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´╗┐Title: Distribution of Some Nebraskan Mammals
Author: Jones, J. Knox, 1929-1992
Language: English
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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Volume 7, No. 6, pp. 479-487
April 21, 1954


Distribution of Some Nebraskan Mammals

BY
J. KNOX JONES, JR.


UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
LAWRENCE
1954



UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS, MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, A. Byron Leonard,
Robert W. Wilson


Volume 7, No. 6, pp. 479-487
Published April 21, 1954


UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
Lawrence, Kansas


PRINTED BY
FERD VOILAND, JR., STATE PRINTER
TOPEKA, KANSAS
1954

25-2530



Distribution of Some Nebraskan Mammals

by

J. Knox Jones, Jr.


Because military service will interrupt my study of Nebraskan mammals,
I am here placing on record certain information on the geographic
distribution of several species--information that is thought pertinent
to current studies of some of my associates. Most of this information
is provided by specimens recently collected by me and other
representatives of the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History,
although specimens from other collections provide some of the records
herein reported. The other collections are the Biological Surveys
Collection of the United States National Museum (USBS), the Hastings
Museum (HM), the Nebraska Game, Forestation and Parks Commission
(NGFPC), the University of California Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
(MVZ), the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (MZ) and the
University of Nebraska State Museum (NSM). Grateful acknowledgment
hereby is made to persons in charge of these several collections for
lending the materials concerned. Specimens mentioned in the following
accounts are in the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History,
except as otherwise stated. All measurements are in millimeters. Color
terms are those of Ridgway (1912). A part of the funds for field work
was made available by the National Science Foundation and the Kansas
University Endowment Association.

=Sorex cinereus haydeni.= (Baird). CINEREOUS SHREW.--Two male shrews
were trapped on April 7, 1952, among rocks along an old railroad fill,
4 mi. N, 1/2 mi. E of Octavia, Butler County, thus extending the known
geographic range of _S. c. haydeni_ approximately 60 miles southward
from a line connecting Perch, Rock County, Nebraska, with Wall Lake,
Sac County, Iowa (see Jackson, 1928:52-53), and providing the first
record of occurrence in the Platte River Valley. Two additional
specimens, taken on July 17, 1952, are from 2-1/2 mi. N of Ord, Valley
County, along the Loup River, a tributary of the Platte from the north.

=Blarina brevicauda carolinensis= (Bachman). SHORT-TAILED SHREW.--J. S.
Findley and I, in a forthcoming paper, review the distribution of
_Blarina brevicauda_ in the Great Plains region, recording _B. b.
carolinensis_ from the extreme southeastern and southwestern counties
of Nebraska. A series of five shrews of this species recently obtained
from three miles south and two miles east of Nebraska City in Otoe
County, average significantly smaller in both the cranial and the
external measurements than typical _B. b. brevicauda_ and fall well
within the range of _carolinensis_. Average and extreme external
measurements of the four adults from Otoe County, three males and one
female, are as follows: Total length, 110 (109-112); length of
tail-vertebrae, 24.2 (22-26); length of hind foot, 13.8 (13-14).
Another specimen from 3 mi. S, 1-1/2 mi. E of Peru, Nemaha County, also
is referable to _carolinensis_. These recent records indicate that the
range of _B. b. carolinensis_ extends up the Missouri River Valley,
approximately to Nebraska City, Otoe County. Five specimens from
Louisville, Cass County, the next county northward, along the River,
are referable to _B. b. brevicauda_.

=Eptesicus fuscus fuscus.= (Beauvois). BIG BROWN BAT.--One big brown
bat was obtained on July 23, 1952, from one mile west of Niobrara, Knox
County. While not so dark in dorsal coloration as some specimens of _E.
f. fuscus_ from eastern Nebraska (Cass and Sarpy counties), this
specimen is noticeably darker than a series of _E. f. pallidus_ from
Ft. Niobrara Wildlife Refuge, 4 mi. E of Valentine, Cherry County,
being near (16" _j_) Snuff Brown as opposed to near (16' _i_) Buckthorn
Brown. Previous to the taking of this specimen, Webb and Jones
(1952:277) reported as _E. f. pallidus_ a specimen, saved as a skull
only, which was picked up dead at Niobrara. It seems best to assign
these two bats from the vicinity of Niobrara, Knox County, to _E. f.
fuscus_.

=Sciurus carolinensis carolinensis= Gmelin. GRAY SQUIRREL.--An adult
male gray squirrel shot by Mr. Terry A. Vaughan in the heavily timbered
bluffs of the Missouri River, 3 mi. S, 2 mi. E of Nebraska City, Otoe
County, on October 10, 1953, provides the only museum specimen of a
gray squirrel from Nebraska known to me. Residents in the area
concerned report small numbers of this squirrel as still occurring on
the heavily wooded bluffs along the Missouri River in Nemaha, Otoe and
Richardson counties, Nebraska, at least as far north as Nebraska City.

