Eastern cottontail

Sylvilagus floridanus


Sylvilagus floridanus (J. A. Allen, 1890), Florida, United States. Thirty-five recognized subspecies.


French: Lapin a queue blanche; German: Florida-Waldkaninchen; Spanish: Conejo castellano.


Body length 15-19 in (40-48 cm); tail 1-2.4 in (2.5-6 cm); weight 1.8-3.3 lb (800-1,500 g). A large cottontail with brown or grayish fur.


From southern Canada through central and eastern United States, Central America, and northern South America.


Widely distributed in many habitats such as woodlands, prairies, farmlands, deserts, and rainforests.


Do not dig burrows, but females dig nests in holes where the young are reared. Males fight one another to establish dominance hierarchies at mating.


Herbs and grasses are preferred during growing season, and woody species during winter.


Promiscuous. Normally three to five litters per year, but could be up to seven. Mean litter size vary geographically from, typically, two to six. Up to 50% of juveniles breed their first year.


Common; not threatened.


Important game species, but could sometimes damage crops and forest plantations. ♦

Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

Pygmy rabbit Brachylagus id

Riverine rabbit Bunolagus monticularis

Hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus English: Assam rabbit; French: Lapin de l'assam; German: Borstenkaninchen; Spanish: Conejo de Assam

Antelope jackrabbit Lepus allenl

Arctic hare Lepus arcticus German: Eishase

Black-tailed jackrabbit Lepus callfornlcus

Slate-gray tipped with brown. Belly Is white, legs, chest, and short, rounded ears are brown. Small; head and body length 11.5 In (29.2 cm).

Black stripe runs from corner of mouth over cheek. Tail is brown and woolly, belly and throat are cream-colored. Tail is pale brown with black tip. Coat is soft and silky, limbs are short and very furry. Head and body length 13-18.5 in (33.7-47 cm), weight of average male 3.3 lb (1.5 kg).

Ears are short and broad, eyes are small, hind legs are short and stout. Pelage is coarse and bristly on outer surface, while being short and fine on undersurface. Color is dark brown above, brownish white underparts. Head and body length 15-20 in (38-50 cm), tail length 0.91.5 in (2.5-3.8 cm), weight 5.5 lb (2,500 g).

Color is pale, sandy. Ears are tipped in black. Head and body length 19-25 in (48.3-63.5 cm), ear length 5.4-6.8 in (13.8-17.3 cm), average weight 6-11 lb (2,720-4,990 g).

White in color, ears tipped in black. Summer pelage coloration varies geographically. Underfur is dense and gray. Adult weight 7-12 lb (3,1754,990 g).

Dense sage brush habitat. Breeding season is from February to May. Shy, active only at night, distinct alarm call, make burrows and nests of their own hair.

Dense riverine scrub along the seasonal rivers in the central Karoo Desert in the Cape Province of South Africa. Breeding season is from August to May. Nocturnal, solitary, and territorial.

Tall grass-scrub savanna, in flat, well-drained and thinly forested country. Breeding season is from January to March. Not gregarious, but sometimes lives in pairs.

Black stripe runs down back of this large animal, black rump patch is present, tail is dorsally black. Head and body length 119-160 in (47-63 cm), ear length 3.9-5.1 in (10-13 cm), weight 2.26.6 lb (1-3 kg).

Southwestern Oregon to east-central California, southwestern Utah, north to southwestern Montana, United States.

South Africa.

Mainly sage brush.

Salty plants, leaves, and flowers.

India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Prefer grassy slopes at moderate elevation, cactus belt, creosote bush desert and valley bottoms. Litter size varies from one to five. Nocturnal.

Mountainous and lowland areas. Nocturnal, generally solitary, but groups may range from 100 to 300 individuals. Breeding season from mid-April to September.

Desert scrubland, prairies, farmlands, dunes, and moors. Do not dig burrows, but lie in shallow dug-outs. Breeding season from December through September. Mainly nocturnal.

Lower Risk/Near Threatened


Bark, shoots, and roots of grasses.


South-central Arizona, United States, to northern Nayarit and Tiburon Island, Mexico.

Tundra of Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Mackenzie Delta of the Northwest Territories, Arctic Islands, and in Greenland from sea level to 2,950 ft (900 m).

Hidalgo and southern Queretaro to northern Sonora and Baja California, Mexico, north to southwestern Oregon and central Washington, southern Idaho, eastern Colorado, southern South Dakota, western Missouri, and northwestern Arkansas, United States.

Fresh grass, mesquite, and cacti.

Woody plants, including mosses, lichens, buds, berries, blooms, leaves, saxifrages, cinquefoils, campoins, sedges, seaweed, bark, willow twigs and roots, and crowberry.

Grasses, herbaceous matter, and young bark of woody plants.

Not threatened

Not threatened

Not threatened


Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

White-sided jackrabbit Lepus callotis

Sumatran rabbit Nesolagus netscheri French: Lapin de Sumatra; Spanish: Conejo de Sumatra

Amami rabbit Pentalagus furnessi English: Ryukyu rabbit

Swamp or water rabbit Sylvilagus aquaticus

Mountain cottontail Sylvilagus nuttallii

High plateaus at high elevations, including the grassy plains. Breeding season from mid-April to mid-August. Usually occurs in pairs and at night.

Southern New Mexico to northwestern and central Mexico.

Mainly grasses.

Highlands of the Barisan Stalks and leaves of range in southwestern understory plants. Sumatra.

Pelage is short, coarse, pale ochraceous-cinnamon in color, mixed heavily with black. Underparts, rump, and thighs are white and lined with a few black hairs. Head is cream buff color mixed with black, whitish areas around eyes. Ears are tipped in white. Winter pelage is mostly gray with underparts being dark gray-buff and white. Head and body length 17-23.5 in (43.2-59.8 cm), tail length 1.8-3.6 in (4.7-;9.2 cm), weight 4.4-6.6 lb (2-3 kg).

Base color of buffy gray, striking brown stripes, mid-dorsal stripe from shoulders to rump. Rump and tail are bright red, underparts are white. Head and body length 13.5-15.8 in (35-40 cm), tail length 0.6 in (1.5 cm).

Fur is woolly, dense, dark brown on back in color, reddish brown on the sides. Underparts are light reddish brown. Head and body length 16-20 in (43-51 cm), tail length 0.6 in (1.5 cm), weight 4.46.6 lb (2-3 kg).

Pelage is brown on top with some white underneath. Ears are medium in size, females and males are about the same size. Hair is short and thin. Ear length 2.6 in (6.6 cm), weight 2.2-4.4 lb (1-2 kg).

Grayish brown, underbelly is white. Hind Brushy or wooded areas on Western part of the Mainly grasses.

Lower Risk/Near Threatened

Forests at 1,950-4,600 ft (600-1,400 m). Nocturnal. Nothing known of reproductive patterns.

Dense old-growth forests on the two islands. Mate in November or December, two or three young per litter. Nocturnal, digs burrows.

Swamp and lowland areas close to water. Solitary. Year-round breeding season.

Amami Oshima and Tokuno-shima: small islands in Ryukyu Archipelgo, southern Japan.

South-central United States.

A variety of different plants and fruits.

Critically Endangered


Marsh and swamp plants. Not threatened

Not threatened legs are reddish brown. Ears are short, rounded, and tipped in black. Head and body length 13.7-15 in (35-39 cm), weight 1.5-2.6 lb (0.7-1.2 kg).

slopes or riverbanks that are United States. often covered with grasses, willows, and most importantly, sagebrush. Breeding season from March to July. Solitary. Active all year long.

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