Red tree vole

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Red tree vole
RedTreeVole23.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Arborimus
Species: A. longicaudus
Binomial name
Arborimus longicaudus
(True, 1890)

The red tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus) is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae.[2] It is found only in coastal forests of Oregon and northern California. They eat exclusively the needles of conifers, mostly Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and occasionally other species.[3] They often spend their lives in just one tree, and many generations will live in different parts of the same tree.[4]

When eating Douglas-fir needles, they carefully remove the fine resin ducts (which resemble coarse, straight hairs) along each edge of the needle, discarding these or using them for nest lining. (see image below) They are nocturnal and very difficult to see, but they can be detected by finding piles or wads of these resin ducts on the ground.

"discarded Douglas-fir needle resin ducts"
The characteristic pile of discarded resin ducts (which run along the outside edges of Douglas-fir needles) produced by a red tree vole when eating.

Red tree voles are about 6-8 in long, including the tail.[4] They have a reddish-brown coat.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Scheuering, E. & Hammerson, G.) (2008). Arborimus longicaudus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of near threatened
  2. ^ Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds.). Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  3. ^ Whitaker, J. 2009. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Western Mammals.
  4. ^ a b http://www.kswild.org/programs/biodiversity/species-profiles/rtv