Gray squirrels from Nebraska have been reported twice before in the
literature as follows: "Mouth of Platte [River]" (Baird, 1858:262) and
Barada, Richardson County (Jones and Webb, 1949:312). Swenk (1908:80),
while listing no actual records, says of this squirrel, "Common in the
timber along watercourses of southeastern Nebraska, but greatly
outnumbered everywhere by [_Sciurus niger_] _rufiventer_. I have no
records west of the 97th meridian nor north of the Platte."

=Spermophilus franklinii= (Sabine). FRANKLIN GROUND SQUIRREL.--A
specimen from 2 mi. NW of Lisco, in Morrill County (NSM 3324), extends
the known geographic range of _S. franklinii_ approximately 200 miles
westward along the Platte River Valley from Kearney, Buffalo County
(see Howell, 1938:134), and suggests a westward movement of this ground
squirrel along the Platte River in recent years.

=Perognathus flavescens flavescens= Merriam. PLAINS POCKET MOUSE.--_P.
f. flavescens_ occurs in the Sand Hills and adjacent mixed-grass plains
of central Nebraska. Eastern marginal records of occurrence are:
Neligh, Antelope County, 2 (MVZ 1, NSM 1); 1 mi. E of Ravenna, Buffalo
County, 2 (MZ); unspecified locality in Adams County, 1 (HM).

=Perognathus flavescens perniger= Osgood. PLAINS POCKET MOUSE.--This
mouse occurs in northeastern Nebraska. Osgood (1904:127), in the
original description of the subspecies, listed two specimens from
Verdigris [Verdigre], Knox County. Additional records of occurrence
are: Beemer, Cuming County, 2 (USBS); 1-1/2 mi. SE of Niobrara, Knox
County, 3; 1-1/2 mi. S of Pilger, Stanton County, 2.

The two specimens from Beemer are typical _perniger_. All of the other
Nebraskan specimens are intergrades between _P. f. flavescens_,
geographically adjacent to the west, and _P. f. perniger_ to the east
but are best referred to _perniger_ on the basis of greater total
length, larger cranial measurements and darker dorsal coloration.

_P. f. perniger_ was originally described (Osgood, _op. cit._) on the
basis of its darker dorsal coloration and encroachment of the lateral
line on the posterior parts of the venter. The latter character is not
present in all Nebraskan specimens. Mice from the two localities in
Knox County have buffy underparts; those from other Nebraskan
localities do not. Of nine specimens of _P. f. perniger_ examined from
Elk River, Sherburne County, Minnesota, none has buffy underparts
whereas a specimen from Randolph, Fremont County, Iowa (NSM) does. In
addition, in two of five specimens of _P. f. flavescens_ from Kelso,
Hooker County, (MZ) the lateral line encroaches on the underparts. The
encroachment of the lateral line on the underparts, or failure of the
line to do so, is thought to be only an individual variation and of no
taxonomic use.

=Perognathus flavus piperi= Goldman. BUFFY POCKET MOUSE.--In the
description of _P. f. bunkeri_, Cockrum (1951:206) allocated to the new
subspecies, without comment, a specimen from Alliance, Box Butte
County. I have examined this specimen along with all other Nebraskan
specimens known to me and, although all approach _bunkeri_ in cranial
measurements, they seem best referred to _piperi_ on the basis of
darker dorsal coloration and larger external measurements. Additional
records of occurrence, several of them marginal to the eastward, are:
10 mi. S of Antioch, Garden County, 1 (MZ); Kelso, Hooker County, 4
(MZ); 5 mi. N of Bridgeport, Morrill County, 1 (MVZ); 6 mi. N of
Mitchell, Scotts Bluff County, 1 (NSM). A specimen not seen by me that
was reported from Valentine, Cherry County (Beed, 1936:21), is
presumably also best referred to _P. f. piperi_.

No specimens of _P. flavus_ are known to me from south of the Platte
River in southwestern Nebraska although they probably occur there. If
so, they may be referable to _P. f. bunkeri_, which is found in
counties of Kansas adjoining the southwestern part of Nebraska.

=Perognathus hispidus paradoxus= Merriam. HISPID POCKET MOUSE.--This
subspecies occurs commonly in central-and western-Nebraska. Eastern
marginal records of occurrence are: 2 mi. SE of Niobrara, Knox County,
1 (NGFPC); 4 mi. E, 2 mi. S of Ord, 1; Bladen, Webster County, 2 (HM).

