Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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Cottontail rabbits are found in a variety of habitats, frequently fields, farms and woodlands, throughout Florida except for the keys. The range extends throughout much of eastern and central North America, Mexico, Central America, Columbia and Venezuela. Although not native to Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, they have established populations there.
The fur is grayish-brown mixed with black hairs and a rusty wash on the nape and a white belly. Slightly larger than marsh rabbits, cottontails are 43 cm (17 in.) long. They have a white eye ring and a tail that is white on the underside, displaying the 'cottontail' while bounding away. Ears are up to 6.35 cm (2-1/2 in.) long with a thin black area along the upper edges.
Of the many subspecies of cottontails, at least four are currently recognized as occurring in Florida; Sylvilagus fioridanus fioridanus, S. f. mallurus, S. f. ammophilus and S. f. paulsoni. S.f. floridanus occurs in much of the central and southern peninsula as far north as St. Augustine on the east coast and Levy County on the west coast, usually where the elevation is below 100 feet. S. f. mallurus is found in north Florida and the panhandle, with the range extending south as far as Polk County. S. f. ammophilus is limited to the barrier islands of east Florida in the vicinity of Sebastian Inlet. S. f. paulsoni occurs in the pinelands east of the Everglades in south Florida and as far north as Martin County.
The rabbit pictured here was at Lyonia Preserve in Deltona, and based on the location I would guess is Sylvilagus floridanus floridanus.
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
US Forest Service information about cottontails
Date record last modified:
Apr 03, 2012