Field Guide

Mammals

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results
Media
Photo of least weasel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Mustela nivalis
Description
This mouse-sized weasel is found only in Missouri’s northern counties, and abundance varies locally and seasonally, depending on fluctuating rodent numbers—their favorite food.
Media
Image of southern flying squirrel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Glaucomys volans
Description
Flying squirrels don’t actually fly, but they are expert hang gliders. Instead of running around on the ground, they climb to the top of a tall tree, launch into the air, glide downward to the bottom of another tree and repeat the process to get where they’re going.
Media
Short-tailed shrew pointing its head upward
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sorex, Blarina, and Cryptotis spp.
Description
Six species of shrews occur in Missouri. They are mouselike but do not have the chisel-like front teeth of rodents. Instead, they have sharp, spiky teeth for hunting prey.
Media
Photo of a little brown myotis hanging from cave wall with lesions on its wrist.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Myotis lucifugus
Description
The little brown myotis (little brown bat) is one of our most common bats, but populations are declining. White-nose syndrome has taken a heavy toll in northeastern states. This species is now listed as vulnerable across its range.
Media
Silver-haired bat in flight.
Species Types
Scientific Name
About 14 species in Missouri
Description
Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight. At least 14 species of bats occur in Missouri; they are all relatively small, and they eat insects. Many of them are declining.
Media
Opossum in snow
Species Types
Scientific Name
Didelphis virginiana
Description
The Virginia opossum is North America's only marsupial. Its life history, biology, and habits make this nocturnal mammal worthy of appreciation. What other mammal in our state can hang by its tail, play dead, and carry its young in a pouch?
Media
Photo of two prairie voles in a nest made of dried grasses
Species Types
Scientific Name
Microtus ochrogaster, M. pinetorum, and M. pennsylvanicus
Description
There are three species of voles in Missouri: prairie, meadow, and woodland voles. These mouselike rodents have rounded, blunt snouts, chisel-shaped front teeth, and short tails.
Media
Image of a gray squirrel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sciurus carolinensis and Sciurus niger
Description
The eastern gray squirrel and eastern fox squirrel are both very common in Missouri. Their names describe their general coat color: the first is grayish, the other a foxy red.
See Also

About Mammals in Missouri

More than 70 species of wild mammals live in Missouri: opossums; shrews and moles; bats; rabbits; woodchuck, squirrels, beaver, mice, voles, and other rodents; coyote, foxes, bear, raccoon, weasels, otter, mink, skunks, bobcat, and other carnivores; deer and elk; and more. Most of us recognize mammals easily — they have fur, are warm-blooded, nurse their young, and breathe air.