White-throated Woodrat
Neotoma albigula

Distribution map for Neotoma albigula
White-toothed Woodrat, Neotoma leucodon; photograph by Carl S. Lieb.

Neotoma leucodon. This photograph of the White-toothed Woodrat was taken by Carl S. Lieb at the University of Texas at El Paso's Indio Mountains Research Station, Hudspeth Co., TX. The White-throated Woodrat looks the same and, at the time this photograph was taken, it was not realized that this was a different species.


Neotoma midden

Packrat Midden. Photographer: Carl S. Lieb. NM: Hidalgo Co.: W side Antelope Pass. 30 Mar 1991.

Packrats build protective structures—"houses"—that may incorporate various items, including sticks, bones, tin cans, and general debris. Away from rocky outcrops where crevices and rock shelters provide protection, such structures often are built about the bases of shrubs.

This species recently has been recognized on the basis of molecular data as consisting of two separate species, Neotoma albigula west of the Rio Grands and N. leucodon east of the Rio Grande/Conchos. Such species are known as cryptic species (that is, "hidden" species) because to the eye they appear very similar.

This species and the White-toothed Woodrat are widespread in the Southwest and Mexico, generally ranging from woodland habitats down into the desert.

The southern portion of the range map is problematical since where the two species come together in the south is unknown.


Last Update: 19 Jul 2009