=Perognathus hispidus spilotus= Merriam. HISPID POCKET MOUSE.--Jones
and Webb (1949:312) first reported this subspecies in Nebraska as from
5 mi. SE of Rulo, Richardson County. Additional records of occurrence
are: 3 mi. SW of Barnston, Gage County, 1 (NGFPC); Bennet, 1 (NSM), 9
mi. NW of Lincoln, 1 (NSM), 1-1/2 mi. S of Lincoln, 1 (NSM), Lancaster
County; Peru, Nemaha County, 1 (NGFPC); 3 mi. S, 2 mi. E of Nebraska
City, Otoe County, 3; Barada, Richardson County, 1 (NSM); Pleasant
Dale, Seward County, 1 (NSM); 1 mi. S of Williams, Thayer County, 1.

Glass (1947:179) referred a specimen from 9 mi. NW of Lincoln,
Lancaster County, to _P. h. paradoxus_. In discussing the zone of
intergradation between _spilotus_ and _paradoxus_, geographically
adjacent to the west, he wrote (_op. cit._:178), "It is evident that it
proceeds northeastwards, toward the Missouri River since 2 specimens
from eastern Nebraska, a juvenile from Webster County and an adult from
Lancaster County, are both typical _paradoxus_." I have examined the
specimen from Webster County referred to by Glass and agree that it is
_paradoxus_. I have not seen the specimen from 9 mi. NW of Lincoln;
however, another specimen from there, two others from Lancaster County,
and one from Seward County (see above), are here referred to _P. h.
spilotus_, rather than _P. h. paradoxus_, on the basis of notably
darker dorsal coloration and smaller external and cranial measurements.
The range of _P. h. spilotus_ in Nebraska, as presently known,
therefore, is limited to the eastern, more humid part of the State,
south of the Platte River.

=Peromyscus maniculatus osgoodi= Mearns. DEER MOUSE.--Swenk (1908:95)
reported this subspecies, under the name _Peromyscus nebrascensis_,
from Glen, and Dice (1941:17) reported the subspecies from Agate, both
localities being in Sioux County in the northwestern part of the State.
Osgood (1909), however, did not mention Nebraskan specimens of this
subspecies and excluded it from the State on his (_op. cit._)
distribution map of the subspecies of _P. maniculatus_. In addition,
Quay (1948:181) reports, as _P. m. nebrascensis_, deer mice obtained by
him in the badlands of northern Sioux County and adjacent Niobrara
County, Wyoming. Four deer mice referable to _P. m. osgoodi_ have been
obtained from several localities on the Pine Ridge in Dawes County as
follows: 3 mi. E of Chadron, 2; Chadron State Park, 1; 3 mi. SW of
Crawford, 1. When compared with specimens of _P. m. nebrascensis_,
geographically adjacent to the east, these mice are seen to be notably
darker and less buffy than _nebrascensis_ and to average significantly
larger in both external and cranial measurements. All deer mice from
the Pine Ridge and adjacent badlands of extreme northwestern Nebraska
probably are best referred to _P. m. osgoodi_. External measurements of
two adult females are respectively: Total length, 180, 175; length of
tail-vertebrae, 78, 74; length of hind foot, 19, 20; length of ear, 17,
16.

=Neotoma floridana campestris= J. A. Allen. FLORIDA WOOD RAT.--Five
wood rats from 5 mi. N, 2 mi. W of Parks, Dundy County, in extreme
southwestern Nebraska, provide the first record of occurrence of this
subspecies in Nebraska. These animals were trapped in outlying sheds at
the Rock Creek State Fish Hatchery. Two large wood-rat houses were in a
dense thicket of brush and young trees in a small draw on the west side
of the most westwardly hatchery lake. Brown rats (_Rattus norvegicus_)
inhabited a combination garage-storage barn at the hatchery and no wood
rats were taken there.

=Microtus pennsylvanicus pennsylvanicus= (Ord). PENNSYLVANIA MEADOW
MOUSE.--This subspecies occurs in eastern and central Nebraska (see
Bailey, 1900:18 and Swenk, 1908:104). Additional records of occurrence
are as follows: 5 mi. E of Rising City, Butler County, 5; 4 mi. SE of
Laurel, Cedar County, 1; Wayne, 2, and 2-1/2 mi. E of Wayne, 1, Wayne
County; 2-1/2 mi. N of Ord, Valley County, 4.

=Synaptomys cooperi gossii= (Coues). COOPER LEMMING MOUSE.--Fichter and
Hanson (1947:1-8) reported the first known occurrence of this microtine
in Nebraska, recording specimens from several localities in Lancaster
County and one from near Valentine, Cherry County. Recent records of
this mouse which help to clarify its distribution in Nebraska are as
follows: 4 mi. N, 1/2 mi. E of Octavia, Butler County, 1; 5 mi. N, 2
mi. W of Parks, Dundy County, 1; 1 mi. N of Pleasant Dale, Seward
County, 1.

