Odocoileus Virginianus - White-Tailed Deer Male Stag | Fire Island, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Artist's Description

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Subfamily: Capreolinae
Genus: Odocoileus
Species: O. virginianus
Binomial name
Odocoileus virginianus

Some taxonomists have attempted to separate white-tailed deer into a host of subspecies, based largely in morphological differences. Genetic studies,[clarification needed] however, suggest fewer subspecies within the animal’s range, as compared to the 30 to 40 subspecies that some scientists described in the last century. The Florida Key deer, O. virginianus clavium, and the Columbian white-tailed deer, O. virginianus leucurus, are both listed as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. In the United States, the Virginia white-tail, O. virginianus virginianus, is among the most widespread subspecies. The white-tailed deer species has tremendous genetic variation and is adaptable to several environments. Several local deer populations, especially in the southern states, are descended from white-tailed deer transplanted from various localities east of the Continental Divide. Some of these deer populations may have been from as far north as the Great Lakes region to as far west as Texas, yet are also quite at home in the Appalachian and Piedmont regions of the south. These deer over time have intermixed with the local indigenous deer (O. virginianus virginianus and/or O. virginianus macrourus) populations. Read more

Artwork Comments

  • Ginny York
  • © Sophie W. Smith
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