Mystery chipmunk.


Here’s a small chipmunk photographed yesterday at 2500 m in Spring Mountains, Nevada. The only species known to occur there are Palmer’s (above 2400 m) and Panamint (below 2300 m) chipmunks (source). This one does’t look like either. Any suggestions?


Vladimir Dinets


  • Brian Keelan

    Hi, Vladimir,

    Those dorsal stripes are really washed out, so the pelage may be atypical of whatever species it is. Could it have been small enough to be a Least Chipmunk? The yellowish cast and greyish foreleg suggest that species to me, and Great Basin animals often look low in contrast (though not this extreme). Although out of range, some maps show them occurring not far away, and the elevation and habitat would be fine. — Brian Keelan

    • vdinets

      It was very small, and at first I thought it was a Least, but it didn’t raise its tail when running. There are LC’s just across the valley in Desert NWR. Cliff chipmunks are not too far away, either, but they have a different pattern. Could be a new subspecies. I’m writing to a few chipmunk researchers, perhaps I’ll have to drive down there and use somebody’s trapping permit.

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