Pappogyomys bulleri is a montane species that prefers soils of volcanic origin. It lives at sea level, extending into elevations as high as 3,050 m. It inhabits Jalisco, Mexico, which is well known for a variety of terrains and climates. In Jalisco, seasons are based on rainfall, with 80% of rain coming between July and October. The average monthly temperature in this region is 24.9C. Pine-Oak forests border meadows and agricultural zones. Tropical deciduous forests are also found in the region. Subspecies of are found in all the terrains and climates in the area. (Anderson and Jones, 1984; Ceballos, 1990; Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982; Demastes, et al., 2003; Genoways and Jones, 1969; Soler-Frost, et al., 2003)
- Other Habitat Features
- Range elevation
- 0 to 3050 m
- 0.00 to 10006.56 ft
- Average elevation
- 1500 m
- 4921.26 ft
The morphology of (Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982; Demastes, et al., 2003; Goldman, 1939; Soler-Frost, et al., 2003; Akersten, 1973; Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982; Demastes, et al., 2003; Goldman, 1939; Soler-Frost, et al., 2003)is well adapted to fossorial life. They have small, flattened heads, short necks, and short, broad, and muscular forelimbs. The eyes, nose, and ears can be closed by flaps of skin to keep out dirt when digging. Their lips can close behind their incisors, allowing them to dig with their teeth and keep their mouth free of dirt. Their common name, Buller's pocket gopher, refers to the fur-lined cheek pouches in their mouths. They use these pouches to transport food from above ground into their burrows. They have large, sharp claws on their forelimbs and shorter claws on their hind feet.
The pelage varies by subspecies, but is generally pale to dark grey basally and tawny to cinnamon brown dorsally. Long, soft and fine, their fur lies near the body and falls in one direction. They sometimes have a white or buff nasal patch, although it is often missing. Their tails are naked and white, extending a distance less than half the length of the body and head. Geomyidae). Variation in size also exists among subspecies. On average, the total body length of males is 214 to 237 mm and the total body length of females is 130 to 175 mm. Males continue to grow in body size throughout their lifetime, while females stop growing at sexual maturation. Average measurements are as follows (in mm): length of head and body 130-175; length of tail 50-85; length of ear 6.5-8; length of hind food 28-35; occipitonasal length 36.2-44.0; zygomatic breadth 21.4-27.8; width across squamosals 20.3-27.2; breadth of interorbital constriction 6.5-8; length of nasals 11.8-16.2; length of maxillary toothrow 7.5-10.2; width of upper incisors at cutting edge 3.8-4.9; length of rostrum 16.6-21.4. Overall, the skull of is small and narrow. (Akersten, 1973; Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982; Demastes, et al., 2003; Goldman, 1939; Soler-Frost, et al., 2003)is sexually dimorphic with males larger than females, but this difference is not as pronounced as in other gopher species (
The teeth are similar to those of other rodents and gophers. They have two large, central incisors that they use in digging. These incisors have a single, medial sulcus that runs down the entire labial surface of the tooth. Like those of other rodents, the incisors are continually worn down and regenerated. Lower incisors are regenerated significantly faster than upper incisors. The first molar has a thin enamel plate that extends across the posterior wall of the tooth and is variable among subspecies. Pocket gophers have 20 teeth total, with the dental formula: i 1/1, c 0/0, p 1/1, m 3/3. (Akersten, 1973; Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982; Demastes, et al., 2003; Goldman, 1939; Morand, et al., 2000; Soler-Frost, et al., 2003)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- male larger
- Average mass
- 225 g
- 7.93 oz
- Range length
- 192 to 237 mm
- 7.56 to 9.33 in
- Mating System
- Key Reproductive Features
- year-round breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Pocket gophers breed one to two times in a breeding season.
- Breeding season
- The mating season is year round, but most frequently mate in late winter, spring, and early summer.
- Range number of offspring
- 2 to 11
- Range gestation period
- 18 to 20 days
- Range weaning age
- 35 to 40 days
- Average time to independence
- 2 months
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 6 to 12 months
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 9 to 12 months
- Parental Investment
The maximum lifespan of pocket gophers is 5 years. The average age of individuals found in collections is 13.6 months for males and 18.6 months for females. The oldest males trapped in the wild were 4 and 5 years old, and the oldest females trapped were 4 years and 9 months. (Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982)
- Range lifespan
- 5 (high) years
- Range lifespan
- Typical lifespan
- 1.5 to 5 years
- Typical lifespan
- Range territory size
- 74 to 445 m^2
The home ranges of (Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982)are similar to those of other pocket gophers. Males generally have larger home ranges than females. Individuals that live closer to or under agricultural areas tend to have smaller home ranges than individuals in less developed areas.
