North American Deermouse, Peromyscus maniculatus

The North American Deermouse is found statewide in two different forms.   The short-tailed form (P. m. bardii) occurs in West Tennessee, while the long-tailed form (P. m. nubiterrae) lives in the eastern part of the state.

A small rodent with large, black eyes, large ears, and long, coarse whiskers.   Although color varies among individuals, most are grayish to reddish-brown above, often with a darker band down the center of the back.   The feet, lower part of the face, and the undersides are white, which sharply contrasts from upper color.   Well-furred tails are distinctly bi-colored in most specimens with the top darker and the bottom white; they have a slight tuft of hair at the tip and are from 1/3 to less than 1/2 the total body length.

4.4 - 8.0 inches
1.6 - 3.9 inches
0.5 - 0.9 inches
0.33 - 1.0 ounces

Similar Species:
North American Deermouse cannot reliably be separated from White-footed Deermouse and Cotton Deermouse without detailed analysis of skull and dental formations, and possibly an expert.

The short-tailed form (P. m. bardii) occurs primarily in early successional habitat, such as prairies, pastures, and fencerows.   The long-tailed form (P. m. nubiterrae) lives in woodland habitat.

Primarily feeds on insects, seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, fungi, and domestic grains.

Breeding information:
They generally mate twice a year, during fall and spring.   Females may have 4 or more litters per year. Gestation lasts 21-23 days and typically 1-9 young (average 3-4) are born per litter.   Females nurse the blind, flesh-colored, naked newborns until they are weaned at 2-3 weeks old.

Status in Tennessee:
Neither of the two forms is protected in the state. Deermice are common in their preferred habitat.

Fun Facts:
•The genus name Peromyscus means "pouched little mouse," referring to the small cheek pouches of these field mice.

 Best places to see in Tennessee:
Open and edge habitat in the western part of the state and forests in eastern Tennessee.


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