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Fisher’s eastern chipmunk

Fact File

Scientific Name: Tamias striatus fisheri

Classification: Mammalia, Order Rodentia, Family Sciuridae

Identifying Characteristics

This is a small, moderately heavy-set sciurid with prominent longitudinal stripes. The median black stripe has wide gray stripes on each side and more stripes outside these, from between the ears to the rump. The face, rump, sides and feet are russet red and they have prominent eyes. The facial stripes distinguish it from most mammals in the range. They have large internal cheek pouches. The total length of this species is 8-10 inches and it weighs from 2.3 to 4.5 ounces. T.s. fisheri has paler sides and cheeks, and is more yellowish. There are 1-2 litters born per year of 4-5 young each. They hibernate underground from mid-November to early February in Virginia. They are strictly diurnal, with mid-morning and mid-afternoon activity peaks. This species lives 3 or more years in the wild.


Throughout the state, but rare or absent in many of the coastal plain counties, especially the extreme southeast counties. This species prefers open hardwood forests, brushlands, outbuildings, rubbish heaps, rocky ground, logs and stone walls.

Last updated: August 18, 2023

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.