white-footed mouse

(Peromyscus leucopus)

Conservation Status
white-footed mouse
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

White-footed mouse is a medium-sized, nocturnal, ground dwelling mouse. It occurs in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, in adjacent Canadian provinces, in Mexico, and in Central America. It is very common in most of Minnesota but completely absent in the extreme northeast and most of the Arrowhead region. It is very similar to and difficult to distinguish from the deer mouse, which occurs throughout the state and often in the same habitats. Its preferred habitat is deciduous woodlands and shrubby areas, but it is also found in open areas, disturbed areas, and around buildings.

Adults are 3½ to 4 (91 to 107 mm) in length from nose to tail, 59 16 to 83 16 (145 to 205 mm) in total length including the tail. They weigh from ½ to 1 ounces (15 to 25 grams).

The coat (pelage) is pale to rich reddish- or orangish-brown with a broad blackish stripe down the back (middorsal). The belly and feet are white. The tail is “gradually bi-colored,” dark above and white below with a narrow region where one color grades into the other. The hairs on the throat are completely white, not gray in the basal half. Juveniles are gray.

The eyes are large. The ears are prominent, thin, and sparsely covered with fur. The upper lip is dusky. The tail is long but not quite as long as the head and body, about 45% of the mouse’s total length.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total length: 59 16 to 83 16 (145 to 205 mm)

Head and body: 3½ to 4 (91 to 107 mm)

Tail: 2 to 4 (61 to 102 mm)

 
     
 

Sign

 
 

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 chipmunk only smaller.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Mostly deciduous woodlands with shrubby under-story and brushy fields, but also open areas, disturbed areas, and around buildings.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

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

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

1 to 2 years

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Seeds, nuts, and insects

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 15, 24, 29, 30, 76.

 
  12/5/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Widespread and common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Eutheria (placentals)  
  Magnorder Boreoeutheria  
  Superorder Euarchontoglires  
  Clade Glires (rodents and rabbits)  
  Order Rodentiia (rodents)  
  Suborder Myomorpha (mice, rats, voles, gerbils, hamsters, lemmings)  
  Superfamily Muroidea (mice, rats, voles, hamsters, gerbils, and relatives)  
 

Family

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

Subfamily

Neotominae (North American mice and rat)  
  Tribe Reithrodontomyini (harvest and deer mice)  
 

Genus

Peromyscus (North American deer mice)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Buxton Woods white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus buxtoni)

Cozumel deer mouse (Peromyscus leucopus cozumelae)

Martha's Vineyard white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus fusus)

Monomoy mouse (Peromyscus leucopus ammodytes)

Pungo white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus easti)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus affinis)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus arizonae)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus castaneus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus leucopus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus incensus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus lachiguiriensis)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus mesomelas)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus texanus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus tornillo)

woodland white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

white-footed deermouse

white-footed mouse

wood mouse

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Pelage

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

       
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Bill Reynolds
       
  white-footed mouse   white-footed mouse
       
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  white-footed mouse    
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)
Bill Keim
 
  White-footed Mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  White-footed Mouse, Central Park, NYC
quoteny
 
   
 
About

Aug 30, 2015

A White-footed Mouse, also prey for the hawks, owls and at least 1 Common Grackle* in Central Park, New York City, August 23, 2015.*as noted in: http://rumorsofwarblers.blogspot.com/2015/09/some-fall-migration-photos.html

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Bill Reynolds
12/2/2019

Location: Pennington Co. MN

white-footed mouse


     
     
 
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Created: 12/6/2019

Last Updated:

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