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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Lagomorpha
Familia: Ochotonidae
Genus: Ochotona
Species: O. alpina - O. argentata - O. cansus - O. collaris - O. curzoniae - O. dauurica - O. erythrotis - O. forresti - O. gaoligongensis - O. gloveri - O. himalayana - O. hoffmanni - O. huangensis - O. hyperborea - O. iliensis - O. koslowi - O. ladacensis - O. macrotis - O. muliensis - O. nigritia - O. nubrica - O. pallasi - O. princeps - O. pusilla - O. roylei - O. rufescens - O. rutila - O. thibetana - O. thomasi - O. turuchanensis - †O. horaceki - †O. lazari - †O. polonica - †O. zabiensis


Ochotona (Link, 1795)

Vernacular names
English: Pikas
Svenska: Pipharar


* Ochotona on Mammal Species of the World.
Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder

The pika ( archaically spelled pica) is a small mammal, with short limbs, rounded ears, and short tail. The name pika is used for any member of the Ochotonidae, a family within the order of lagomorphs, which also includes the Leporidae (rabbits and hares). One genus, Ochotona, is recognised within the family, and it includes 30 species. It is also known as the "whistling hare" due to its high-pitched alarm call when diving into its burrow. The name "pika" appears to be derived from the Tungus piika.


Pikas are native to cold climates, mostly in Asia, North America and parts of eastern Europe. Most species live on rocky mountain sides, where there are numerous crevices to shelter in, although some also construct crude burrows. A few burrowing species are instead native to open steppe land. In the mountains of Eurasia, pikas often share their burrows with snowfinches, which build their nests there.[3]
Ochotona sp. fossils

Pikas are small mammals, with short limbs, rounded ears, and short tails. They are about 6-9 in. in body length, with a tail less than 2 cm long, and weigh between 120 and 350 grams, depending on species. Like rabbits, after eating they initially produce soft green feces, which they eat again to extract further nutrition, before producing the final, solid, fecal pellets.

These animals are herbivores, and feed on a wide variety of plant matter. Because of their native habitat, they primarily eat grasses, sedges, shrub twigs, moss, and lichen. As with other lagomorphs, pikas have gnawing incisors and no canines, although they have fewer molars than rabbits, giving them a dental formula of: Upper:, lower:

Rock-dwelling pikas have small litters of fewer than five young, while the burrowing species tend to give birth to more young, and to breed more frequently, possibly due to a greater availability of resources in their native habitats. The young are born after a gestation period of between 25 and 30 days.[3]
Vegetation pile, drying on rocks for subsequent storage. Gad Valley, Snowbird Ski Resort, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
American pika with mouthful of dried grass. Sequoia National Park, CA

Pikas are diurnal or crepuscular, with higher altitude species generally being more active during the daytime. They show their peak activity before the winter season. Pikas do not hibernate, so they rely on collected hay for warm bedding and food. Pikas gather fresh grasses and lay them in stacks to dry. Once the grasses dry out, the pikas take this hay back to the burrows for storage. It is not uncommon for pikas to steal hay from others; the resulting disputes are usually exploited by neighboring predators like ferrets and large birds.

Eurasian pikas commonly live in family groups and share duties of gathering food and keeping watch. At least some species are territorial. North American pikas (O. princeps and O. collaris) are asocial, leading solitary lives outside the breeding season.

There are 30 species listed.

Order Lagomorpha[1]
Family Ochotonidae: pikas
Genus Ochotona
Subgenus Pika: northern pikas
Alpine Pika/Altai Pika, Ochotona alpina
Silver Pika, Ochotona argentata
Collared Pika, Ochotona collaris
Hoffmann's Pika, Ochotona hoffmanni
Northern Pika/Siberian Pika, Ochotona hyperborea
Pallas's Pika, Ochotona pallasi
American Pika, Ochotona princeps
Turuchan Pika, Ochotona turuchanensis
Subgenus Ochotona: shrub-steppe pikas
Gansu Pika/Gray Pika, Ochotona cansus
Plateau Pika/Black-lipped Pika, Ochotona curzoniae
Daurian Pika, Ochotona dauurica
Tsing-ling Pika, Ochotona huangensis
Nubra Pika, Ochotona nubrica
Steppe Pika, Ochotona pusilla
Afghan Pika, Ochotona rufescens
Moupin Pika, Ochotona thibetana
Thomas's Pika, Ochotona thomasi
Subgenus Conothoa: mountain pikas
Chinese Red Pika, Ochotona erythrotis
Forrest's Pika, Ochotona forresti
Gaoligong Pika, Ochotona gaoligongensis
Glover's Pika, Ochotona gloveri
Himalayan Pika, Ochotona himalayana
Ili Pika, Ochotona iliensis
Kozlov's Pika, Ochotona koslowi
Ladak Pika, Ochotona ladacensis
Large-eared Pika, Ochotona macrotis
Muli Pika, Ochotona muliensis
Black Pika, Ochotona nigritia
Royle's Pika, Ochotona roylei
Turkestan Red Pika, Ochotona rutila


^ a b Hoffman, Robert S.; Smith, Andrew T. (16 November 2005). "Order Lagomorpha (pp. 185-211". In Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). pp. 185–193. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
^ Savage, RJG, & Long, MR (1986). Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. pp. 128. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X.
^ a b Kawamichi, Takeo (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 726–727. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License