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SPECIES Sigmodon (Sigmodon) hispidus

Author:Say and Ord, 1825.
Citation:J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 42: 354.
Common Name:Hispid Cotton Rat
Type Locality:USA, Florida, St. Johns River.
Distribution:SE USA, from S Nebraska to C Virginia and south to SE Arizona and peninsular Florida; NW Chihuahua to N Tamaulipas, south through interior México at least to C Zacatecas and W San Luis Potosí (southern limits with respect to S. mascotensis and S. toltecus need reverification).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (nt) as S. h. eremicus and S. h. insulicola, otherwise Lower Risk (lc).

Subgenus Sigmodon, S. hispidus species group. The morphological limits of hispidus, as set forth by Bailey (1902) and expanded by others (Cabrera, 1961; Hall, 1981; Hall and Kelson, 1959; Miller, 1924), were first uncovered as composite by Zimmerman (1970), an insight supported and extended by others (Carleton et al., 1999; Peppers and Bradley, 2000; Severinghaus and Hoffmeister, 1978; Voss, 1992). The much reified definition of S. hispidus corresponds to a species restricted to open landscapes in the SC and SE USA and NC México (see Carleton et al., 1999; Peppers and Bradley, 2000). See comments under S. arizonae, S. hirsutus, S. inopinatus, S. mascotensis, S. peruanus, S. toltecus, and S. zanjonensis, forms formerly ranked as subspecies.

Given the substantial reconstitution of S. hispidus, conventional recognition of subspecies (e.g., Hall, 1981) seems pointless without fresh assessment of geographic variation. Also see remarks by L. Choate (1997) on the subspecies occurring in the Llano Estacado, New Mexico-Texas, by Goetze (1998) for those on the Edwards Plateau, C Texas, and by Whitaker and Hamilton (1998) on SE populations and recognizable subspecies. Aberrant somatic chromosomal variation within local populations and its significance for characterizing interpopulational karyotypic differences discussed by Berend (1993). See Cameron and Spencer (1981, Mammalian Species, 158).




    alfredi Goldman and M. C. Gardner, 1947
    berlandieri Baird, 1855
    confinis Goldman, 1918
    eremicus Mearns, 1897
    exsputus G. M. Allen, 1920
    floridanus A. H. Howell, 1943
    insulicola A. H. Howell, 1943
    komareki M. C. Gardner, 1948
    littoralis Chapman, 1889
    pallidus Mearns, 1897
    solus Hall, 1951
    spadicipygus Bangs, 1898
    texianus (Audubon and Bachman, 1853)
    virginianus M. C. Gardner, 1946

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