prairie deer mouse

(Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

prairie deer mouse

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Habitat

Upland grasslands, agricultural fields.

Lifespan

About one year in the wild; up to 8 years in captivity.

Size

Total length: 5½to 6

Tail: 23 16 to 2¾

   
    Photo by Bill Reynolds

Identification

This is a small North American deer mouse. Adults are 5½to 6 long, including the tail, and weigh from 0.68 to 0.87 ounces at maturity.

The body is round and slender. The coat (pelage) on adults is short and soft. It is grayish-brown on the back and sides and white below. On young individuals the pelage is gray.

The head is pointed. The eyes are beady and black. The ears are large. The whiskers are long and prominent.

The tail is relatively short, 23 16 to 2¾ long, about 40% of the total length. It is sharply bicolored, dark above and white below.

The hind feet are to ¾ long.

 
Sign

Tracks
The hind track of a deer mouse is ¼ to ½ long, to ½ wide, and shows five toes. The fore track is similar in size but shows only four toes. The trail is 1 to 1¾ wide, similar to that of a squirrel only smaller.

 
Similar
Species

White-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is a larger mouse. The hind feet are longer. The tail is longer and is less sharply bicolored.

Woodland deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis) is a larger mouse. The tail is much longer tail, up to 50% of the total length. The hind feet are longer. It is found mostly in woodlands.


Food

Seeds, fruits, nuts, acorns, green plant material, fungi, worms, snails, arthropods, and invertebrates. In autumn they collect and store food for use in winter.

 
Life Cycle

Females construct a round nest out of soft vegetable matter in a in a freshly dug burrow or in the discarded burrow of another animal. They begin breeding at about 49 days of age. They breed year round, though less frequently during fall and winter. They average 3 or 4 litters per year.

Gestation takes from 22½ days in a non-lactating female to 30½ days in a lactating female. Five or six young are born naked with wrinkled skin. They are weaned after 25 to 35 days.

Groups of 10 or more individuals spend the winter together in a nest to conserve heat.

 
Behavior

Adults are active year round during twilight and at night. They spend most of their time on the ground.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 15, 24.


Comments

Taxonomy
There are 67 currently recognized subspecies of Peromyscus maniculatus in North America, 2 of which occur in Minnesota. P. m. bairdii occurs in prairies and P. m. gracilis occurs on woodlands. The two subspecies ranges overlap and they are often found in the same area but in different habitats. In the Upper Great Lakes region there is little interbreeding.

Disease Vector
North American deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) is probably the animal most responsible for the transfer of the deadly hantavirus to humans in the central and southwestern United States.


Taxonomy

Order:

Rodentia (rodents)

 

Suborder:

Myomorpha

 

No Rank:

Muroidea (typical muroids)

 

Family:

Cricetidae (New World rats and mice, voles, hamsters, and relatives)

 

Subfamily:

Neotominae

 
Parent

North American deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

Baird’s deer mouse

Baird’s white-footed mouse

prairie deer mouse


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

pelage

The coat of a mammal, consisting of fur, wool, or hair, and including a soft undercoat and stiff guard hairs.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this mammal.

Bill Reynolds


The attached images are a young Deer Mouse I found hanging out inside a 5 gallon feed bucket. It just wasn't able to get out again.

  prairie deer mouse    
       

Because of the defined separation of colors I call this a Deer Mouse, Pennington Co, MN.

  prairie deer mouse    
       

I know they are a known carrier of HantaVirus, but I don't know of any case up here. I've been dealing with these guys for years now... knock on wood.

  prairie deer mouse    

Kirk Nelson


Saw this prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) in the wild grape vines just off the trail

  prairie deer mouse    

       
       
       

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Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Deer mice
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Deer mice  
 
About

Peromyscus maniculatus

 
     

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this mammal.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Deer Mouse (Cricetidae: Peromyscus maniculatus) Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 15, 2010

Photographed near Fisher, Minnesota (15 October 2010). Go here for more information about this species: http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?recNum=MA0093

 
     
  Deer Mouse Facts, live captured North American Deer Mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus
Frederick Dunn
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 15, 2014

Meet the Deer Mouse; High Definition video of a North American Deer Mouse. Caught wild with a Kness Tip-Trap. Wild Mice should never be kept as pets, they are often carriers of diseases which can be harmful to humans. Mice, Rats and Voles should be removed from chicken coops and other farm buildings. They should also be removed from homes.

ALL photos, video and audio are produced by and the exclusive property of Freds Fine Fowl (Suspended Moments Photography)

 
     
  Deer Mouse (Cricetidae: Peromyscus maniculatus) Nest
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 10, 2010

Photographed at the Glacial Ridge NWR, Minnesota (09 October 2010).

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this mammal.

Bill Reynolds
10/7/2015

Location: Pennington Co, MN

The attached image are a young Deer Mouse I found hanging out inside a 5 gallon feed bucket. It just wasn't able to get out again.

Because of the defined separation of colors I call this a Deer Mouse, Pennington Co, MN.

I know they are a known carrier of HantaVirus, but I don't know of any case up here. I've been dealing with these guys for years now... knock on wood.

prairie deer mouse


Kirk Nelson
8/24/2014

Location: Baker Park Reserve

Saw this prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) in the wild grape vines just off the trail

prairie deer mouse


     
     
 

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