Communication and Perception
Buller's pocket gophers are strictly herbivorous and eat a variety of plant foods. They prefer forbs, comprising 40% of their diet, but also eat grasses (30% of their diet) and the roots of xerophytic shrubs. They gather most food above ground, and transport it into their burrows by means of cheek pockets. Once underground, the food is either eaten or stored in sealed compartments. Occasionally, (Anderson and Jones, 1984; Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982; Soler-Frost, et al., 2003)eats roots from inside of the burrows. Water is mainly obtained through food in the diet.
- Plant Foods
- roots and tubers
- wood, bark, or stems
- Foraging Behavior
- stores or caches food
Pappogeomy bulleri is most susceptible to predation while above ground. Pocket gophers are important prey for a variety of predators, including weasels, coyotes, birds of prey, foxes, bobcats, domestic cats, snakes, and skunks. Although snakes will live in the burrows of , they are physically unable to kill them while underground due to space restrictions. Avian predation has the most impact on populations of pocket gophers, but studies have found that the main selective pressures on population size are food and habitat availability, not predation. (Anderson and Jones, 1984; Chapman and Feldhamer, 1982)
- Anti-predator Adaptations
- Known Predators
- weasels (Mustela)
- coyotes (Canis latrans)
- red and swift foxes (Vulpes)
- gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
- hooded skunks (Mephitis macroura)
- spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius)
- bobcats (Lynx rufus)
- badgers (Taxidea taxus)
- domestic cats (Felis silvestris)
- red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis)
- Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni)
- ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis)
- northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis)
- great horned owls (Bubo virginianus)
- long-eared owls (Asio otus)
- burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia)
- barn owls (Tyto alba)
- gopher snakes (Pituophis)
- Ecosystem Impact
- creates habitat
- soil aeration
- Eimeria thomomysis
- Eimeria fitzgeraldi
- Paranoplocephala infrequens
- Paranoplocephala variabilis
- Ransomus rodentorum
- Longistriata vexillata
- Protospirura ascaroidea
- Trichuris fossor
- Capillaria hepatica
- Haemogamasus ambulans
- Hirstionyssus geomydis
- Haemolaelaps geomys
- Ixodes sculptus
- Geomydoecus thomoyus
- Geomydoecus chapini
- Foxella ignota
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
- Negative Impacts
- crop pest
populations are currently stable.
Emily Kenny (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor, instructor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
having more than one female as a mate at one time
- scrub forest
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
- soil aeration
digs and breaks up soil so air and water can get in
- stores or caches food
places a food item in a special place to be eaten later. Also called "hoarding"
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
- year-round breeding
breeding takes place throughout the year
Akersten, W. 1973. Upper Incisor Grooves in the Geomyinae. Journal of Mammalogy, 54 (2): 349-355.
Anderson, S., J. Jones. 1984. Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World. United States of America: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
Ceballos, G. 1990. Journal of Mammalogy. Comparative Natural History of Small Mammals from Tropical Forests in Western Mexico, 71 (2): 263-266.
Chapman, J., G. Feldhamer. 1982. Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Economics. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Demastes, J., A. Butt, M. Hafner, J. Light. 2003. Systematics of a Rare Species of Pocket Gopher, Pappogeomys alcorni. Journal of Mammalogy, 84 (2): 753-761.
Genoways, H., J. Jones. 1969. Notes on Pocket Gophers from Jalisco, Mexico, with Descriptions of Two New Subspecies. Journal of Mammalogy, 50 (4): 748-755.
Goldman, E. 1939. The Pocket Gophers of the Genus Pappogeomys. Journal of Mammalogy, 20 (1): 93-98.
Honeycutt, R., S. Williams. 1982. Genic Differentiation in Pocket Gophers of the Genus Pappogeomys, with Comments on Intergeneric Relationships in the Subfamily Geomyinae. Journal of Mammalogy, 63(2): 208-217.
Morand, S., M. Hafner, R. Page, D. Reed. 2000. Comparative body size relationships in pocket gophers and their chewing lice. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 70: 239-249.
Soler-Frost, A., R. Medellin, G. Cameron. 2003. Mammalian Species: American Society of Mammalogists, 717: 1-3..
Stoddart, D. 1979. Ecology of Small Mammals. Cambridge: University Press.
Walker, E. 1975. Mammals of The World, Third Edition. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Wilkins, K., J. Roberts, C. Roorda, J. Hawkins. 1999. Morphometrics and Functional Morphology of Middle Ears of Extant Pocket Gopher (Rodentia: Geomyidae). Journal of Mammology, 80 (1): 180-198.
Wilkins, K., C. Woods. 1983. Modese of Mastication in Pocket Gophers. Journal of Mammalogy, 64 (4): 636-641.