Mammals of Texas

ORDER/Family Common Name Species Name Status Distribution Slide Library* Mamm. Species # Comments
DIDELPHIMORPHIA (opossums & allies)              
Didelphidae (opossums) Virginia Opossum Didelphis virginiana Common Statewide 3, 4(W), 630, 828(B), 829(B), 830(B) 40 Usually solitary, nocturnal
INSECTIVORA (shrews & moles)              
Soricidae (shrews) Southern Short-tailed Shrew Blarina carolinensis Uncommon in forests & meadows East Texas     More social than most shrews; slightly venomous
  Elliot's short-tailed Shrew Blarina hylophaga Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian**; known only from Aransas, Montague, & Bastrop counties     slightly venomous;
  Least Shrew Cryptotis parva Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian*; also in panhandle 957 43 Sociable; prefers grasslands
  Desert Shrew Notiosorex crawfordi Uncommon Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains   17  
Talpidae (moles) Eastern Mole Scalopus aquaticus Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian*; also in northern & eastern panhandle 647(C), 648(S) 105 Burrows in moist, sandy soil
CHIROPTERA (bats) Most bats eat insects and echolocate at night; roost during days. Bats are known to carry rabies.            
Mormoopidae (mormoopid bats) Ghost-faced Bat Mormoops megalophylla Uncommon, possibly migrant Trans Pecos; along Rio Grande to South Rio Grande Plains; eastward to San Antonio 357(C) 448 Cave-dwelling
Phyllostomidae (leaf-nosed bats) Mexican Long-nosed Bat Leptonycteris nivalis Endangered; Peripheral Trans Pecos   307 Cave-dwelling; feeds on agave nectar & pollen
  Mexican Long-tongued Bat Choeronycteris mexicana Probably Threatened; Peripheral South Rio Grande Plains   291 Caves & bldgs; eats fruit, nectar, pollen & probably insects
  Hairy-legged Vampire Diphylla ecaudata Accidental One record W. of Comstock in Val Verde Co. 349(C) 227 Caves & hollow trees; not colonial
Vespertilionidae (vespertilionid bats) Southeastern Myotis Myotis austroriparius Threatened East Texas   332 Caves, bldgs, bridges, culverts
  California Myotis Myotis californicus Uncommon Trans Pecos, even in winter   428 Crevices, shallow caves, houses
  Western Small-footed Myotis Myotis ciliolabrum Uncommon Trans Pecos; also Panhandle Palo Duro Canyon area     Crevices, caves, behind bark, houses
  Little Brown Myotis Myotis lucifugus Accidental, probably threatened Only one specimen from Fort Hancock (W. Trans Pecos) 224, 225(G), 814(G) 142 Crevices, caves, houses
  Northern Myotis Myotis septentrionalis Accidental, probably threatened Only one specimen from Winter Haven (S. Rio Grande Plains)     Caves, hollow trees, behind bark, bldgs.
  Fringed Myotis Myotis thysanodes Uncommon Trans Pecos, May - Oct. (also 2 from Crosby Co.; Panhandle Plains)   137 Migratory. Large colonies. Caves, crevices, bldgs.
  Cave Myotis Myotis velifer Common Panhandle Plains (one subspecies) and Central Texas, Trans Pecos, South Rio Grande Plains (second subspecies)   149 Largest Myotis in TX. Hibernates in large cave colonies; roosts in caves, bldgs, bridges, old cliff swallow nests
  Long-legged Myotis Myotis volans Uncommon Trans Pecos; also reported from Knox Co. (Plains E. of Panhandle)   224 Bldgs., crevices, hollow trees. Probably do not use caves.
  Yuma Myotis Myotis yumanensis Peripheral Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains     Arid regions. Caves, mines, bldgs.
  Silver-haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivagans Uncommon Statewide 658 172 Migrant. Hollow trees, behind bark, bldgs. Flies late.
