white-footed mouse

(Peromyscus leucopus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 

white-footed mouse

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread and common

Habitat

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

Lifespan

1 to 2 years

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)

Photo by Bill Reynolds
 
Identification

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.

 
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 chipmunk only smaller.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Food

Seeds, nuts, and insects

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

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

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

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

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Order:

Rodentia (rodents)

 

Suborder:

Myomorpha

 

No Rank:

Muroidea (typical muroids)

 

Family:

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

 

Subfamily:

Neotominae

 

Genus:

Peromyscus (white-footed 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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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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