Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrels. Edward C. CravenUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison.
Suffice it to say, neither animal is particularly popular. When ground squirrels move into those human-built habitats, their burrowing and feeding behavior tends to get them in trouble. There are actually two ground squirrels in this photo — can you find the second one?
Thirteen-lined ground squirrels are small and slender rodents, with alternate stripes of dark brown and tan, extending from the neck to the tail. The dark brown stripes are wider than the tan stripes, and have tan rectangular spots along the midline. These stripes are where the thirteen-lined ground squirrel got its name.
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Watts Biggers. At a recent late afternoon visit to the Marquette County Fair, I inadvertently found myself on an information quest after I saw a small animal skulking on the warm cement in the sunlight, outside the open door to the 4-H building. As I grabbed my camera, the ground squirrel abruptly turned and ran out of the doorway.
The thirteen-lined ground squirrel Ictidomys tridecemlineatusalso known as the striped gopherleopard ground squirrelsquinneyformerly known as the leopard-spermophile in the age of Audubonis a ground squirrel that is widely distributed over grasslands and prairies of North America. It is brownish, with 13 alternating brown and whitish longitudinal lines sometimes partially broken into spots on its back and sides, creating rows of whitish spots within dark lines. This species has usually been placed in the genus Spermophilus with about 40 other species.
This small and slender ground squirrel, also known as the "thirteen liner" has 13 stripes running along the length of its body. The dark brown stripes are wider than the tan ones and have rectangular tan spots along the middle, and are either seven wider dark brown stripes alternating with tan or seven narrow tan stripes alternating with six dark brown ones. They have short ears and their tail is thin and a little bushy.
Some people call these rascally squirrels "Federation Squirrels" because of the pattern on their back and sides which looks like stars and stripes. This color pattern helps camouflage them in tall grasses from their number one predator, the northern harrier. They also like to stand at attention this is called a "picket pin" posture on their hind legs as they watch for danger.
Ground squirrels are small burrowers found across the United States. While there are different species throughout the country, all ground squirrels share similar features and habits. The rodents disturb crop fields and home gardens with their burrowing habits.