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Old 05-30-2011, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Oro Valley, yeah....we are residents here now....
190 posts, read 255,331 times
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Default What are in those holes in the ground?

Anyone know where I can find a resource to try to identify the insect/spider/animal that make those holes/burrows/mounds? I have been curious, when I walk my dogs they love to try to go check out those holes and I have to keep them away. But, I want to know what holes are more important to keep them away from and which are really harmless.

Thanks
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Old 05-30-2011, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
7,841 posts, read 15,400,315 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_ View Post
Anyone know where I can find a resource to try to identify the insect/spider/animal that make those holes/burrows/mounds? I have been curious, when I walk my dogs they love to try to go check out those holes and I have to keep them away. But, I want to know what holes are more important to keep them away from and which are really harmless.

Thanks
My guess, Mike . . . Ground Squirrels.

Very interesting and "fun to watch" if you are around without the dogs.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Green Valley, AZ
351 posts, read 405,272 times
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Lot's of animals burrow in the desert. Larger burrows can be dug out by desert turtles, lizards, snakes, jack rabbits, and other desert rodents (including ground squirrels). Even certain owl species are burrowing. Look around the burrow for tracks of whatever critter might be in there. I don't think there are any decent resources out there.

Most scorpions won't dig their own burrows. There are a few exceptions, but they typically hide underneath rocks and brush. They can be opportunistic however, and will happily take over a vacant burrow.

I'd say that your dogs are likely to be more interested in sniffing out a rabbit or rodent burrow. But just because the hole was created by a rodent doesn't mean that it's not inhabited by a snake now. I'd say being wary of burrows with your pets is a good thing in the desert.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:42 AM
 
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Can you be more specific? Where are they located, near trees, bushes, rocks? I know there are palo verde beetles which live underneath the palo verde tree. They dig holes that are relatively small about 1 1/2" wide. I don't think they come out this early though.
Maybe it's a rabbit hole or a hole made by a gopher.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:45 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
354 posts, read 558,473 times
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I agree, it sounds like those little ground squirrels. They have been very active this spring and shouldn't pose any issues for your dogs that might want to chase and try to dig them out.

Beware though, rattlesnakes may be about hunting them depending on the time of day and (ground temperature).

Yahoo! Image Search Results for arizona round tailed ground squirrel
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:06 AM
 
Location: Green Valley, AZ
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I'm south of Tucson (Green Valley), and there are holes all over the desert here. Ground squirrels are not common at all where I live. I only see them occasionally in a park near my neighborhood. I think it's a bit too dry here for them here. I do see lots of rabbits though. There are also plenty of lizards, snakes, scorpions, and spiders. I've seen some pretty big knarly spider lairs out in undisturbed rocky areas. I'm guessing they are tarantula lairs.

Looking at Mike's profile, it looks like he's in Oro Valley. I used to live up there on N. Northern Ave. There are a LOT of rabbits up there. I'm not sure how the desert sustains so may rabbits, but they are everywhere. I'm pretty sure his dogs are checking out the rabbit holes.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Kingman - Anaconda
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Believe you maybe are referring to Wolf Spiders they create a funnel while they wait at the bottom. The bugs stroll by fall in and can not escape thus right onto the dinner plate.

But sounds more like a prairie dog town area. gophers would be next thought like posted above.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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In AZ city they are all over . I do not let me dog look as he could get it by a snake.

There are a lot of prarie dogs and rabbits out here. Also rattlers!
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
533 posts, read 482,490 times
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There's too many critters that can hurt you that might be in those holes. Bottom line, if you wouldn't stick your hand in it, don't let your dog stick his nose in it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Oro Valley, yeah....we are residents here now....
190 posts, read 255,331 times
Reputation: 164
I don't let them investigate if I can avoid it. But, keeping track of 2 chihuahuas can sometimes be a challenge. Looking at the link above some of the holes are in fact likely by the ground squirels. One of the ones that I am curious about is a sand hill where the interior is like a funnel. I thought initially it was some type of ant hill but, don't see any ants. Perhaps I will take a picture next time I am out walking them.
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