Harris' Antelope Squirrel
Harris Ground Squirrel

Ammospermophilus harrisii

Ammospermophilus harrisii photo © by Michael Plagens. Oops. Somewhere along the line this pic got squished and I have lost my original.

Photo taken in Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Maricopa Co., Arizona.

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This ground-dwelling squirrel is common throughout much of southern and western Arizona. The only other ground squirrel in Arizona with a lateral white stripe is the White-tailed Antelope Squirrel found in Northern Arizona; it is also recognized by its large bushy tail the underside of which is black.

Usually found on rocky slopes, these squirrels are active all year during daylight hours, but less so during the coldest winter months.

At Organ Pipe National Monument I found Harris' Antelope Squirrels climb up an ocotillo that happened to be leaning against a saguaro cactus allowing them to feed on saguaro fruit.  In late April they will also climb out to the ends of ocotillo branches to get at the seeds.  Another favorite food are the big seeds found in a wild cucumber, Marah gilensis.

More Information:

Sciuridae -- Squirrel Family

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 17 June 2002,
updated 04 Sept. 2021.