  Western Pipistrelle Pipistrellus hesperus Uncommon Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos     Crevices, caves. Flies early; often also seen in early morning
  Eastern Pipistrelle Pipistrellus subflavus Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian* 38, 654(C) 228 Caves, crevices, bldgs. Flies early. More associated with forests than W. Pipistrelle
  Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus Uncommon Statewide, except South RioGrande Plains; Eastern & Western subspecies 39(C), 223 356 Trees, bldgs, caves, crevices. Slow flight near treetops
  Western Red Bat Lasiurus blossevillii Uncommon Trans Pecos; only one individual from Presidio Co.     Migratory; present in summer. Roosts in riparian tree foliage
  Eastern Red Bat Lasiurus borealis Uncommon Statewide 40, 655(C), 815 183 Migratory; present in summer; maybe year-round in E. TX. Roosts in tree foliage
  Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus Uncommon Statewide 41, 42, 656 185 Migratory; roosts on twigs or branches; emerges late
  Southern Yellow Bat Lasiurus ega Threatened; Peripheral South Rio Grande Plains     Roosts in palms & other trees
  Northern Yellow Bat Lasiurus intermedius Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian*   132 Roosts in Spanish Moss, Palms
  Seminole Bat Lasiurus seminolus Uncommon East Texas   280 Roosts in Spanish Moss, Oaks, Hickory, Pines
  Evening Bat Nycticeius humeralis Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian* 232 23 Hollow trees, bldgs. Forage in early evenings & just before dawn
  Spotted Bat Euderma maculatum Threatened Trans Pecos; known only from Big Bend 734 77 Possibly roosts in rocks
  Rafinesque's Big-eared Bat Plecotus rafinesquii Threatened; Peripheral East Texas 394 69 Hollow trees, behind bark, among leaves; found in areas without caves
  Townsend's Big-eared Bat Plecotus townsendii Uncommon Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos 229 175 Caves, mines, old bldgs. Hibernate in tight clusters
  Pallid Bat Antrozous pallidus Common Trans Pecos, South Rio Grande Plains (one subspecies); Panhandle Plains & Central TX (2nd subspecies) 230 213 Crevices, caves, old bldgs. Fly well after dark. Often feed on the ground
Molossidae (free-tailed bats) Brazilian Free-tailed Bat Tadarida brasiliensis Common Statewide 729(as Tadarida sp.) 331 Migratory; year-round in E. TX. Caves, trees, bldgs. A large colony under an Austin bridge attracts tourists
  Pocketed Free-tailed Bat Nyctinomops femorosacca Peripheral Trans Pecos; known only from Big Bend   349 Arid areas. Caves, crevices, roofs
  Big Free-tailed Bat Nyctinomops macrotis Uncommon Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains; Rare in East Texas 891 351 Crevices, buildings. Fly late
  Western Mastiff Bat Eumops perotis Probably Threatened Trans Pecos     High crevices in arid areas
XENARTHA (armadilos, sloths, & allies)              
Dasypodidae (armadillos) Nine-banded Armadillo Dasyppus novemcinctus Common Statewide, but absent from W. Trans Pecos 53, 242 162 Range has spread north & east since 1900
LAGOMORPHA (hares & rabbits)   Typically most active mornings &early evenings; often at night. Vegetarian.          
Leporidae (hares & rabbits) Swamp Rabbit Sylvilagus aquaticus Common, but secretive East Texas   151 Largest cottontail; found in coastal areas, stream & river banks, floodplains
  Desert Cottontail Sylvilagus audubonni Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains 59, 1188 106 Medium-sized cottontail; found in grasslands, brush & desert
  Eastern Cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus Common Statewide 58, 953 136 Moderately large cottontail; ears shorter than Desert Cottontail. Associated with brushy cover
  Black-tailed Jackrabbit Lepus californicus Common Statewide, except Big Thicket of East Texaas 60, 245(Y)   Associated with dry areas
RODENTIA (rodents) Gnawing animals; most (except grasshopper mice) feed on vegetation. Mostly active at night, but squirrels are active days.            
Sciuridae (squirrels & allies) Gray-footed Chipmunk Tamias canipes Uncommon Trans Pecos   411 Small & grayish with 4 whitish & 3-5 brownish stripes. Forests.
  Texas Antelope Squirrel Ammospermophilus interpres Common Trans Pecos & western Edwards Plateau 798 365 Small ground squirrel with one narrow white line down each side
  Mexican Ground Squirrel Spermophilus mexicanus Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains   164 Rather small size with nine rows of spots on back
  Spotted Ground Squirrel Spermophilus spilosoma Common, but shy Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains   101 Small with spots on back, but not in rows
  Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel Spermophilus tridecemlineatus Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; also a narrow strip through W. East Texas south to Corpus Christi 103, 573(C) 103 Small with (usually) 13 alternating dark (w/spots) & light stripes
  Rock Squirrel Spermophilus variegatus Common Plains of Central Texas; Trans Pecos 951 272 Large, rather bushy-tailed ground squirrel. Can climb trees.
  Black-tailed Prairie Dog Cynomys ludovicianus Common in some areas, but extirpated elsewhere Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos. Formerly present in entire W. half of TX. 105   Large, chunky ground squirrel with a short tail. Sociable; live in towns w/ many burrows.
