Peromyscus leucopus
(Rafinesque, 1818)

pair-O-mis-cus lU-cO-pus

The white-footed mouse is a medium-sized member of the genus Peromyscus. It can be distinguished from other members of its family by: 1) long, soft fur on its upperparts, ochraceous buff with dusky guard hairs (middle of the back may be darker), 2) creamy white to grayish underparts sharply differentiated from the upperparts, 3) well-furred tail, about as long as head and body, dusky brown above merging gradually into creamy below, 4) large ears sparsely covered with hair, 5) lack of grooved incisors, and 6) long hind foot (more than 20 mm). Summer pelage is more grayish than winter pelage. Young are grayer dorsally than adults and sexes are alike.

Three subspecies occur in Kansas, Peromyscus leucopus aridulus in the northwest, P. l. noveboracensis in the eastern half and P. l. tornillo in the southwest. The white-footed mouse inhabits woodlands, preferably with large climax trees, and dense brushy areas, rarely beyond the forest edge. Because of its preference for trees the distribution of this mouse tends to follow river valleys in the western two-thirds of the state.

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
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  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 6,835 Total Records 
  • 6,639 Museum Vouchers 
  • 196 Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Allen (7); Anderson (26); Atchison (46); Barber (84); Barton (63); Bourbon (10); Brown (19); Butler (23); Chase (13); Chautauqua (18); Cherokee (79); Cheyenne (17); Clark (68); Clay (12); Cloud (41); Coffey (3); Comanche (84); Cowley (72); Crawford (34); Decatur (18); Dickinson (24); Doniphan (108); Douglas (478); Edwards (100); Elk (2); Ellis (328); Ellsworth (7); Finney (72); Ford (48); Franklin (16); Geary (59); Gove (18); Graham (49); Grant (22); Gray (13); Greenwood (179); Hamilton (70); Harper (49); Harvey (33); Haskell (1); Hodgeman (10); Jackson (19); Jefferson (44); Jewell (215); Johnson (58); Kearney (90); Kingman (16); Kiowa (245); Labette (32); Lane (20); Leavenworth (113); Lincoln (48); Linn (27); Logan (5); Lyon (64); Marion (32); Marshall (56); McPherson (21); Meade (205); Miami (29); Mitchell (8); Montgomery (61); Morris (8); Morton (133); Nemaha (4); Neosho (8); Ness (43); Norton (24); Not given (1); Osage (235); Osborne (28); Ottawa (25); Pawnee (14); Phillips (169); Pottawatomie (34); Pratt (15); Rawlins (137); Reno (55); Republic (42); Rice (8); Riley (465); Rooks (179); Rush (43); Russell (617); Saline (66); Scott (11); Sedgwick (2); Seward (97); Shawnee (36); Sheridan (40); Sherman (5); Smith (10); Stafford (25); Stanton (103); Stevens (4); Sumner (30); Thomas (14); Trego (73); Unknown (3); Wabaunsee (110); Wallace (2); Washington (29); Wilson (7); Woodson (42); Wyandotte (7);

Natural History:
This mouse is the most abundant mammal in deciduous forests in Kansas. It is primarily nocturnal and is active throughout the year. It is a good climber and spends much of its time in trees. On the ground its locomotion is usually a gallop or jumping movement with the tail held high. Considerable activity takes place at the base of large trees where the ground is bare. The large nest of this mouse consists of plant material lined with soft fibers, and is placed among dense branches of trees or in abandoned bird or squirrel nests. Others are placed in hollow trees, under logs or in burrows. Communication is by stamping feet, calling, and by scent.
Adults may attain the following dimensions: total length 155-196 mm; tail 66-89 mm; hind foot 21-23 mm; ear 15-19 mm; weight 27.5-36 grams.
Green plants, grasses, fruits, nuts and some insects are eaten by the white-footed mouse.
White-footed mice may breed throughout the year, but mainly in the spring and fall. One to seven (usually four) young are born hairless, with their eyes closed, after a gestation period of 23 to 28 days. Their eyes open between 12 and 14 days, and the young are weaned between 24 to 28 days. About one week later they become independent. Females are capable of breeding seven weeks after birth and males shortly thereafter. Females have six nipples, two pectorally and four inguinally.

Occurrence Activity:
Owls, weasels, skunks, foxes, coyotes and snakes are the principal predators of the White-footed Mouse. Longevity of this mouse is usually less than two years, but potentially it may live as long as eight years.

Account Last Updated:
7/13/2017 10:14:28 AM

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