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Additional records of the plains harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys montanus) from the Edwards Plateau, Texas.

The plains harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys montanus) reaches distributional limits in Texas along the southeastern portion of the Edwards Plateau and in eastern Texas (Schmidly, 1983). Apparently, R. montanus prefers prairie habitats with dense stands of weeds and grasses.

During fieldwork on the Edwards Plateau on 21 February 1993, we trapped a female R. montanus (TTU 63027) along a grassy fencerow adjacent to mesquite pastureland 7.5 mi. N, 10 mi. W London, in Menard County, Texas. Vegetation in this small valley consisted of Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), prickly pear (Opuntia sp.), live oak (Quercus virginiana), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). The only other mammals collected at this locality were four Sigmodon hispidus.

Five additional specimens of R. montanus from the Edwards Plateau were found in the Collection of Recent Mammals, The Museum, Texas Tech University. Four of these mice (TTU 43919, 43920, 43921, 43922) were taken in Schleicher County, 3 mi. S Eldorado on 17 March 1986; and one (TTU 59294) was collected in Nolan County, 7 mi. S, 4 mi. E Sweetwater on 2 February 1991. Field notes from J. Knox Jones, Jr., include a description of the Schleicher County locality as a fencerow bordering a plowed field and mesquite pasture. Vegetative cover was described as "grassy and weedy". In these respects, the Schleicher County locality resembles the Menard County location approximately 55 miles to the east. Another R. montanus specimen of interest was discovered in the Midwestern State University Collection of Recent Mammals (MWSU 9254). This harvest mouse was taken from 10 mi. WSW Brady, McCulloch County.

These specimens represent the first reported occurrences of the plains harvest mouse from McCulloch, Menard, Nolan, and Schleicher counties, Texas. Additional records of R. montanus from Coke County (Simpson and Maxwell, 1989) and Tom Green County (Davis, 1974) help to fill a distributional gap for the species on the Edwards Plateau as reported by McAllister and Earle (1991).

Although plains harvest mice are trapped rarely on the Edwards Plateau and in the Big Bend area of western Texas, they have been reported from several scattered localities (Davis, 1974; Jones, et al., 1993). Thus, habitats for R. montanus may be patchy, as proposed by McAllister and Earle (1991). Collecting efforts have only rarely been published for this large region and further collecting in suitable habitats may result in additional information on distribution and ecology of the species.

We thank Fred Stangl for access to the Collection of Recent Mammals at Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas and Clyde Jones for assistance with the manuscript. We are grateful to Robert C. Dowler and Terry C. Maxwell for providing additional records of the plains harvest mouse and for critically reviewing the manuscript.

LITERATURE CITED

Davis, W. B. 1974. The mammals of Texas. Bull. Texas Parks Wildlife Dept., 41:1-294.

Jones, J. K., Jr., R. W. Manning, F. D. Yancey, II, and C. Jones. 1993. Records of five species of small mammals from western Texas. Texas J. Sci., 45:104-105.

McAllister, C. T., and B. D. Earle. 1991. The plains harvest mouse, Reithrodontomys montanus, in Kimble County, Texas. Texas J. Sci., 43:339-340.

Schmidly, D. J. 1983. Texas mammals east of the Balcones Fault Zone. Texas A & M Univ. Press, College Station, xviii + 400 pp.

Simpson, L. A., and T. C. Maxwell. 1989. The mammal fauna of Coke County, Texas. Texas J. Sci., 41:177-192.

JIM R. GOETZE, FRANKLIN D. YANCEY, II, AND A. MICHELLE WALLACE

The Museum and Department of Biological Sciences Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409
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Title Annotation:GENERAL NOTES
Author:Goetze, Jim R.; Yancey, Franklin D., II; Wallace, A. Michelle
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U7TX
Date:Nov 1, 1993
Words:582
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