  Eastern Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis Common; introduced in some areas East Texas; isolated populations in some more western cities. 94, 95(P) 480 Medium sized tree squirrel
  Eastern Fox Suirrel Sciurus niger Common Principally east of the 100th meridian* 96, 880 479 Large tree squirrel
  Eastern Flying Squirrel Glaucomys volans Uncommon East Texas; E. edge of Central Plains 1021, 1022(B) 78 Small with gliding membrane connecting front & back legs. Primarily nocturnal.
Note: "Pocket" below refers to fur-lined cheek pouches. Gophers spend most of their lives underground. Thomomys have upper incisors withouth conspicupus grooves;              
Geomys have grooved incisors. The Geomys listed below may be difficult to distinguish except by karyotype; hybridization may occur.              
Geomyidae (pocket gophers) Botta's Pocket Gopher Thomomys bottae Common Plains of Central Texas; Trans Pecos 254   Do more above-ground feeding than other pocket gophers.
  Desert Pocket Gopher Geomys arenarius Peripheral Trans Pecos   36 Common along irrigation ditches.
  Attwater's Pocket Gopher Geomys attwateri Common Southern East Texas; from San Patricio & Aransas Co to Matagorda Co, inland to Kendall Co.   382 Unique to TX
  Baird's Pocket Gopher Geomys breviceps Common East Texas   383  
  Plains Pocket Gopher Geomys bursarius Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas 690    
  Jone's Pocket Gopher Geomys knoxjonesi Common Southern Panhandle Plains and into New Mexico     A cryptic species of G. bursarius; differs in chromosomes.
  Texas Pocket Gopher Geomys personatus Common South Rio Grande Plains   170 Unique to TX & Tamaulipas, Mex.
  Llano Pocket Gopher Geomys texensis Common Central Texas Hill Country     Unique to Texas
  Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher Cratogeomys castanops Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; south along Rio Grande to Brownsville   338 Moderately large; dull yellowish brown color. Where three genera overlap, Thomomys is usually in higher rocky soils, Geomys in sands along rivers, and Cratogeomys in between.
Heteromyidae (pocket mice & kangaroo rats) Plains Pocket Mouse Perognathus flavescens Common Panhandle & Western Plains & El Paso Co. 694   Found in sandy soils & sparse vegetation.
  Silky Pocket Mouse Perognathus flavus Common Trans Pecos & Northern Panhandle 562, 1182 471 Found in rocky or sandy soils
  Merriam's Pocket Mouse Perognathus merriami Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains 1246 473 Found in gravelly or sandy soils & sparse vegetation.
  Hispid Pocket Mouse Chaetodipus hispidus Common Statewide, except Big Thicket of East Texas   320 Found in sandy or loose soils with scattered bushes.
  Rock Pocket Mouse Chaetodipus intermedius Common Trans Pecos 1180   Found in rocks & boulders.
  Nelson's Pocket Mouse Chaetodipus nelsoni Common Trans Pecos & southward along Rio Grande toward Laredo.   484 Found associated with rocks.
  Desert Pocket Mouse Chaetodipus penicillatus Common Trans Pecos 1095   Found with sandy & loose soils.
  Gulf Coast Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys compactus Common South Rio Grande Plains   369 Unique to TX & Tamaulipas, Mex.
  Texas Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys elator Threatened Northern Plains & westward into the Panhandle to Motley Co.   232 Unique to TX & one county in OK. Large-sized with white tuft on tail.
  Merriam's Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys merriami Common Trans Pecos and along Rio Grande to Dimmit Co.     Tolerates a wide range of conditions. Where it is found with D. ordii, D. Merriami usually occurs in harder, stonier soils.
  Ord's Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys ordii Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains 560, 693(S), 1099 353 Inhabit arid areas. Usually one of the first mice into stabilizing sand dunes.
  Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys spectabilis Uncommon Trans Pecos & S. Panhandle Plains 561 311 Large-sized with distinct white tuft on tail.
  Mexican Spiny Pocket Mouse Lyomys irroratus Peripheral South Rio Grande Plains   82 Hairs are pointed & harsh.
Castoridae (beavers) American Beaver Castor canidensis Uncommon Statewide; absent from drier western areas 247(H), 248(H), 408, 409(H), 410(H), 1239 120 Require water. Build dams across streams to form ponds.
Muridae (mice & rats) Coues' Rice Rat Oryzomys couesi Threatened; peripheral South Rio Grande Plains; Cameron Co. & Hidalgo Co.     Found in cattails & grassy areas around oxbow lakes. Their habitat is being drained.
