Museum, University of Nebraska State


Date of this Version



Missouri Valley Fauna (February 1, 1940) Number 2, 12 pages. Occasional Papers on the Animal Life of the Missouri Valley Region. Published by Missouri Valley Fauna, Lincoln, Nebraska.


The Yellow Pocket-Gopher (Geomys lutescens) was described by Merriam (14) in 1890, as a paler and smaller subspecies of Geomys bursarius, based on "numerous specimens received from the Sand Hills of western Nebraska", and especially upon an adult Cjl type specimen (No. 23595, U. S. N. M.) collected in the sandhills along Birdwood Creek, Lincoln County, Nebraska, May 27, 1889, by A. B. Baker. Although even as late as 1931 Scheffer (17) classified Geomys lutescens as a subspecies of G. bursarius, it is without doubt specifically distinct from G. bursarius. In all of its variations it is decidedly smaller, the fully adult males averaging fully 35 to 50 mm. less, and the fully adult females 29 to 44 mm. less, in total length, than the average of full adults of the corresponding sexes of Geomys bursarius majusculus.

Individuals in the Ponca River Valley represent a very well-marked subspecies of Geomys lutescens, characterized by maximum size and distinctive cranial characters. It may be known as Geomys lutescens levisagittalis subsp. nov. Smooth-Crowned Yellow Pocket-Gopher.

Altogether, this form seems to have become sufficiently differentiated to warrant subspecific recognition, and it is proposed to call it Geomys lutescens vinaceus subsp. nov. Plains Yellow Pocket-Gopher.