Museum, University of Nebraska State


Date of this Version



Occasional Papers of the Museum of Texas Tech University (April 25, 1975) number 29: 1-18.


Copyright 1975, Texas Tech University. Used by permission.


As part of a study of the systematics and ecology of pocket gophers occurring on the high plains of Texas and eastern New Mexico, numerous populations of the plains pocket gopher, Geomys bursarius, were examined karyotypically. Four chromosomal races were described from this area by Baker et al. (1973). Additional studies lead us to believe that two of these races represent an undescribed subspecies of the plains pocket gopher. In addition to karyological evidence, specimens of this subspecies are morphologically distinct from those of all contiguous populations of Geomys bursarius major, the race to which they previously were assigned. How a widespread subspecies of pocket gopher could have gone undetected until now is not easily explainable. It is noteworthy, however, that Bailey (1905) did assign the first known specimen of this subspecies to Geomys arenarius, which the new subspecies does resemble superficially.