Least chipmunk

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Least chipmunk
Tamias minimus.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Tamias
Species: T. minimus
Binomial name
Tamias minimus
(Bachman, 1839)

Neotamias minimus
Eutamias minimus

The least chipmunk (Tamias minimus) is the smallest species of chipmunk.[2] It is also the most widespread species of chipmunk in North America occurring across north-central and western United States and from British Columbia and southern Yukon to western Quebec in Canada. The species is found in a variety of habitats including mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, boreal forest, and sagebrush plains.

Description and behaviour[edit]

Chipmunk 2006.jpg

It is the smallest species of chipmunk, measuring about 15.7–25 cm (6.2–9.8 in) in total length with a weight of 25–66 g (0.88–2.33 oz).[3] They have three dark lines with white in between along their face and five narrow black stripes with brown edges and white in between along their back. They are grey and reddish-brown on the sides and greyish white on their underparts. Their tail is orange-brown.

These animals are active during the day and eat seeds, berries, nuts, fruits and insects. Predators include hawks, owls, and mustelids.

They breed in early spring. Females produce one litter usually of 5 or 6 young.

They store food in an underground burrow, where they spend the winter. These animals go into a state of torpor for extended periods of time, but do not hibernate.


  1. ^ Linzey, A. V. & Hammerson, G. (2008). Tamias minimus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  2. ^ William Henry Burt (1980). A Field Guide to the Mammals: North America North of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 110–. ISBN 0-395-91098-6. 
  3. ^ Least chipmunk (Tamias minimus), Arkive

External links[edit]