Southern cotton rat

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Southern cotton rat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Sigmodon
Subgenus: Sigmodon
Species group: S. hispidus
Species: S. hirsutus
Binomial name
Sigmodon hirsutus
Burmeister, 1854

The southern cotton rat (Sigmodon hirsutus) is a rodent species in the family Cricetidae.[2] It is found in southern Chiapas in Mexico through Central America, except for Belize, and as far east as northern Colombia and Venezuela. It lives in tropical rainforest, dry forest and savanna, as well as in cultivated areas.[1] The species is terrestrial and primarily diurnal.[1] It was long thought to be a subspecies of S. hispidus. However, recent taxonomic revisions, based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data, have split the extensive former species range into three separate species. Carroll et al. (2004) indicate that the southern edge of the S. hispidus distribution is likely near the Rio Grande where it meets the northern distribution of S. toltecus (formerly S. h. toltecus). The range of S. toltecus extends from northern Mexico south into Chiapas where it occurs in sympatry with S. hirsutus (formerly S. h. hirsutus). Rats from this species group have been used as laboratory animals.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Delgado, C.; Aguilera, M.; Timm, R. & Samudio, R. (2008). "Sigmodon hirsutus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Musser, G.G.; Carleton, M.D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 1175. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Mittal, S. K.; Middleton, D. M.; Tikoo, S. K.; Prevec, L.; Graham, F. L.; Babiuk, L. A. (Jan 1996). "Pathology and immunogenicity in the cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) model after infection with a bovine adenovirus type 3 recombinant virus expressing the firefly luciferase gene". J. Gen. Virol. 77 (1): 1–9. doi:10.1099/0022-1317-77-1-1. PMID 8558115. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 


  • Infonatura
  • Carroll, D. S., L. L. Peppers, and R. D. Bradley. 2004. Molecular systematics and phylogeography of the Sigmodon hispidus species group. pp. 85–98, in Contribuciones Mastozoologicas en Homenaje a Bernardo Villa (Sanchez-Cordero V. y R. A. Medellin Eds.) Instituto de Biologia e Instituto de Ecologia, UNAM, Mexico.