Hispid cotton rat Sigmodon hispidus, photographed by Stephen Pollard.

Belongs within: Cricetidae.

Sigmodon, the cotton rats, is a genus of rats with long, coarse fur found in southern North America and northern South America. The hispid cotton rat Sigmodon hispidus is a known vector of hantavirus, which causes a dangerous flu-like illness.

Characters (from Goodwin 1969): Total length more than 250 mm; tail shorter than length of head and body, not conspicuously annulated. Pelage long and coarse. Skull rounded; rostrum long; upper incisors not grooved on anterior surface.

    |--S. alleni IT07
    |--S. alstoni MH03
    |--S. alticola G69
    |--S. curtisi Gidley 1922 MH03
    |--S. fulviventer Allen 1889 MB86
    |--S. hispidus MB86
    |    |--S. h. hispidus MB86
    |    |--S. h. arizonae G69
    |    |--S. h. berlandieri Baird 1855 MB86
    |    |--S. h. ischyrus G69
    |    |--S. h. major G69
    |    |--S. h. obvelatus G69
    |    |--S. h. saturatus G69
    |    |--S. h. texianus (Audubon & Bachman 1853) [=Arvicola texiana] B75
    |    |--S. h. toltecus G69
    |    `--S. h. tonalensis G69
    |--S. hudspethensis MH03
    |--S. inopinatus IT07
    |--S. leucotis Bailey 1902 MB86
    |--S. lindsayi MH03
    |--S. macdougalli G69
    |--S. mascotensis Allen 1897 MB86 [=S. hispidus mascotensis G69]
    |--S. minor Gidley 1922 MH03
    |    |--S. m. minor MH03
    |    `--S. m. medius MH03
    |--S. ochrognathus IT07
    |--S. peruanus MH03
    `--S. planifrons [incl. S. macrodon, S. minor Goodwin 1955 non Gidley 1922, S. planifrons setzeri Goodwin 1959] G69

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1–184.

[G69] Goodwin, G. G. 1969. Mammals from the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in the American Museum of Natural History. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 141 (1): 1–269, 40 pls.

[IT07] Isaac, N. J. B., S. T. Turvey, B. Collen, C. Waterman & J. E. M. Baillie. 2007. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PloS One 2 (3): e296.

[MH03] Martin, R. A., R. T. Hurt, J. G. Honey & P. Peláez-Campomanes. 2003. Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene rodents fom the northern Borchers Badlands (Meade County, Kansas), with comments on the Blancan-Irvingtonian boundary in the Meade Basin. Journal of Paleontology 77 (5): 985–1001.

[MB86] Matson, J. O. & R. H. Baker. 1986. Mammals of Zacatecas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 24: 1–88.

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