150 Southern Pouched Rat, Dekay's Shrew
PSEUDOSTOMA FLORIDANA.--AUD. and BACH. [Geomys pinetis] SOUTHERN POUCHED RAT. [Southeastern Pocket Gopher] PLATE CL. FIG. I.--OLD MALE. Unica per longitudinem stria in dentibus qui secant superioribus; corpora P. bursario paullo exiguiore et minus robur prodente; sacculis genarum minoribus; palmis multo angustioribus; cauda longiore; pilis crassioribus. Colore, supra subrufo-fusco, infra cinereo. CHARACTERS. A single longitudinal groove in the upper incisors; body, rather smaller and less stout in form than P. bursarius; cheek-pouches, smaller; palms, much narrower; tail, longer; hair, coarser. Colour, above, brownish-yellow, beneath, gray. DESCRIPTION. The body of this species is a little smaller and more slender and elongated than that of P. bursarius; head, small; nose, long, and not so blunt as in that animal. The fore-foot (or hand) has the palm narrow, and less tuberculated beneath than in P. bursarius; nails, narrower, a little longer, and much less arched than in that species; and the cheek-pouches are smaller. Tail, long (double the length of tail of P. bursarius), and has a little tuft of hair around the base; the rest of it, however, is naked. Feet, naked, instead of clothed with hair as in that animal. In the upper jaw the incisors are of moderate size, narrow, with a single groove in the centre, and no groove on the inner edges, as in P. bursarius. Septum, naked, with the nostrils entering in at the sides, immediately at the roots of the incisors; whiskers, rising from the sides of the nose, short, thin, and sparse; eyes, small, placed near each other in the head; the ears exhibit a slight margin around the auditory opening; they are placed far back, and not distant from each other; toes, five on each foot; on the fore-feet the middle toe with the nail is much the longest; the inner posterior toe is the smallest; there are a few short rigid hairs on the inner edge of the palm, but the foot may be described as naked; on the hind-foot, the claws, which are a little longer than those of P. bursarius, are hooked, and channelled beneath; the hind-feet, to above the tarsus, are naked. The hairs on the body are short, the coat not being half the length of the hairs of P. bursarius, and feeling much coarser and more rigid than in that species, especially on the under surface; the cheek-pouches are somewhat differently situated from those of P. bursarius: whilst in the latter species the upper edge is more than half an inch below the base of the superior incisors, the cheek-pouches in the present species open immediately into the mouth, the upper edge reaching them, so that while in P. bursarius the food has to be taken from the pouches and conveyed round to the mouth, the present species is able, by the peculiar form and situation of the opening of its pouch, to shove the food from the pouch immediately into the mouth. The pouches are, internally, sparsely covered with short hairs. COLOUR. Hair on the back, plumbeous from the roots for three fourths of its length, then yellowish, tipped with black; on the belly, the hairs are cinereous at base, and dirty yellow at the tips; under the throat, they are of a uniform ashy white. Whiskers, white, with a few (shorter ones) dark brown; teeth, pale orange; claws, light yellow, those on the hind-feet dark brown at the points; feet and tail, flesh colour. The result of the colouring of the hairs just mentioned is--back, brownish-yellow; nose and forehead, brown; under surface from the chest to the thighs, bluish-gray; throat, ashy white. DIMENSIONS. Inches. From point of nose to root of tail,. . . . . 8 3/4 Tail,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Longest middle claw,. . . . . . . . . . 3/4 Palm, including claw, . . . . . . . . . 1 5/8 Breadth of head between the eyes, . . . . . 5/8 Breadth of head between ears,. . . . . . . 1 1/8 HABITS. The Southern Pouched Rat is very similar to the Canada Pouched Rat in its habits and manner of living, the chief differences in these respects between the former and the Pseudostoma bursaria being the natural result of different climate and situation. This species is very remarkable for the apparently definite line of country it occupies, for, as far as we have been able to ascertain, although found in many places up to the southwestern bank of the Savannah river in Georgia, not one has ever been seen in South Carolina, or east of that river. This is the more singular as the wide range of the other species of this genus would lead us to suppose it not at all likely to be restricted by any fresh-water river, and indeed we can conceive no reason why it should not reach even to North Carolina and portions of Virginia, where sandy soils and dry pine lands similar to those it most frequents in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, are widely extended. Strangely enough, the common name applied to this animal where it is found is "Salamander." The Southern Pouched Rat does not, like the Pseudostoma bursarius, remain under ground during the winter months, in a most probably dormant state, but continues its diggings throughout the year, and devours quantities of roots and grasses. It has hitherto been more frequently found living in the woods than near cultivated fields and plantations, but as the country becomes more settled will doubtless prove as great a pest in the gardens as its more northern relative, for an account of which see our first volume, pp. 332-339. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. This species is found in the high pine barren regions, from the middle of Georgia and Alabama to the southern point of Florida, as far as the elevated portions of that State extend south. We received two specimens from Major LOGAN in Dallas county, Alabama, several from Ebenezer, about twenty-five miles above Savannah in Georgia, and a number from the vicinity of Saint Augustine in East Florida. We have not been able satisfactorily to ascertain its western range. We believe, however, it is not found west of the Mississippi. It is somewhat singular that this species is found on the very banks of the Savannah river, on the western side, and that notwithstanding, no traces of it have ever been seen east of that river, nor indeed in any portion of South Carolina, although there are extensive regions of high pine lands in that State which appear to be well suited to its habits. GENERAL REMARKS. It is highly probable that this is the species referred to by RAFFINESQUE and others as the Georgia Hamster; inasmuch, however, as it was probably never seen by RAFFINESQUE, and he most likely formed his new genus Geomys from figures representing the cheek-pouches as rising within the mouth, and hanging like sacs under the throat, we have thought it as well to decline adopting his genus thus founded in error, and to omit quoting him in any part of our work as an authority.
