Common Name

Scientific Name

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The Arizona woodrat, Neotoma devia, occurs in parts of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Mexico. The species is common in southeastern Utah, where it inhabits desert areas with sparse vegetation. The species is similar, if not identical, in appearance to the desert woodrat, Neotoma lepida, which occurs in western Utah. In fact, the Arizona woodrat and desert woodrat were considered to be the same species until recent evidence proved otherwise.

Arizona woodrats are primarily nocturnal, retreating to dens constructed of debris among rocks and/or vegetation when inactive during the day. Females are very prolific, and may have more than four litters of one to five young each year.

Arizona woodrats eat a variety of plant material, such as seeds, fruits, and leaves. As is the case with all woodrats, Arizona woodrats have hair on their tails, which distinguishes them from Old World rats.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.