  Marsh Rice Rat Oryzomys palustris Common East Texas & coastal region of South Rio Grande Plains 252 176 Found in marshy areas, grasses & sedges. Semiaquatic. Omnivorous.
  Fulvous Harvest Mouse Reithrodontomys fulvescens Common Statewide, except western Plains & northern Trans Pecos   174 A small mouse, but the largest of harvest mice.
  Eastern Harvest Mouse Reithrodontomys humulis Common East Texas 685   Very small.
  Western Harvest Mouse Reithrodontomys megalotis Common Trans Pecos; western & northern panhandle 1018 167 Medium-sized harvest mouse.
  Plains Harvest Mouse Reithrodontomys montanus Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; W. East Texas   257 Very small.
  Texas Mouse Peromyscus attwateri Common Southeastern Panhandle Plains & Central Texas   48 Sometimes found in trees in some areas.
  Brush Mouse Peromyscus boylii Common 2 separate areas: Trans Pecos & Panhandle Plains escarpments 1171   Climb trees easily.
  Cactus Mouse Peromyscus eremicus Common Trans Pecos & along Rio Grande to Webb Co. 1173 118 Habitat is arid.
  Cotton Mouse Peromyscus gossypinus Common East Texas 677, 678(C) 70 Woodlands. Sometimes found in trees. Omnivorous.
  White-footed Mouse Peromyscus leucopus Very Common Statewide 73, 251(A), 1174 247 Woodlands; along drainages. Nests may be in hollow trees.
  Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus See comments Statewide 74, 1175   Common in west, but uncommon in east & coastal areas.
  Northern Rock Mouse Peromyscus nasutus Common Trans Pecos     Found in rugged, rocky habitat with sparse vegetation.
  White-ankled Mouse Peromyscus pectoralis Common Panhandle Plains & Central TexasPlains; Trans Pecos; south along Rio Grande to Webb Co.   49 Rocky habitat, often with oaks & junipers.
  PiƱon Mouse Peromyscus truei Uncommon Central Panhandle (caprock); Northern Trans Pecos (Guadalupe Mts.) 1176 161 Found with boulders.
  Golden Mouse Ochrotomys nuttalli Common East Texas   75 Live in trees. Omnivorous.
  Northern Pygmy Mouse Baiomys taylori Common South & Central Texas; has spread to Plains & Panhandle regions & parts of East Texas 72, 1164 285 Very small. Found in grassy areas, especially along highways.
  Mearns' Grasshopper Mouse Onychomys arenicola Rare Trans Pecos 1168   Eat insects & small mice.
  Northern Grasshopper Mouse Onychomys leucogaster Uncommon Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains 253, 1017, 1169 87 Predatory on insects, scorpions, & small or young mice.
  Tawny-bellied Cotton Rat Sigmodon fulviventer Uncommon Trans Pecos; isolated colony near Ft. Davis 549 94 Found in dense bunch grasses.
  Hispid Cotton Rat Sigmodon hispidus Common Statewide 76, 1177 158 Found in tall grasses.
  Yellow-nosed Cotton Rat Sigmodon ochrognathus Probably Threatened Trans Pecos   97 Isolated groups at higher elevations.
  White-throated Woodrat Neotoma albigula Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos   310 Often associated with cholla & prickly pear cactus, where they construct above-ground dens.
  Eastern Woodrat Neotoma floridana Common Principally east of the 100th meridian* 1016 139 Nest under trees or rocks; often with a surface "house" of twigs, leaves & grasses.
  Mexican Woodrat Neotoma mexicana Peripheral Trans Pecos 1167 262 Found in mountainous regions. Burrow entrances marked by rubbish & fecal droppings, but rarely by large dens.
  Southern Plains Woodrat Neotoma micropus Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains   330 Found in brushlands & semi-arid regions. Constructs den of sticks & cacti.
  Norway Rat Rattus norvegicus Introduced Statewide, but less common in the south. 755(W), 756(G), 757(B), 758   Lives in close association with humans. Love garbage.
  Roof Rat Rattus rattus Introduced Statewide; more common in southern areas than the Norway Rat 759, 760(B)   Lives in close association with humans.
  House Mouse Mus musculus Introduced Statewide 92, 754   Lives in close association with humans. Has spread along water courses & into fields.
  Mexican Vole Microtus mexicanus Uncommon Trans Pecos, Guadalupe Mts. 1158, 1159(CP)   Their runways wind through tall grasses. Often active in daytime.
  Prairie Vole Microtus ochrogaster Rare Extreme north Panhandle (ssp. haydeni ): Extreme East Texas (ssp. ludovicianus) 1160 355 Found in tall grass.
