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Rock Squirrel - Spermophilus variegatus



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Mammalia
 Order: Rodentia
 Family: Sciuridae
 Genus: Spermophilus
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern


Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel is a large ground squirrel that is 17-21 inches in length. It is mottled gray on its uppersides with a brownish rump and creamy white on its undersides. It has a long bushy tail with white edges.


rock squirrelmapThe rock squirrel is found in southern Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas and the panhandle of Oklahoma. It is also found in Mexico.




Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel is found in rocky habitats. It can be found on cliffs, canyon walls, talus slopes, rock and boulder piles and highway fills. It is often seen sitting on or running on rocks. It usually makes its den in a burrow below the rocks, but it may make a den in a tree hollow.


Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel eats pine nuts, walnuts, seeds of mesquite, cactus, saltbush, agave, wild gourd, cherries, and sumac as well as all sorts of cultivated fruits and vegetables. It also eats insects like grasshoppers, crickets and caterpillars. It also eats carrion or dead animals. Although it is a ground squirrel, it is a good tree climber and climbs juniper and mesquite trees to gather fruit. Sometimes it carries food back to its den to store and eat later.

Life Cycle

Rock SquirrelThe female rock squirrel has two litters a year with three to nine young in each litter. The first litter is born between April and June and the second litter is born between August and September.


Rock SquirrelThe rock squirrel is diurnal. It is most active in the early morning and the late afternoon. In the northern part of its range and in high elevations, it may hibernate for short periods. The rock squirrel lives in colonies.