An adult female from Dundy County provides the westernmost record of
distribution of the species in North America. The animal was trapped on
November 1, 1952, in association with _Microtus pennsylvanicus
modestus_ in a marshy area at the Rock Creek State Fish Hatchery on
spring-fed Rock Creek. The pelage on the back is notably darker than in
_S. c. gossii_, and resembles _S. c. paludis_ from the Cimarron River
drainage in Meade County, Kansas, but in the sum total of its
characters it most closely resembles _S. c. gossii_ among named
subspecies.

=Mustela rixosa campestris= Jackson. LEAST WEASEL.--The least weasel
occurs in eastern and central Nebraska (see Swenk, 1926:313-330 and
Hall, 1951:192) but is known by only a single specimen from each
locality of record save for the area around Inland, Clay County (Swenk,
_op. cit._). Additional records of the distribution of this mustelid in
Nebraska are: Hastings, Adams County, 1 (HM); Schuyler, Colfax County,
1 (NGFPC); Goehner, Seward County, 1 (NSM); 10 mi. S of Ord, Valley
County, 1 (NGFPC). The last mentioned specimen, a skull only, was
obtained from a pellet of an unidentified raptorial bird.


LITERATURE CITED

BAILEY, V.
    1900. Revision of American voles of the genus Microtus. N. Amer.
          Fauna, 17:1-88, June 6.

BAIRD, S. F.
    1858. Explorations and surveys for a railroad route from the
          Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. War Department.
          8 (Mammals, Part 1): xxxii + 757, July 14.

BEED, W. E.
    1936. A preliminary study of the animal ecology of the Niobrara
          Game Preserve. Bull. Conserv. Dept., Conserv. Surv. Div.,
          Univ. Nebraska, 10:1-33, October.

COCKRUM, E. L.
    1951. A new pocket mouse (genus Perognathus) from Kansas. Univ.
          Kansas Publ., Mus. Nat. Hist., 5:203-206, December 15.

DICE, L. R.
    1941. Variation of the deer mice (_Peromyscus maniculatus_) on
          the sand hills of Nebraska and adjacent areas. Contrib.
          Univ. Michigan Lab. Vert. Genetics, 15:1-19, July.

FICHTER, E. H., and M. F. HANSON.
    1947. The Goss lemming mouse, _Synaptomys cooperi gossii_ (Coues),
          in Nebraska. Bull. Univ. Nebraska State Mus., 3:1-8,
          September.

GLASS, B. P.
    1947. Geographic variation in Perognathus hispidus. Jour. Mamm.,
          28:174-179, June 1.

HALL, E. R.
    1951. American weasels. Univ. Kansas Publ., Mus. Nat. Hist.,
          4:1-466, December 27.

HOWELL, A. H.
    1938. Revision of North American ground squirrels with a
          classification of the North American Sciuridae. N. Amer.
          Fauna, 56:1-256, May 18.

JACKSON, H. H. T.
    1928. A taxonomic review of the American long-tailed shrews.
          N. Amer. Fauna, 51:vi + 228, July 24.

JONES, J. K. JR., and O. L. WEBB.
    1949. Notes on mammals from Richardson County, Nebraska. Jour.
          Mamm., 30:312-313, August 17.

OSGOOD, W. H.
    1904. Two new pocket mice of the genus _Perognathus_. Proc.
          Biol. Soc. Washington, 17:127-128, June 9.

    1909. Revision of the mice of the American genus Peromyscus.
          N. Amer. Fauna, 28:1-285, April 17.

QUAY, W. B.
    1948. Notes on some bats from Nebraska and Wyoming. Jour. Mamm.,
          29:181-182, May 14.

RIDGWAY, R.
    1912. Color standards and color nomenclature. Washington, D. C.
          Privately printed, iv + 44, 53 pls.

SWENK, M. H.
    1908. A preliminary review of the mammals of Nebraska. Proc.
          Nebraska Acad. Sci., 8:61-144.

    1926. Notes on Mustek campestris Jackson, and on the American
          forms of least weasels. Jour. Mamm., 7:313-330, November 23.

WEBB, O. L., and J. K. JONES, JR.
    1952. An annotated checklist of Nebraskan bats. Univ. Kansas
          Publ., Mus. Nat. Hist., 5:269-279, May 31.

_Transmitted January 11, 1954._


25-2530



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Bold text is shown within =equal signs=.

Italicized text is shown within _underscores_.





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