Skip to main content

Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Florida 4-H Forest Ecology

Pocket Gopher

Geomys pinetis

Photo credit: Gabriel Miller

Pocket gophers are sometimes called "salamanders," but they are not amphibians. These industrious, small rodents use their claws and teeth to dig tunnels up to 500 feet long. They aslo make sandy mounds with the diggings. Thus these "sandy mounders" have been nicked named "salamanders."

Their common name "pocket gophers" refers to large cheek "pockets" that are used to carry food and nesting material. Pocket gophers build their underground homes in soils that are sandy and dry, and thus easier to dig in - like sandhills and sand pine scrub. They eat roots and tubers, and are the favorite food of the Florida pine snake.

Learn More