Pappogeomys bulleri alcorni (Russell, 1957)

Alcorn's pocket gopher



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Etymology: "The name alcorni is proposed as a token of appreciation to Joseph Raymond Alcorn, whose collecting has greatly enriched our knowledge of the mammals of México" (Russell, 1957:361)

Synonym/s: Pappogeomys alcorni Russell, 1957 (basionym)


Taxonomic history

Originally described as Pappogeomys alcorni by (Russell, 1957), and retained as a full species by (Russell, 1968:616; Genoways & Jones, 1969:751), it was reduced to a subspecies of P. bulleri by (Demastes et al., 2003:759).


Conservation Status

Missing (Hafner et al., 2009; Fisher & Blomberg, 2012; Lee et al., 2017)

Last record: 1998 (Fisher & Blomberg, 2012; Castro-Arellano et al., 2016; Lee et al., 2017)

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


This subspecies was found to be abundant in 1997-1998 (Castro-Arellano et al., 2016), yet has reportedly not been seen since 1998 (Castro-Arellano et al., 2016; Lee et al., 2017), was not found by (Demastes et al., 2002, 2003), and is considered missing by (Hafner et al., 2009; Lee et al., 2017).



immediate vicinity (within 9.6 km) Mazamitla, La Sierra del Tigre, Jalisco State (south), México (Demastes et al., 2003:753)

Type locality: "4 mi. W Mazamitla, 6600ft., Jalisco, México" (Russell, 1957:359) / "MEXICO: Jalisco, 4 mi (6 km) W Mazamitla, 6,600 ft (2,013 m)" (Demastes et al., 2003:759)


Biology & Ecology

A louse species, Geomydoecus alcorni, has only been recorded from Pappogeomys bulleri alcorni (Price & Emerson, 1971; Emerson & Price, 1981; Price & Emerson, 1989; Hellenthal & Price, 1991; Price et al., 2003; Demastes et al., 2012), and therefore may have gone co-extinct. Sánchez-Montes et al. (2018) list a host record for Pappogeomys bulleri albinasus, which would prevent the louse from being host-specific, but they cite (Demastes et al., 2012) as the basis of the record which does not actually contain such a record. Given that the only known host represents an isolated population from other P. bulleri ssp. (fide Demastes et al., 2003), this lends some support to the supposition that G. alcorni is host-specific, though this is clearly far from conclusive given the relative lack of work into parasites in general.



Three type specimens (holotype, 2 paratypes) are housed in the University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History (Russell, 1957; Demastes et al., 2003). One further specimen was collected in 1966, and is housed in the Colección Nacional de Mamíferos at Universidad Nacional Autoínoma de México, Instituto de Biología (Demastes et al., 2003:753).


Holotype: KUM-39806 / KU 39806 (adult female, skull and skin) (Russell, 1957:359; Genoways & Jones, 1969:751; Demastes et al., 2003:759; Mueller et al., 2020:35)

Notes: "October 18, 1950; obtained by J. R. Alcorn, original number 12835" (Russell, 1957:359)

Type locality: "4 mi. W Mazamitla, 6600ft., Jalisco, México" (Russell, 1957:359) / "MEXICO: Jalisco, 4 mi (6 km) W Mazamitla, 6,600 ft (2,013 m)" (Demastes et al., 2003:759)


Paratype: KUM-39805 / KU 39805 (adult female, skull and skin) (Russell, 1957:360 [no accession no. given]; Genoways & Jones, 1969:751; Demastes et al., 2003:759)

Locality data: " Jalisco, 4 mi (6 km) W Mazamitla" (Russell, 1957:360; Demastes et al., 2003:759)


Paratype: KU 61328 (skin only) (Russell, 1957:360 [no accession no. given]; Demastes et al., 2003:759)

Notes: Genoways & Jones (1969:751) omit this specimen, clearly in error.

Locality data: "3 mi (5 km) WSW Mazamitla (Sierra del Tigre)" (Russell, 1957:360; Demastes et al., 2003:759)


Non-type specimen:


CNMA 26219 (skin only); housed in the Colección Nacional de Mamíferos at Universidad Nacional Autoínoma de México, Instituto de Biología

Notes: "This specimen was collected in 1966" (Demastes et al., 2003:753)

Locality data: "6 mi (10 km) S Mazamitla, 6,200 ft (1,891 m)" (Demastes et al., 2003:759)






Original scientific description:

Russell, Robert J. (1957). A new species of pocket gopher (genus Pappogeomys) from Jalisco, Mexico. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History 9(11): 357-361.


