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Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Sciuridae


Spermophile Ground Squirrels—Spermophile Ground Squirrels // Callospermophilus lateralis—Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel // Ictidomys/Xerospermophilus)—Ictidomys or Xerospermophilus Ground Squirrel // Ictidomys tridecemlineatus—Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel // Otospermophilus bensoni—Benson Rock Squirrel // Otospermophilus variegatus—Rock Squirrel // "Spermophilus" cochisei—Cochise Ground Squirrel // Urocitellus elegans—Wyoming Ground Squirrel // Xerospermophilus spilosoma—Spotted Ground Squirrel

Callospermophilus lateralis (Say 1823)—Golden-mantled Ground SquirrelRegional Pleistocene distribution of Spermophilus lateralis

Synonyms. Spermophilus lateralis.

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, photo by Sally King, NPSAccording to Bartels and Thompson (1993:4) C. lateralis "inhabits forested or sparsely brushy territory from the upper edge of the pinyon belt to above timberline. It occurs on rocky slopes adjoining grasslands and also on forest floors, areas of scattered chaparral, and margins of mountain meadows. C. lateralis ranges down into sagebrush country and even out into meadows, but only if there are rocks for shelter."

Fig. 1. Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel. National Park Service photograph by Sally King.

In Arizona, occurrence is largely along the Mogollon Rim and in the adjacent highlands of western New Mexico. It is absent from the mountains east of the Rio Grande and south of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico. The record from Marmot Cave in the Sandia Mountains but absence in the highlands to the south suggests it got into the Sandias too late to have a forested corridor leading farther south. North of Arizona and New Mexico, it occurs through the Great Basin to southwestern Canada.

The Ventana Cave identification seems unlikely on the face of it. The cave currently is in full Sonoran Desert and far from any likely habitat. Colbert (1950) noted that there were differences from C. lateralis in tooth size and proportions, suggesting it might be an unknown species of the Callospermophilus group.


Medial Irvingtonian: SAM Cave (Rogers et al. 2000).

Rancholabrean: Mescal Cave (Jefferson 1991b).

Late Wisconsin: Marmot Cave (Thompson and Morgan 2001); Sheep Camp Shelter (Gillespie 1985); Ventana Cave (Colbert 1950.

Late Wisconsin/Holocene: Kokoweef Cave (Reynolds, Reynolds, et al. 1991).

Literature. Bartels and Thompson 1993; Colbert 1950; Gillespie 1985; Jefferson 1991b; Reynolds, Reynolds, et al. 1991; Thompson and Morgan 2001; Rogers et al. 2000.


Last Update: 27 May 2014