Rio Grande Ground Squirrel
Ictidomys parvidens
The Rio Grande Ground Squirrel (Ictidomys parvidens was formerly known as Mexican Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus mexicanus). All the species of Ictidomys were previously believed to belong to the much larger genus Spermophilus (I. parvidens as a subspecies of Spermophilus mexicanus), but DNA sequencing of the cytochrome b gene showed that this group was paraphyletic to the prairie dogs and marmots, and could therefore no longer be retained as a single genus. As a result, Ictidomys is now considered as a genus in its own right. The animal now known as Mexican Ground Squirrel (Ictidomys mexicanus) is only found in areas of north central Mexico.

Rio Grande Ground Squirrel is a rodent native to parts of the southern Great Plains and the Chihuahuan Desert. It can be quite common in many areas of Texas and northern Mexico where it may often be found in parks, golf courses, and many other habitats. The images on this page were taken near McCook, Hidalgo Co., Texas on a private ranch. I spent a great deal of time on this ranch during the spring of 2006. At one particular photo blind set up for bird photography, a pair of Rio Grande Ground Squirrels visited me often. These shots were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 500mm F/4 L IS lens.
The shot shown here and the next were taken in Starr Co., Texas, in May, 2007, with the same gear as the shots previously shown.