  Woodland Vole Microtus pinetorum Common Principally east of the 100th meridian*   147 Found in woodlands with leaf litter and grasses. Eat roots, berries & acorns.
  Common Muskrat Ondantra zibethicus Common Principally east of the 100th meridian*; also in Canadian, Pecos, & northern Rio Grande drainages 1162, 1163(H) 141 Live in marshes and water ways. Live in dome-shaped houses often surrounded by water, or in burrows in banks.
Erethizontidae (New World porcupines) Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum Uncommon Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos 83, 870(Y) 29 Found in forested & rocky areas. Can climb trees. Range may be expanding southward.
Myocastoridae (myocastorids) Nutria Myocastor coypus Introduced Aquatic habitats in eastern two-thirds of the state. 1019 398 Natural home = South America. Make nests of large piles of cattails, reeds, & sedges; often destroy habitat for other wildlife.
CARNIVORA (carnivores) Most are active at night, early mornings & evenings. Most eat freshly-killed meat, but bears, raccons, ringtails, coyotes & foxes are more omnivorous.            
Canidae (canids) Coyote Canis latrans Common Statewide 265(C), 1126, 1127, 1267 79 They have expanded their range into that of wolves (when wolves were eradicated).
  Gray Wolf Canis lupus Extirpated Formerly Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains 581, 1038(P), 1128 37 Last wolf shot on 5 Dec. 1970 on Cathedral Mt. Ranch, 27 km S. of Alpine
  Red Wolf Canis rufus Extirpated Formerly principally east of the 100th meridian* 264(C), 968 22 All reports of Texas Red Wolves since 1965 have really been large coyotes.
  Swift or Kit Fox Vulpes velox Uncommon Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos 269(Y), 583, 1208 122 The smallest American fox. Live in arid areas. Easily trapped & poisoned; their numbers are declining.
  Red Fox Vulpes vulpes Introduced; uncommon Almost statewide; absent from northern Panhandle, western Trans Pecos, and Southern Rio Grande Plains 435(W), 436(Y), 582   Introduced for sport around 1895.
  Common Gray Fox Urocyon cineroeargenteus Common Statewide 584 189 Lives in wooded areas. In western part of range they are found at higher elevations. They often climb trees. May move into areas when coyotes are eliminated.
Ursidae (bears) Black Bear Ursus americanus Endangered Remnants may be in Trans Pecos mountains 142(C), 1132(S)   Former statewide distribution has declined as human population expanded.
  Grizzly or Brown Bear Ursus arctos Endangered Formerly Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos 455, 821(CB), 1008, 1271(B) 439 An old male was killed in the Davis Mts. in Oct. 1890; a skull was reported from the Red River in 1950.
Procyonidae (procyonids) Ringtail Bassariscus astutus Common Statewide; less common in Southern Rio Grande Plains 858 327 Often found in rocky areas. Eat small animals including insects; also eat fruits & berries.
  Common Raccoon Procyon lotor Common Statewide 140, 709(S) 119 Most common in woodlands and near water. Omnivorous.
  White-nosed Coati Nasua narica Endangered South Rio Grande Plains & Big Bend area of Trans Pecos 139, 926(W) 487 More common in Mexico and Central America. Omnivorous. Often active in mornings and evenings.
Mustelidae (mustelids) Long-tailed Weasel Mustela frenata Uncommon Statewide, except northern panhandle     Range similar to pocket gophers & ground squirrels (their food). Also eat rats, rabbits, insects & birds.
  Black-footed Ferret Mustela nigripes Extirpated Formerly Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; part of Trans Pecos 128 126 Range corresponded to prairie dogs (their food). Endangered elsewhere in the U.S.; almost went extinct due to canine distemper (18 survived in Wyoming). A captive breeding program was begun in 1986.
  Mink Mustela vison Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian* 1129   Live along waterways. Their den is usually a hole in a bank or behind a pile of debris in a stream.
  American Badger Taxidea taxus Common Statewide, except far east Texas; range may be extending eastward (due to land clearing) 701(C), 702(A), 703(H) 26 Dig with large front claws; they feed on burrowing animals.
  Western Spotted Skunk Spilogale gracilis Uncommon Southern Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains     Often associated with rocky bluffs, cliffs, and stream banks; often found close to people.
  Eastern Spotted Skunk Spilogale putorius Uncommon Principally east of the 100th meridian*; also Panhandle     Usually found in wooded areas and tall grass prairies. Musk can be squirted 4 to 5 m.
