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Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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White-tailed deer can be found throughout Florida. The range extends through the Americas from Canada to Peru.
The coloration of white-tailed deer varies by both individuals and seasonal molts, with the coats being lighter and thinner in the warmer months, but is typically various shades of brown ranging from tawny, to cinnamon and almost black. Fawns are spotted, providing additional camouflage until about the time they are weened. The inside of the ears, throat, belly, rump and the underside of the tail are white. When danger is sensed, the tail is held upright, exposing the white rump and underside of the tail and providing a silent alert to other deer. This action is also used by does to provide a beacon for her fawns to follow in dimly lit woods.
There are 14 subspecies of Odocoileus virginianus, with three found in Florida. The Florida whitetail - O. virginianus seminolus - is the largest subspecies in the state and is found throughout the peninsula. Florida coastal whitetail - O. virginianus osceola - is found in the Florida panhandle, southern Alabama, and Mississippi and is slightly smaller than seminolus. The smallest whitetail in Florida and of all subspecies is the Key Deer - Odocoileus virginianus var. clavium an endangered species that lives only a a few of the Florida keys..
Recent DNA analysis suggests that differences in many of the subspecies is mainly due to habitat variations and that there are actually fewer actual subspecies. The key deer however is unquestionably a distinct subspecies.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
University of Florida IFAS EDIS page for this species
Date record last modified:
Nov 06, 2014