Cottontail rabbit

Cottontail rabbit
Cottontail rabbits[1]
Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus). Cottontail Rabbits eat grass, ferns, and leaves.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Eutheria
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Genus: Sylvilagus
Gray, 1867
Type species
Lepus sylvaticus
Bachman, 1837
(=Lepus sylvaticus floridanus J. Allen, 1890)

16, see text

The cottontail rabbits are among the 16 lagomorph species in the genus Sylvilagus, found in the Americas.

In appearance, most cottontail rabbits closely resemble the wild European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Most members of the genus have a stub tail with a white underside that shows when they are retreating, giving them their name, "cottontails"; however, this feature is not present in some cottontails (for example, the underside of the Brush Rabbit's tail is gray), nor is it unique to the genus (for example, the European Rabbit also has a white scut).

The genus is widely distributed across North America, Central America, and northern and central South America, though most species are confined to particular regions. Most (though not all) species live in nests called forms, and all have altricial young.

Cottontail rabbits show a greater resistance to myxomatosis than European rabbits.[2]


Desert Cottontail as seen from behind such that the white tail is easily visible
  • Genus Sylvilagus
    • Subgenus Tapeti
    • Subgenus Sylvilagus
      • Desert Cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii
      • Manzano Mountain Cottontail, Sylvilagus cognatus
      • Mexican Cottontail, Sylvilagus cunicularius
        • Sylvilagus cunicularius cunicularius
        • Sylvilagus cunicularius insolitus
        • Sylvilagus cunicularius pacificus
      • Eastern Cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus alacer
        • Sylvilagus floridanus ammophilus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus avius
        • Sylvilagus floridanus aztecus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus chapmani
        • Sylvilagus floridanus chiapensis
        • Sylvilagus floridanus cognatus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus connectens
        • Sylvilagus floridanus continentis
        • Sylvilagus floridanus costaricensis
        • Sylvilagus floridanus cumanicus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus floridanus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus hesperius
        • Sylvilagus floridanus hitchensi
        • Sylvilagus floridanus holzneri
        • Sylvilagus floridanus hondurensis
        • Sylvilagus floridanus llanensis
        • Sylvilagus floridanus mallurus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus margaritae
        • Sylvilagus floridanus mearnsi
        • Sylvilagus floridanus nelsoni
        • Sylvilagus floridanus nigronuchalis
        • Sylvilagus floridanus orinoci
        • Sylvilagus floridanus orizabae
        • Sylvilagus floridanus paulsoni
        • Sylvilagus floridanus purgatus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus restrictus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus russatus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus similis
        • Sylvilagus floridanus subcinctus
        • Sylvilagus floridanus superciliaris
        • Sylvilagus floridanus valenciae
        • Sylvilagus floridanus yucatanicus
      • Tres Marias Rabbit, Sylvilagus graysoni
        • Sylvilagus graysoni graysoni
        • Sylvilagus graysoni badistes
      • Mountain Cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii
        • Sylvilagus nuttallii nuttallii
        • Sylvilagus nuttallii pinetis
        • Sylvilagus nuttallii grangeri
      • Appalachian Cottontail or rarely Allegheny Cottontail, Sylvilagus obscurus
      • Robust Cottontail, Sylvilagus robustus
      • New England Cottontail, Sylvilagus transitionalis
    • Subgenus Microlagus
      • Brush Rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani
        • Sylvilagus bachmani bachmani
        • Sylvilagus bachmani cinerascens
        • Sylvilagus bachmani peninsularis
        • Sylvilagus bachmani cerrosensis
        • Sylvilagus bachmani ubericolor
        • Sylvilagus bachmani exiguus
        • Sylvilagus bachmani mariposae
        • Sylvilagus bachmani virgulti
        • Sylvilagus bachmani howelli
        • Sylvilagus bachmani macrorhinus
        • Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
        • Sylvilagus bachmani tehamae
        • Sylvilagus bachmani rosaphagus

See also

Lapin01 flipped and colorized.svg Rabbits and hares portal


  1. ^ Hoffman, Robert S.; Smith, Andrew T. (16 November 2005). "Order Lagomorpha (pp. 185-211". In Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). pp. 207-211. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Carter, G.R.; Wise, D.J. (2006). "Poxviridae". A Concise Review of Veterinary Virology. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  3. ^ 'Hefner' bunnies get help as population dwindles, May 20 2007, Retrieved May 20 2007

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