Northern bog lemming

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Northern Bog Lemming
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Arvicolinae
Genus: Synaptomys
S. borealis
Binomial name
Synaptomys borealis
(Richardson, 1828)
Northern Bog Lemming Synaptomys borealis distribution map.png
Northern Bog Lemming range[2]

The northern bog lemming (Synaptomys borealis) is a small North American lemming. This is one of two species in genus Synaptomys, the other being the southern bog lemming.

They have cylindrical bodies covered with long grey or brown fur with pale grey underparts. A patch of rust-coloured hair is seen at the base of the ears. They have small eyes, a hairy snout, and a short tail. They have 16 teeth and their upper incisors are grooved. They are 13 cm long with a 2-cm tail, and weigh about 30 g.

These animals are found in wet northern forests, bogs, tundra, and meadows in Canada, Alaska, northern Washington, and New England. They feed on grasses, sedges, other green vegetation, and mosses, as well as snails and slugs. Their droppings are green. Predators include owls, hawks, mustelids, and snakes.

Female lemmings have two or three litters of four to six young in a year. The young are born in a nest in an underground burrow or concealed in vegetation.

They are active year-round, day and night. They make runways through the surface vegetation, and also dig underground burrows. They burrow under the snow in winter. These animals are often found in small colonies. Lemming populations go through a 3- or 4-year cycle of boom and bust.


  1. ^ Linzey, A.V.; NatureServe; Reichel, J.D. & Hammerson, G. (2008). "Synaptomys borealis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  2. ^ IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) 2008. Synaptomys borealis. In: IUCN 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Downloaded on 21 March 2015.
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