Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), the most common rabbit species in Texas. Weighs two- to three-pounds, brown or gray coat, white belly, and distinctive white tail. A related species, the desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), occurs in Texas and the desert Southwest. Cottontails are true rabbits; Jackrabbits are a member of the hare family. Hares are born virtually self-sufficient; rabbits are born hairless, blind, and helpless. It is an essential element of the food chain.