Southern red-backed vole
|Southern red-backed vole|
The southern red-backed vole or Gapper's red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi) is a small slender vole found in Canada and the northern United States. It is closely related to the western red-backed vole (Myodes californius), which lives to the south and west of its range and which is less red with a less sharply bicolored tail.
These voles have short slender bodies with a reddish band along the back and a short tail. The sides of the body and head are grey and the underparts are paler. There is a grey color morph in the northeast part of their range. They are 12–16.5 cm (4.7–6.5 in) long with a 4 cm tail) and weigh about 6–42 g; average 20.6 g (0.21–1.48 oz; average 0.72 oz).
These animals are found in coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests, often near wetlands. They use runways through the surface growth in warm weather and tunnel through the snow in winter. They are omnivorous feeding on green plants, underground fungi, seeds, nuts, roots, also insects, snails, and berries. They store roots, bulbs, and nuts for later use.
Female voles have two to four litters of two to eight young in a year.
They are active year-round, mostly at night. They use underground burrows created by other small animals.
- Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) (2008). Myodes gapperi. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 June 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
- Southern Red-backed Vole, borealforest.org
- Southern Red-backed Vole, Animal Diversity Web
- Southern Red-backed Vole at Nature Works
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