Antelope Jackrabbit

The Antelope Jackrabbit, or Lepus alleni, is generally found within the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and in the coastal sections of northwest Mexico. The Antelope Jackrabbit is one of the largest hares in North America and can weigh between 6 - 13 pounds. It's cousin, the Blacktail Jackrabbit is much smaller, weighing between 3 - 8 pounds. Besides the size difference, the easiest way to tell the two Jackrabbits apart are by their ears. While both use their ears to radiate heat away from their body, the Blacktail has smaller, black-tipped ears which are very easy to distinguish from the large, pale ears of the Antelope Jackrabbit. The ears of an Antelope can commonly reach 8" long. The Antelope also has whitish-colored fur on its side, while the side fur of the blacktail is darker in nature.

Antelope Jackrabbit

The Antelope Jackrabbit is a nocturnal creature and mainly feeds at dusk and dawn (making it technically "crepuscular"). The Antelope feeds primarily on fresh grass during the wet times, and turns to cactus and mesquite tree foliage during dry times. This jackrabbit rarely drinks water and is able to get virtually all of its hydration from the cacti and plants it consumes.

Keeping in line with the stereotype, reproduction takes place all year round with litters ranging in size from 1 - 5 babies. Mating is polygamous and can occur at any time. Male Antelope Jackrabbits will "box" each other over access to desirable females, similar to Kangaroos.

When in danger, the Antelope Jackrabbit will freeze and assess the situation hoping its camouflage will mitigate danger. If approached, however, the jackrabbit will leap away, bounding 15' - 20' at a time at a height of 5' at speeds up to 35 mph. While most hares can run only for short distances, the Antelope Jackrabbit possesses considerable stamina and can withstand a long chase. Their natural predators include rattlesnakes, cougar, bobcat, coyote and even some birds of prey such as the Harris Hawk.