Other references:

Castro-Arellano, I., Vázquez, E., Cuarón, A. and Álvarez, S. (2016). Pappogeomys bulleri ssp. alcorni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16023A101244395. Downloaded on 03 October 2016.

Demastes, James W., Butt, Andrea L., Hafner, Mark S. and Light, Jessica E. (2003). Systematics of a rare species of pocket gopher, Pappogeomys alcorni. Journal of Mammalogy 84(2): 753-761.

Demastes, James W., Spradling, T. A., Hafner, M. S., Hafner, D. J. and Reed, D. L. (2002). Systematics and Phylogeography of Pocket Gophers in the Genera Cratogeomys and Pappogeomys. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22(1): 144-154.

Demastes, James W., Spradling, T.  A., Hafner, M. S., Spies, G. R., Hafner, D. J. and Light, J. E. (2012). Cophylogeny on a fine scale: Geomydoecus chewing lice and their pocket gopher hosts, Pappogeomys bulleri. Journal of Parasitology 98(2): 262-270.

Emerson, K. C. and Price, R. D. (1981). A host-parasite list of the Mallophaga on mammals. Miscellaneous Publications of the Entomological Society of America 12(1): 1-72.

Fisher, Diana O. and Blomberg, Simon P. (2012). Inferring Extinction of Mammals from Sighting Records, Threats, and Biological Traits. Conservation Biology 26(1): 57-67.

Genoways, H. H. and Jones Jr, J. K. (1969). Notes on pocket gophers from Jalisco, Mexico, with descriptions of two new subspecies. Journal of Mammalogy 50(4): 748-755.

Hafner, M. S., Hafner, D. J., Demastes, J. W., Hasty, G. L., Light, J. E. and Spradling, T.  A. (2009). Evolutionary relationships of pocket gophers of the genus Pappogeomys (Rodentia: Geomyidae). Journal of Mammalogy 90(1): 47-56.

Hall, E. R. (1981). The mammals of North America. 2nd ed. Blackburn Press, Caldwell, New Jersey (reprinted 2001) 1: 1-600 + 90.

Hellenthal, R. A. and Price, R. D. (1991). Biosystematics of the chewing lice of pocket gophers. Annual Review of Entomology 36: 185-203. [pp. 192-193]

Lee, T. E., Fisher, D. O., Blomberg, S. P. and Wintle, B. A. (2017). Extinct or still out there? Disentangling influences on extinction and rediscovery helps to clarify the fate of species on the edge. Global Change Biology 23(2): 621-634.

Mueller, Bill D., Cokendolpher, James C. and Enríquez C., Tamara. (2020). Biological Type Specimens in the Collections of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA; with a History of these Collections at the Museum of Texas Tech University. Special Publications of the Museum of Texas Tech University 74: 1-83.

Patton, J. L. (2005). Family Geomyidae. In: D.E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds.). Mammal Species of the World, pp. 859-871. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Price, R. D. and Emerson, K. C. (1971). A revision of the genus Geomydoecus (Mallophaga: Trichodectidae) of the New World pocket gophers (Rodentia: Geomyidae). Journal of Medical Entomology 8: 228-257.

Price, R. D. and Emerson, K. C. (1989). Geomydoecus (Mallophaga: Trichodectidae) from Pappogeomys and Zygogeomys pocket gophers (Rodentia: Geomyidae) in Central America. Journal of Medical Entomology 26: 385-401.

Price, R. D., Hellenthal, R. A. and Palma, R. L. (2003). World checklist of chewing lice with host associations and keys to families and genera. The chewing lice: world checklist and biological overview. Illinois Natural History Survey Special Publication, 24: 1-448.

Russell, R. J. (1968). Revision of pocket gophers of the genus Pappogeomys. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History 16: 581-776.

Sánchez-Montes, Sokani, Colunga-Salas, Pablo, Álvarez-Castillo, Lucía, Guzmán-Cornejo, Carmen and Montiel-Parra, Griselda. (2018). Chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) associated with vertebrates in Mexico. Zootaxa 4372(1): 1-109.

Soler-Frost, A., Medellín, R. A. and Cameron, G. N. (2003). Pappogeomys bulleri. Mammalian Species 717: 1-3, 3 figs.


<< Back to the Rodents database