Mexican Woodrat

Mexican Woodrat
Mexican Woodrat
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Neotoma
Species: N. mexicana
Binomial name
Neotoma mexicana
Baird, 1855

The Mexican Woodrat (Neotoma mexicana) is a medium-sized rat occurring in the United States from Utah and Colorado south through New Mexico and parts of Arizona and Trans-Pecos Texas. Its range continues south in the highlands to Honduras. Although occurring at lower elevations during the Pleistocene, it generally is limited now to highlands supporting open coniferous forests or woodlands. In a few places, it occurs in lower country where lava or boulder fields occur; presumably the presence of spaces extending far below the surface enables survival. Like most members of the genus living in rocky areas, dens tend to take advantage of crevices, rock shelters, and caves; stick nests are relatively rare.

The type locality is near Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. Some 26 species names have been applied to populations of the Mexican Woodrat and are now considered synonyms.

The animal averages a bit over 300 mm in total length and weighs 140 to 185 grams. The diet tends to be that of a generalist, with a wide variety of berries, vegetation, nuts, acorns, and fungi, though foliage seems to make up the major food class.


  • Cornely, J. E., and R. J. Baker. 1986. Neotoma mexicana. Mammalian Species, No. 262:1-7.
  • Mexican Woodrat, The Mammals of Texas, online edition - [1]
  • Musser, G. G., and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531, in Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Johns Hopkins University Press, 2,142 pp.

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