Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Vladimir Dinets
Photo Copyright Vladimir Dinets

Stephens' woodrat, Neotoma stephensi, occurs only in limited areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. In Utah, the species is found only in a small region of the southeastern part of the state.

Stephens' woodrats prefer rocky areas with pinion-juniper cover, often building dens among rocks and at the bases of trees. The species is herbivorous, primarily eating the seeds and foliage of juniper trees, although other vegetation is also consumed. Females may have up to two litters of one to five young each year. Stephens' woodrats are primarily nocturnal.

Woodrats, which are native to the New World, can be distinguished from Old World rats by the presence of hair on their tails rather than bare scaly skin.


  • 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.