Ord’s kangaroo rat Dipodomys ordii, photographed by US Fish and Wildlife.

Belongs within: Heteromyidae.

The genus Dipodomys includes the kangaroo rats, bipedal jumping rodents found in arid parts of North America. They are highly derived relative to other members of the family Heteromyidae, though they share their jumping habit with the kangaroo mice of the genus Microdipodops to which they may be directly related (Hafner & Hafner 1983).

Characters (from Vaughan et al. 2011): Eyes large; ears small; auditory bullae greatly enlarged. Fur silky. Neck short, cervical vertebrae strongly compressed and partly fused; forelimbs small; tail long. Hindlimbs elongate; thigh musculature powerful; first hind digit sometimes reduced.

<==Dipodomys Gray 1841HH83
    |  i. s.: D. elephantinusJS71
    |         D. ornatus Merriam 1894JS71, MB86 [=D. phillipsii ornatusSBK78]
    |         D. perblandusB74
    |         D. sanctiluciae Crinnell 1919S69
    |         D. sennettiJS71
    |--D. desertiFS15
    `--+--+--D. ordiiFS15
       |  |    |--D. o. ordiiMB86
       |  |    |--D. o. fuscus Setzer 1949MB86
       |  |    |--D. o. idoneus Setzer 1949MB86
       |  |    `--D. o. palmeri (Allen 1881)MB86
       |  `--+--D. nelsoni Merriam 1907FS15, MB86 [=D. spectabilis nelsoniMB86]
       |     `--D. spectabilisFS15
       |          |--D. s. spectabilisMB86
       |          |--D. s. cratodon Merriam 1907MB86
       |          `--D. s. zygomaticusMB86
       `--+--+--D. compactus True 1889FS15, HH83
          |  `--+--+--D. elatorFS15
          |     |  `--D. phillipsiFS15
          |     |       |--D. p. phillipsiG69
          |     |       |--D. p. oaxacaeG69
          |     |       `--D. p. perotensisG69
          |     `--+--D. nitratoidesFS15
          |        |    |--D. n. nitratoidesBP87
          |        |    `--D. n. exilisBP87
          |        `--+--D. merriamiFS15
          |           |    |--D. m. merriamiJS71
          |           |    |--D. m. ambiguusMB86
          |           |    |--D. m. atronasus Merriam 1894MB86
          |           |    `--D. m. frenatusJS71
          |           `--+--D. insularisFS15
          |              `--D. margaritaeFS15
          `--+--D. californicus Merriam 1890FS15, HH83
             `--+--+--D. venustusFS15
                |  `--+--D. agilis Gambel 1848FS15, HH83 (see below for synonymy)
                |     `--D. simulansFS15
                `--+--+--D. gravipesFS15
                   |  `--D. ingensFS15
                   `--+--D. micropsFS15
                      |    |--D. m. micropsHD37
                      |    `--D. m. levipesHD37
                      `--+--D. stephensiFS15
                         `--+--D. heermanniFS15
                            |    |--D. h. heermanniBP87
                            |    `--D. h. morroensisBP87
                            `--D. panamintinusFS15

Dipodomys agilis Gambel 1848FS15, HH83 [incl. D. antiquarius Huey 1962HH83, D. paralius Huey 1951HH83, D. penisularis (Merriam 1907)HH83]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B74] Bugge, J. 1974. The cephalic arterial system in insectivores, primates, rodents and lagomorphs, with special reference to the systematic classification. Acta Anatomica 87 (Suppl 62): 1–160.

[BP87] Burton, J. A., & B. Pearson. 1987. Collins Guide to the Rare Mammals of the World. Collins: London.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[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.

[HH83] Hafner, J. C., & M. S. Hafner. 1983. Evolutionary relationships of heteromyid rodents. In Biology of Desert Rodents. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 7: 3–29.

[HD37] Hall, E. R., & S. D. Durrant. 1937. A new kangaroo mouse (Microdipodops) of Utah and Nevada. Journal of Mammalogy 18 (3): 357–359.

[JS71] Johnson, W. E. & R. K. Selander. 1971. Protein variation and systematics in kangaroo rats (genus Dipodomys). Systematic Zoology 20 (4): 377–405.

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

[SBK78] Schnell, G. D., T. L. Best & M. L. Kennedy. 1978. Interspecific morphologic variation in kangaroo rats (Dipodomys): degree of concordance with genic variation. Systematic Zoology 27 (3): 34–48.

[S69] Steyskal, G. C. 1969. The mistreatment of the Latin genitive case in forming names of parasites. Systematic Zoology 18 (3): 339–342.

Vaughan, T. A., J. M. Ryan & N. J. Czaplewski. 2011. Mammalogy. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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