Cotton Rat

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Related to cotton rats: Sigmodon hispidus
A popular animal model first used in polio research, which is a model of choice for research in measles—paramyxovirus—herpes simplex, influenza—orthomyxovirus—HIV-1, respiratory syncytial virus, and adenovirus-based gene replacement research
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Fifty-seven (89.1%) of the 64 short-tailed cane mice and 55 (96.5%) of the 57 Alston's cotton rats were captured in 91 (37.9%) of the 240 traps set on sites A and B.
In descending order of abundance, the North American deermouse was the most common species with 211 individuals and 480 captures, followed by the white-footed deermouse (62 individuals and 122 captures), prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster; 19 and 28), western harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis; 15 and 23), hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus; 6 and 8), thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tri decemlineatus; 3 and 5), eastern woodrat (Neotoma floridana; 2 and 4), and hispid pocket mouse (Chaetodipus hispidus, 1 and 2).
Randolph and Cameron (2001) identified four types of activities from observations and videotapes of cotton rats in enclosures: (1) inactive, apparently sleeping, (2) slow walking or foraging (1.94 [+ or -] 0.09 cm/s, n = 129 observations) typically examining vegetation, (3) sitting and ingesting food and (4) infrequent rapid running, apparently a fright reaction.
Cotton rats and pygmy mice were captured at equal abundances (10 individuals each).
(1990) extended the known range of the yellow-nosed cotton rat northward in Texas by some 129 km with the trapping of an adult male 5 km NE Guadalupe Mountains National Park Headquarters, Culberson County.
This invasive predator is eating many larger mammals--raccoons, opossums, deer and others--which has caused an increase in contact between the mosquito and the hispid cotton rat. A 2016 study showed mosquitoes now are getting about 77 percent of their blood meals from the hispid cotton rat.
SPECIES LOCATION HABITAT Deer Mouse North America Woodlands, Deserts, High Elevations White-Footed Mouse Eastern United States Woody or Brushy Areas, Mixed Forests & Edge of Agricultural Fields Cotton Rat Southeastern United States Overgrown Shrubs, Tall Grasses Rice Rat Southeastern United States Semi-Aquatic
We caught one southern flying squirrel in eastern redcedar forest whereas we caught fulvous harvest mice, hispid cotton rats, and least shrews (Cryptotis parva) exclusively in unforested habitats.
Cotton rats accounted for 70% of rodent prey and mice 20%.
(10) US hantavirus species Rodent reservoirs: Number of Common name (Latin US cases name) Sin nombre (Spanish Deer mouse 658 for "without a name") (Peromyscus maniculatus) Bayou Marsh rice rat 5 (Oryzomys palustris) Monongahela Deer mouse 4 (Peromyscus maniculatus) New York White-footed mouse 2 (Peromyscus leucopus) Black Creek Canal Hispid cotton rat 1 (Sigmodon hispidus) US hantavirus species States of occurrence (unknown for 28 cases) Sin nombre (Spanish Every US state except for "without a name") MI, OH, NH, CT, MA, RI, NJ, DL, ML, MO, AR, KY, TN, LA, MS, AL, GA, FL, SC Bayou TX, LA Monongahela PA, WV New York NY Black Creek Canal FL
Hispid cotton rats are known to experience cyclic population surges and crashes at intra-annual scales, with abundances highest in spring and fall (Goertz, 1964; Reed and Slade, 2006).