  Hooded Skunk Mephitis macroura Peripheral Trans Pecos 281   More common in Mexico. Often associated with stream banks and washes.
  Striped Skunk Mephitis mephitis Common Statewide 280 173 Found in woods, brushy areas & farms. May live in family groups. Eat small animals including insects; also eggs.
  Eastern Hog-nosed Skunk Conepatus leuconotus Probably Threatened Southern Gulf Coastal Plains, northward along Rio Grande to Webb Co.     Range extends into Mexico. Found in oak & mesquite brushland and semi-open grassland.
  Common Hog-nosed Skunk Conepatus mesoleucus Uncommon Southern Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains to Dimmit Co.; probably extirpated in Big Thicket of E.Texas     Found in rocky, woody, brushy areas and foothills; avoid deserts & heavy timber. They dig with their nose (they "root"), & so are known as "rooter skunks".
  River Otter Lutra canadensis Uncommon East Texas, Gulf Coast, Northeastern Panhandle 802, 859   Aquatic (including slightly salty & marsh water), but easily run on land. Playful; make slides on riverbanks.
Felidae (cats) Mountain Lion Felis concolor Uncommon Statewide but mostly extirpated except Trans Pecos & S. Rio Grande Plains 275, 276, 586(C) 200 Also called Pumas & Cougars. Primary prey = deer, but also eat rabbits, prairie dogs and other small animals. People hunt them when they eat livestock.
  Ocelot Felis pardalis Endangered South Rio Grande Plains; range formerly wider 125   Found in chaparral thickets. Their habitat extends southward into the tropics.
  Margay Felis wiedii Endangered Formerly South Rio Grande Plains 278, 922(Y)   One animal was taken from Eagle Pass (Rio Grande Plains) in the 1850's. Their habitat extends southward into the tropics and to northern Argentina.
  Jaguarundi Felis yagouaroundi Endangered South Rio Grande Plains     Live in dense thorny thickets. Their habitat extends southward into the tropics.
  Jaguar Panthera onca Extirpated Principally east of the 100th meridian* 795 340 Live in dense brushland and forested areas. The last records are from around 1900. Their habitat extends southward into the tropics.
  Bobcat Lynx rufus Common Statewide 819   Mostly found in rocky areas, but also in open areas & forests. Often found near humans. Eat mainly small mammals & birds.
PINNIPEDIA (seals, walruses, & allies)              
Phocidae (seals) Caribbean Monk Seal Monachus tropicalis Extinct Former range was the Gulf Coast, Ytcatan, western Caribbean, Greater & Lesser Antilles, Bahamas, & Florida Keys     Probably became extinct in the mid-1950's. They were slow on land and showed no fear of people, and so were easy to kill.
ARTIODACTYLA (even-toed ungulates)              
Suidae (pigs) Feral Pig Sus scrofa Introduced East Texas; South Rio Grande Plains 323   Eat fruits, roots, foliage, & small animals. Their rooting often disturbs vegetation.
Dicotylidae (peccaries) Collared Peccary Tayassu tajacu Uncommon. Reintroduced into several counties along the Red River. Central Texas Plains; Trans Pecos; South Rio Grande Plains. Former range extended farther east; into the Panhandle; and north to the Red River. 200(B), 325, 794 293=T. pecari Also called Javelinas. Live in brushy arid areas; eat cacti and so improve rangeland.
Cervidae (cervids) Axis Deer Cervus axis Introduced (in early 1930's) Central & South Texas; also on private ranches.     Native to India where it is called "chital". Live in grassy areas within forests. The most numerous introduced animal in Texas (over 14,000 in 1988).
  Fallow Deer Cervus dama Introduced Mainly in the Edwards Plateau area (West & Central Texas)     Native to the Mediterranean region. Feed in open grassy areas near forest cover.
  Wapiti or Elk Cervus elaphus Reintroduced (into Guadalupe, Glass, Wylie, Davis, & Eagle Mts.) Trans Pecos 189(M), 190(G), 191(F), 318(Y), 809(FM), 863(M), 864(F), 1077(F), 1278(B)   Formerly migrated over entire western U.S. plains (winters) and open forests (summers). Extirpated in TX about 1900. Reintroduced into Guadalupes in 1928; to other areas in 1992.
  Sika Deer Cervus nippon Introduced Central & South Texas 779(F), 943(FM) 128 Native to southern Siberia, China, & Japan. Live in broad-leaf & mixed forests.
