Difference Between

Difference Between Gopher And Groundhog

Do you know the difference between a Gopher and Groundhog? If you do not know the difference between a Gopher and Groundhog the kindly read through the article to get more knowledge and understand the difference between these two rodents.

Gophers also known as Pocket gophers, are burrowing rodents of the family Geomyidae. The roughly 41 species are all endemic to North and Central America. They are commonly known for their extensive tunneling activities and their ability to destroy farms and gardens.

The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots.

The difference between Gopher and Groundhog.

There are so many things that differentiate a Gopher from Groundhog, one of these many things is their biological makeup. While Gophers are from the rodent family of Geomyidae, Groundhogs are from the rodent family of Scuridae. Though there two household pests have so much in common that one can be mistaken for another, they also posses various difference that would help us not to mistake one for the other. Listed and explained below are some of the qualities that can be used to differentiate a Gopher from Groundhog.

  • Size

One of the main differences between Gopher and Groundhog is their overall size. You can easily tell the difference between a Gopher and a Groundhog judging from their length and weight. Groundhogs tend to measure anywhere from 15 to 20 inches long, while gophers only measure 4-8 inches long. Groundhogs are also capable of weighing almost 4 kg, while gophers will weigh 200grams at the most. Even if you happen to observe an adolescent groundhog, this rodent will still be much larger than the average gopher. Using this criteria, you can tell the difference between a Gopher and a Groundhog. Simply put, the Groundhog weighs more and is longer that the Gopher. 

  • Species

Another key difference between groundhog vs gopher is their species. Groundhogs are members of the Sciuridae family, while gophers belong to the Geomyidae family. Though you may have considered that these two rodents belong to the same family and scientific species, but they are in fact very distinct. Gophers belong to a small species of rodent that also include small rats and mice, while groundhogs belong to the marmot family. There are only 10 to 15 species of marmots, making the basic familial differences between these two rodents more glaring

  • Appearance
  • It is very easy to tell a Groundhog apart from a Gopher from their overall appearance. Gophers have visible cheek pockets for storing food, while groundhogs have much more slender faces. Their overall fur coloring are very similar that you might almost mistake one for the other, but you should pay close attention to their feet. Groundhogs maintain brown or black feet to match their fur, while gophers have pink legs. The tails are also different, the groundhogs have a shorter and wider furry tail, while gophers have a tail that closely resembles a rat’s tail. Lastly, anothet difference in their appearance lies in their teeth. While all rodents have teeth that need to be constantly worn down in order to be effective, groundhogs do not have visible teeth from the outside. Gophers, on the other hand, often have yellowed teeth peeking out from their mouths, while groundhog teeth will be white that is even if they are ever seen.
  • Habits

To wrap it all up, a final difference between these two rodents lies in their habits. Groundhogs and gophers have very different lifestyles and preferences. For instance, gophers live most of their life underground, in a series of complicated tunnels and burrows. Groundhogs prefer to live above ground unless they are sleeping or facing inclement weather.  Another important difference between the lifestyles of a groundhog versus a gopher has to do with the way they store and consume their food. Groundhogs prefer to eat their food as they find it, while Gophers are hoarders. They can store food in their cheeks as well as in their burrows, and they often have whole rooms dedicated to their food storage!