thirteen-lined ground squirrel

(Ictidomys tridecemlineatus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

thirteen-lined ground squirrel

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

   
   
   
   
    Photo by Christa Rittberg
Habitat

Grasslands, cultivated fields, meadows, roadsides, shrublands, suburban lawns, pine barrens, and beaches. Sandy or loamy soil.

Lifespan

Adults live for a few years. Only about 10% of young reach adulthood.

Size

Head and body: 4½ to 6½

Tail: 2½ to 5¼

 
 
Identification

This is a slender, light brown or dark brown ground squirrel. It averages 9¾ long including the tail.

The ears are short.

There are 13 alternating lines of dark brown and tan lines that extend from the nape of the neck to the tail. The 13 stripes may be either 7 broad dark brown and 6 thin tan stripes or 7 narrow yellow and 6 broader dark brown stripes. There are no stripes on the side of the face. The belly is whitish.

The tail is thin and sparsely bushy.

 
Sign  
 
Similar
Species

Franklin’s ground squirrel (Spermophilus franklinii) is much larger, the head and body 9 to 10. It does not have stripes on the back or rump. The belly is nearly as dark as the back.

Richardson’s ground squirrel (Spermophilus richardsonii) is much larger, the head and body 7¾ to 9½. It does not have stripes on the back or rump. It is found only in far western Minnesota.

 
Food

Omnivorous. They eat seeds, fruits, grasses, forbs, and insects.

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 13, 15, 24, 29.
 
Comments

Taxonomy
This species was formerly included in the genus Spermophilus with about 40 other species. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that the genus should be split. In 2009 it genus was split into eight genera. Acceptance of the reordering is not universal. ITIS37, NCBI34, and NatureServe72 list the name as Ictidomys tridecemlineatus. GBIF29 refers to this species by its old name, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus. Wilson & Reeder’s Mammal Species of the World places it in the subgenus Ictidomys within the genus Spermophilus, thus retaining its old binomial.

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Rodentia (rodents)

 

Suborder:

Sciuromorpha (squirrels)

 

Family:

Sciuridae (chipmunks, marmots, squirrels)

 

Subfamily:

Xerinae (marmots, ground squirrels, African squirrels, and relatives)

 

Tribe:

Marmotini (ground squirrels)

 
Subordinate Taxa

Allen’s 13-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus alleni)

Black Hills ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus olivaceous)

Blanca thirteen-striped ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus blanca)

Hollister striped ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus hollisteri)

Howell striped ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus arenicola)

pale striped ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus pallidus)

small striped ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus parvus)

Texas striped ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus texensis)

thirteen-striped ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus tridecemlineatus)

White-Mtns squirrel ground (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus monticola)

 
Synonyms

Spermophilus tridecemlineatus

 
Common
Names

thirteen-lined ground squirrel

 

 

 

 

 

 

       
Visitor Photos
   
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Kirk Nelson
       

Near the bird feeders outside the Visitors’ Center

  thirteen-lined ground squirrel    
       
Lynn Rubey
       

A Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel taking shelter under a slab of granite on the outcropping near a viewing area. In The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge in Lac qui Parle County.

  thirteen-lined ground squirrel   thirteen-lined ground squirrel
       
Cindy Kuba
       

I've had this ground squirrel in my yard for about 6 weeks or so. He has a hole right out my front door by the steps. I sit and watch him. Adorable

  thirteen-lined ground squirrel    
       
Norm & Peg Dibble
       

September 2018, Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel, stopped by to eat peanuts that we throw on our patio for birds and critters. Had never seen one before or since.

  thirteen-lined ground squirrel    
       
Christa Rittberg
       
  thirteen-lined ground squirrel   thirteen-lined ground squirrel
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Spermophilus tridecemlineatus (Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel)
Allen Chartier
 
  Spermophilus tridecemlineatus (Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel (Sciuridae: Ictidomys/Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) Alarm Call
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 21, 2009

"There is only one meaning of life, the act of living itself." --Erich Fromm Photographed at Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (20 July 2009).

   
       
  Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel (Sciuridae: Ictidomys/Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) Alert Posture
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 25, 2009

Photographed near Mekinock, North Dakota (25 June 2009).

   
       
  Thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus)
Stoil Ivanov
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 1, 2012

Thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) Video taken on 7-01-2012 in Glacial Park McHenry County Illinois . This squirrel is also known as a striped gopher.

   
       
  Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) babies
Michael Tweed
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 4, 2013

Baby Ground squirrels outside our apartment in DeKalb, IL.

   
       
  Prairie Life: Gourmet Meal
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on May 19, 2013

This Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel (Ictidomys/Spermophilus tridemlineatus) is a finger-licking connoisseur of good subsoil grub. Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (18 May 2013).

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
Report a sighting of this mammal.
 
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Kirk Nelson
6/7/2020

Location: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge – Long Meadow Lake Unit

Near the bird feeders outside the Visitors’ Center

thirteen-lined ground squirrel


Lynn Rubey
6/19/2020

Location: Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

A Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel taking shelter under a slab of granite on the outcropping near a viewing area. In The Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge in Lac qui Parle County.

thirteen-lined ground squirrel


Tracy
summer 2019

Location: St. Michael

If they would stop digging holes in our mulch beds & pine tree berms I’d probably think they were cute.


Cindy Kuba
7/24/2019

Location: Eau Claire, WI

I've had this ground squirrel in my yard for about 6 weeks or so. He has a hole right out my front door by the steps. I sit and watch him. Adorable

thirteen-lined ground squirrel


Dave
6/17/2019

Location: Biwabik MN


Norm & Peg Dibble
September 2018

Location: Maple Grove, MN

Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel, stopped by to eat peanuts that we throw on our patio for birds and critters. Had never seen one before or since.

thirteen-lined ground squirrel


     
     
 
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