  Mule Deer Odocoileus hemionus Common Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos 187(M), 475(Y), 476(F) 219 Noted for their bouncing gait. Found in arid areas and sparsely wooded areas. Introduced into several areas. Hybridize with white-tailed deer which seem to be displacing them. May also be harmed by non-native Barbary Sheep.
  White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus Common Statewide 185(F), 186(A), 803(M), 1279(M) 388 The most important big game animals in Texas.
Antilocapridae (pronghorn) Pronghorn Antilocapra americana Common, but very limited distribution; range declining Isolated populations in Panhandle Plains & Central Texas; Trans Pecos; Extirpated from S. Rio Grande Plains 166(M), 717(M), 718(F), 823(B) 90 Former range was the western two-thirds of the state. Requires habitat where it can see and run long distances. Do not compete well with sheep.
Bovidae (bovids) Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus Introduced South Texas 473(F), 886(M)   Native to India & Pakistan. Live in relatively dry areas with moderate cover of thin forest or scrub.
  Bison Bison bison Extirpated Isolated commercial herds; formerly ranged over western two-thirds of Texas 167(M), 304(CM), 305(Y), 306(H), 719(W), 720, 1224(B), 1273 266 An animal of the Prairies. Eliminated in Texas by 1880.
  Mountain Sheep Ovis canadensis Reintroduced Trans Pecos (also its former range) 168(G), 169(G), 307(CM), 941(FM) 230 The last native sheep was seen in the Van Horn Mts. in 1959. Reintroductions have been very recent. Habitat = rough, rocky mountains with sparse vegetation.
  Barbary Sheep Ammotragus lervia Introduced Panhandle, Edwards Plateau, Trans Pecos, South Texas, Rolling Plains, & Post Oak Savanna. 932, 1147(G) 144 Native to the dry mts. of North Africa; also called Aoudad. First introductions were to the Palo Duro Canyon area in 1957-58. May compete with mule deer & mountain sheep for food, thus harming these native animals.
  Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra Introduced Hill Country of Central Texas 933, 934(Y), 935(M)   Native to India & Pakistan. Originally released in Kerr County in 1932. Live in open woodlands, mountains & arid areas. The second-most numerous introduced animal in Texas.
SIRENIA (manatee & allies)              
Trichechidae (manatees) West Indian Manatee Trichechus manatus Endangered Gulf Coast; Bayous, Bays, River Mouths, Laguna Madre. A tropical & subtropical New World animal. Extremely rare. 290, 291(BC), 292(A), 1139(S), 1140(S), 1141(S) 93 Tolerate fresh, brackish, & salt water. Wander great distances. Sluggish & easily captured.
CETACEA (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) All cetaceans are protected by strict laws. Human activities affecting them include petroleum resource development, heavy boating traffic, and pollution of Gulf waters.            
Balaenidae (right whales) Northern Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis Endangered Gulf coast. Worldwide distribution. Extremely rare.     Called "Right" because whalers considered them to be the "right" ones to kill. Single animal beached at Freeport (S. of Galveston) in Feb. 1972.
Balaenopteridae (rorquals or baleen whales) Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata Rare Gulf coast. Worldwide distribution.     Smallest & most common Gulf of Mexico Baleen Whale. Single animal stranded on Matagorda Peninsula in Mar. 1988.
  Bryde's Whale Balaenoptera edeni Probable Gulf coast. Year round residents of tropical & subtropical waters.     Not yet reported from Texas, but occur at nearby beaches in Louisiana. One of the more frequently seen baleen whales.
  Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus Endangered Gulf coast. Found in all oceans. 578, 808(A), 1215(S), 1216(S)   Largest whale. One recorded between Freepot & San Luis Pass (S. of Galveston) in 1940, but identification is questionable.
  Fin Whale Balaenoptera physalus Endangered Gulf coast. Found in all oceans, but rare in Texas waters. 769   One beached at Gilchrist (N. of Galveston) in Feb. 1951.
  Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae Endangered Gulf coast. Found in all oceans. 575, 576(B), 698, 768(AB)   Highly migratory. Observed near Galveston in Feb. 1992. Numbers have declined worldwide due to whaling.
Physeteridae (sperm whales) Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus Endangered Gulf coast. Found in all oceans.     Highly migratory. Most numerous of the Gulf of Mexico Great Whales. Sightings in Texas are relatively frequent.
  Pygmy Sperm Whale Kogia breviceps Threatened Gulf coast. Found in warm waters worldwide. 1137(S), 1138(S)   A deep-water whale. Sightings in Texas are relatively frequent.
  Dwarf Sperm Whale Kogia simus Threatened Gulf coast. Probably found in warm waters worldwide.   239 Sightings not quite as frequent as the Pigmy Sperm Whale.