SOREX DEKAYI.--BACH. [Sorex fumeas] DEKAY'S SHREW. [Smokey Shrew] PLATE CL. FIG. 2.--YOUNG MALE. Magnitudine Arvicolae Pennsylvanicae; colore supra ferrugineo, ex cinereo et flavo variegato, infra cinereo; cauda brevi atque cylindracea. CHARACTERS. Size of Arvicola Pennsylvanica; rusty yellow gray colour above, cinereous beneath; tail, short and cylindrical. SYNONYMES. SOREX DEKAYI. Bachman, Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci., vol. vii., part 2, p. 377, pl. 23, fig. 4. SOREX DEKAYI. DeKay, Nat. Hist. of New York, p. 17, pl. 5, fig. 2. DESCRIPTION. 2 5-5 4-4 Dental Formula.--Incisive -; Canine ---; Molar --- = 32. 2 2-2 3-3 The two upper incisors are much curved, and pointed at tips; the lateral incisors are each crowned with two tubercles except the fifth, which is smooth; each grinder, on the upper surface, is furnished with four sharp points; in the lower jaw the incisors are also much curved; the first canine tooth is smaller than the second, and the molars are similar to those of the upper jaw. The body bears a resemblance to that of the shrew mole in shape. Head, rather short; nose, distinctly bilobate; nostrils, on the sides; the eye is a mere speck; there are no external ears; whiskers, the length of the head; the feet are more robust than those of any American Shrew we have examined, and are haired on the soles; feet, clothed with short fine hairs; the tail in the dry specimen is square, examined in the flesh is rounded, slightly dilated in the middle, and covered with short hair; hind-foot, three middle nails nearly equal, outer toe a little longer than the inner, which latter is the shortest. COLOUR. Nose, feet, and nails, reddish-brown; upper surface of body, rusty yellow gray; a shade lighter on the under surface; whiskers, for half the length from their roots cinereous, whitish at the tips; incisors, black. DIMENSIONS. Female, captured in the garden at Minniesland near New York. Inches. From point of nose to root of tail, . . . . 4 1/2 Tail (vertebrae), . . . . . . . . . . 1 Tail (to end of hair),. . . . . . . . . 1 1/10 From heel to point of longest nail, . . . . 5/8 Breadth of fore-foot, . . . . . . . . . 1/4 Male, one eighth of an inch longer than the female. HABITS. We have always found it difficult to obtain satisfactory information as to the habits of the smaller quadrupeds, from the fact that many of our farmers and their men are unacquainted with the generic and even specific names, and consequently often mistake the habits of some genus or species for those of a very distinct one. The various species belonging to the genera Scalops, Condylura, and Sorex, are in most cases called (and considered to be) "ground moles," and thus are represented as all possessing the same habits. The gardener who caught for us the two specimens above described, said they were ground moles. On showing him that they were smaller, and had very different feet from those of any animal belonging to the genus Scalops, he said "they were only young ones, that their feet would become large by next year." On asking him about their nests, he said they were not old enough as yet to have young. When we requested him to show us their holes he first directed us to the ridges made in the soil by the ground mole. After a careful examination, however, we ascertained that DEKAY's Shrew burrows deeper in the earth than Scalops aquaticus. The galleries of S. DeKayi run along at the depth of about a foot from the surface, and have apertures leading up to the open air at short distances from each other, by which the animals have ingress or egress. Ground moles seek worms and insects in the earth, whereas the Shrews come abroad on the surface, and run over the ground at night in quest of food, a habit in which the mole does not appear to indulge. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. We received specimens of this small animal from Mr. COOPER, who obtained them in New Jersey; also one from Albany. We were present when two were captured near New York, and have heard of its existence in New England, Maryland, and Virginia. GENERAL REMARKS. We have seen specimens of DEKAY's Shrew which exhibited a dark slaty gray appearance on the back and sides, and differed materially in colour from those from which we described. This we attributed to the dark gray ones having been killed in the autumn or towards the approach of winter. Dr. DEKAY seems to have described a specimen with this slaty coloured fur; he gives its colour as "dark bluish throughout."