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Least Chipmunk Tamias minimus


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Least Chipmunk
credit: Phil Armitage

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Family: Sciuridae, Squirrels view all from this family

Description A very small chipmunk. Distinguished from other southwestern chipmunks by small size, dull color, and lack of gray. Runs with tail held vertically. The subspecies T. m. silvaticus shows coloration typical of many central and northern forms. The subspecies T. m. scrutator from far western United States has gray on the rump, central dorsal stripe, and head. Southwestern forms are paler brown.

Dimensions 185-216mm, 78-113mm, 32-50g

Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Deserts, Forests & woodlands

Range Plains, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Alaska

Discussion Typically flicks tail up and down when perched. Calls short and infrequent. Most abundant in coniferous forests and tundra, also found in woodlands, meadows, scrublands, and sagebrush desert.