Ziphiidae (beaked whales) Blainville's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris Rare Gulf coast. Found in warm waters worldwide, but are uncommon.     Secretive; often travel in groups of 3 - 6. Single whale stranded on Padre Island in Feb. 1980.
  Gervais' Beaked Whale Mesoplodon europaeus Threatened Gulf coast. Known primarily from the western North Atlantic; thought to be rare.     Thought to live in deep water. Several strandings known from Texas beaches.
  Cuvier's Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris Threatened Gulf coast. Sparsely distributed throughout tropical & subtropical waters of the world.     Often observed in groups of 10-25. Deep-divers; may remain under 30 min. or more.
Delphinidae (toothed whales & dolphins) Killer Whale Orcinus orca Threatened Gulf coast. Found in all oceans, including polar seas; rare in the Gulf of Mexico. 979(B), 1057(C), 1058(A), 1133(S) 304 Largest dolphin. Rare in the Gulf of Mexico. One stranded on South Padre Island, one sighted off Port Aransas (N. of Corpus Christi).
  False Killer Whale Pseudorca crassidens Threatened Gulf coast. Found throughout deep tropical, subtropical, & warm temperate waters worldwide. 1059, 1134 456 Two strandings on upper Texas coast.
  Pygmy Killer Whale Feresa attenuata Threatened Gulf coast. Found in deep tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters worldwide.     One group of 20-25 animals sighted about 130 km off the Soouth Texas coast in Nov. 1980.
  Short-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala macrorhynchus Threatened Gulf coast. Found in offshore tropical, subtropical, & warm temperate waters worldwide. 929(B), 930(CA) (as Globicephala sp.)   Some of the more frequently stranded dolphins. Group sizes normally range from 10-60 or more. Numerous strandings & sightings from Texas.
  Melon-headed Whale Peponocephala electra Uncommon Gulf coast. Found worldwide in tropical & subtropical waters, but most numerous in the Philippine sea.     Travel in groups of 100-1000 or more. One animal stranded on Matagorda Peninsula in June 1990.
  Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno bredanensis Threatened Gulf coast. Found in tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide.     Travel in small groups up to 50 or more. Known in Texas from 2 strandings near Galveston.
  Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis Uncommon Gulf coast. Found in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters worldwide. 579   Highly social in groups of 20 to several hundreds or thousands. Deep water dolphins. Known in Texas from a single animal stranded at Galveston.
  Risso's Dolphin Grampus griseus Uncommon Gulf coast. Found in warm temperate and tropical waters worldwide; uncommon in the Gulf of Mexico. 1055   Travel in groups of 30 to several hundred. Deep water dolphins. One group of nine was seen off the South Texas coast in Nov. 1980; also one stranding.
  Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus Common Gulf coast. Found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide. 262, 980, 981(G)   Travel in groups of 2 to 15, up to several hundred. The most common cetacean of the Texas Coast.
  Pantropical Spotted Dolphin Stenella attenuata Uncommon Gulf coast. Found in tropical & subtropical waters worldwide.     Previously known as S. frontalis, but has a more narrow beak & blackish upper parts. Three beached near Yarborough Pass on Padre Island during Hurricane Fern in Sept. 1971; 2 stranded near Port Aransas in 1989 & 1990.
  Clymene dolphin Stenella clymene Uncommon Gulf coast. Found only in tropical & subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean.     First described in 1981; one of the most poorly known dolphins in the world. Four strandings along Padre & Mustang Islands (near Corpus Christi).
  Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba Uncommon Gulf coast. Found in tropical & temperate waters worldwide; better known from the waters around Florida, than from Texas.     Travel in herds of several hundred to several thousand; usually found in deep offshore waters. Several have been seen off the Texas & stranded on Texas beaches.
  Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Stenella frontalis Threatened Gulf coast. Found offshore in tropical & warm temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean. 580   In the Gulf of Mexico, the second most abundant dolphin. Seen in groups of 6-10, up to 50. Previously known as S. plagiodon.
  Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris Uncommon Gulf coast. Found in tropical & warm temperate waters worldwide.     Name refers to their leaping from the water & spinning lengthwise before splashing back. Usually travel in groups of 30 to several hundred or thousands. Several Texas strandings along the Padre Island National Seashore.
*A=Anatomical Specialization, B=Behavioral, C=Close-up of Head, F=Female, FM=Female&Male, G=Group, H=Habitat, M=Male, P=Phase of Color, S=Skull, W=female With young, Y=Young, CP=Comparison of species or subspecies