RBvole Reed2

Southern Red-backed Vole

Myodes gapperi
Chuck Fergus

The southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi) is a rodent that is 4.7-6.2 inches long, including a 1.2-2-inch tail, and weighs 0.6-1.3 ounces. A reddish band down the back and a pale gray belly distinguish the species. A woods dweller found in much of upland Pennsylvania, the red-backed vole favors cool, damp forests with hemlocks, mossy rocks, stumps, and rotten logs. It also inhabits deciduous and mixed woodlands with mosses and ferns, rocky outcrops, stone walls, reverting fields, and grassy clearings. When traveling, it uses the burrows of moles and shrews and casts about beneath the fallen leaves. It also climbs into low trees. The species breeds from late March through November, nesting in cavities or appropriating abandoned nests of other species. It feeds on nuts, seeds, berries, green vegetation, roots, and fungi.


Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Attn: Mammal Atlas Coordinator
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management