Desert Cottontail Rabbit

Sylvilagus audubonii

Order: 

Lagomorpha

Family: 

Leporidae

The desert cottontail rabbit, Sylvilagus adubonii, are found in arid environments throughout California (1). They have particularly large ears and hindfoot in comparison to the rest of the Sylvilagus genus (1). Generally, S. adubonii have short gray fur with a white underbelly (1)(2). S. adubonii also have a 4 – 5.6 cm tail that is dark on the dorsal side and white underneath (1)(2). Adults reach lengths of 37 – 40 cm (1). S. audubonii have a seven-month long breeding season, lasting from December through June (1). Despite the long mating season, they have a relatively low fecundity, with a litter size between 3 – 4 (1). Nest are made of twigs and rabbit fur and are usually situated under dense shrubbery (1)(2). S. adubonii feed on forbs, grasses, and tender branches (2).

 

(1) Chapman, J. A., & Willner, G. R. (1978). Sylvilagus audubonii. Mammalian Species, (106), 1-4.

(2) Jameson, E. W., Jr., & Peeters, H. J. (2004). Mammals of California (Revised ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

(Photograph) ©2010 Lee Dittmann

 

Habitat: 

  • coastal scrub