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Rock squirrel at the Grand Canyon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Tribe: Marmotini
Genus: Otospermophilus
Brandt, 1844

O. variegetus
O. beecheyi
O. atricapillus

Otospermophilus is a genus of ground squirrels in the family Sciuridae, containing three species. Otospermophilus was formerly placed in the large ground squirrel genus Spermophilus, as a subgenus or species group. Since DNA sequencing of the cytochrome b gene has shown Spermophilus to be paraphyletic to the prairie dogs and marmots,[1] it is now separated, along with six other genera.[2]


The three species in Otospermophilus are listed below. These are the same species that were previously grouped in the subgenus Otospermophilus.[2]


  1. ^ Herron, Matthew D.; Castoe, Todd A.; Parkinson, Christopher L. (2004). "Sciurid phylogeny and the paraphyly of Holarctic ground squirrels (Spermophilus)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 31 (3): 1015–30. PMID 15120398. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2003.09.015. 
  2. ^ a b Helgen, Kristofer M.; Cole, F. Russel; Helgen, Lauren E. & Wilson, Don E (2009). "Generic Revision in the Holarctic Ground Squirrel Genus Spermophilus". Journal of Mammalogy. 90 (2): 270–305. doi:10.1644/07-MAMM-A-309.1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 October 2011. 

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