Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Question of the Week – Pocket Gopher

Posted by romeethredge on January 3, 2014

Last week I showed you a photo of a mound of soil ( I was going to say dirt but my soil science class professor at ABAC said that dirt is what is under your fingernails, what plants grow in is soil). I found numerous mounds near Live Oak Florida and it took me a while to figure out what they are. They had no ants in them , no surface digging around them, no holes in the center like an earthworm leaves, they weren’t shallow uplifted trails like a mole digs.

There were these mounds of sandy soil every few feet. So it’s Pocket Gophers  causing the mounds as they dig their deep tunnels they push soil to the surface every few feet. They are also called Salamanders by some folks. Of course a true salamander looks kind of like a lizard. The name is probably a language deal where they were called “sandy – mounders” and that changed over time to Salamanders. I’d like to know if folks have seen them in Southwest Georgia very commonly.

Here’s some information about it from the UGA Museum of Natural History.

The body is covered in short hair, which is medium to dark brown on the upper parts and brownish gray on the belly. Total length is from 10 – 12 in. The Southeastern Pocket Gopher has a thickset body, stout front legs with large claws, external fur-lined cheek pouches, and a hairless tail.pocket

The Southeastern Pocket Gopher searches for food by digging  burrows. Roots, tubers, stems, and other plant materials that are encountered are stored temporarily in cheek pouches. Once the pouches are full, the gopher empties their contents into chambers excavated especially for food storage. The deepest part of the burrow is a grass-lined nest chamber. The Pocket Gopher is easily detected by the presence of numerous mounds of soil which have been excavated from the burrow system. The Southeastern Pocket Gopher is found in upland areas of dry, sandy soil or well drained, fine-grained gravely soils, where burrows can be easily dug. Pocket12


The Southeastern Pocket Gopher has a very limited distribution. It is found only on the Coastal Plains of Georgia, Alabama, and the northern half of Florida

Now for this week’s question.

During the holidays I went boat riding on the Chattahoochee River just below the Lake Walter F. George aka Lake Eufaula Dam.

I saw these large birds I have never seen before, What are they?




5 Responses to “Question of the Week – Pocket Gopher”

  1. Jimmy Laska said

    Looks like a tasty pelican to me! LOL
    Happy new year Rome! Regards, Jimmy

  2. John mosely said

    White Pelican. They migrate to this area and south in winter.

  3. Kemerait said

    White pelicans

  4. Mace said

    What brought you to Live Oak, Rome? Lots of pocket gophers in this part of the world.

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