Field Guide

Mammals

Showing 1 - 10 of 20 results
Media
Image of woodchuck (groundhog)
Species Types
Scientific Name
Marmota monax
Description
One of the best-known wild mammals in Missouri, the woodchuck, or groundhog, is a rodent in the squirrel family. The name “woodchuck” is possibly derived from an Indian name for this species.
Media
Image of eastern cottontail
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sylvilagus floridanus
Description
The eastern cottontail is a rabbit with a perfect name. Its tail, when raised, has a conspicuously white undersurface, resembling a fluff of cotton.
Media
Photo of long-tailed weasel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Mustela frenata
Description
Long-tailed weasels are small but voracious predators. They are rare in our state but are most common in the south-central and southwestern portions. In summer, they are brown with yellow beneath. In winter their fur is paler or white. The tail has a black tip.
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 an eastern chipmunk
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tamias striatus
Description
Chipmunks are sleek, attractive, active ground-dwelling squirrels. They live in tunnels but are generally out during the day, making them one of the few mammals that people can enjoy watching.
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
eastern mole
Species Types
Scientific Name
Scalopus aquaticus
Description
Eastern moles are plush-furred, large-handed critters infamous for disfiguring lawns as they tunnel belowground hunting for grubs and cutworms — many of which are also dreaded by landscapers!
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
Image of an armadillo
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dasypus novemcinctus
Description
There’s no other animal in Missouri that can be mistaken for an armadillo! Fifty years ago, they were not considered residents, but now they are regularly found in the southern half of the state.
Media
Photo of a deer mouse in its nest made of dry grasses
Species Types
Scientific Name
Peromyscus maniculatus
Description
The deer mouse is found statewide, usually in open habitats like fields and grasslands. It and our other three species of Peromyscus mice look a lot alike.
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.