Dept Agr., Biological Survey. 

Plate X. 

Skulls of Spilogale. 
1, 2, 3, Spilogale lucasana; 4, 5, 6, Spilogale microdon, 7, 8, 9, Spilogale pygmaea. 


[Names of new species in black face type. Synonyms in italic/!.] 

Mephitis bicolor, 6, 11, 14, 31. 

interrupta, 6, 18. 

putorius, 14. 

quaterlinearis, 11, 18. 

sorilla, 31. 
Mustela putidn, 11. 
Skunk, spotted, Alleghen-ian, 15-18. 

Arizona, 29-30. 

California, 31-32. 

canyon, 22-23. 

Cape St. Lucas, 34-35 

Chihuahua, 24-25. 

Florida, 14-15. 

Great Basin, 23-24. 

Gulf, 19-20. 

highland, 27. 

Oregon, 32-33. 

Peninsula, 30-31. 

pigmy, 28-29. 

prairie, 18-19. 

Puget Sound, 33-34. 

Rio Grande, 20-21. 

Rocky Mountain, 21-22. 

small-toothed, 34. 

table-land, 26. 

tropical, 2G-27. 
Spilogale, characters, external, 9-10. 
characters, generic, 12. 
cranial measurements, 36-37. 
distribution, 7. 
food, 8-9. 
habits, 7-8. 
history, 5-7. 
hydrophobia, 8. 
genus, 12. 

Spilogale, key to species, 12-13.. 
list of species, 13. 
material examined, 5-7. 
new species, 34-35. 

descriptions of, 27, 34. 
nomenclature, 10-11. 
generic names, 10. 
specific names, 11-12. 
type localities, 13. 
Spilogale ambarvalis, 13. 14-15. 
ambigua, 13,24-25. 
angustif rons, 13, 26. 
arizonie, 13, 29-30. 
elata, 6,13,27-28. 
gracilis. 13, 22-23. 
indianola, 13, 19-20. 
interrupta, 13, 18-19. 
latifrons, 13, 32-33. 
leucoparia, 13, 20-21. 
lucasana, 7, 13, 34-35. 
martirensis, 13, 30-31. 
microdon, 6, 13, 34. 
olympiea, 13, 33-34. 
phenax, 7, 13, 31-32. 
putorius, 13, 15-18. 
pygmeea, 13, 28-29. 
ringens, 11, 15. 
saxatilis, 13, 23-24. 
tenuis, 7, 13, 21-22. 
tropicalis, 7, 13, 26-27. 
Viverra mapurita, 11. 

iiu phitis, 10, 11. 
putorius, 5, 10, 15. 
striata, 11, 15. 
gorilla, 5, 11-12. 




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