Woodland Jumping Mouse, Napaeozapus insignis
Th Woodland Jumping Mouse excellent jumper, and good swimmer, occurs in the mountains of eastern and middle Tennessee.
Description: A small rodent with large hind feet and a distinctively long tail, which is usually white-tipped and bi-colored (brownish-gray above and whitish below). The long, coarse fur is orangish along the sides with a wide, darker brown band along the center of the back. Feet and belly color are white. Some black hairs are mixed in with the fur on the back.
Length: 8.0 - 10.0 inches
Tail: 4.5 - 6.3 inches
Ears: 0.5 - 0.8 inches
Weight: 0.6 - 0.9 ounces
Similar Species: Meadow Jumping Mouse lacks a white tail tip.
Habitat: Prefers moist areas and edges of coniferous and deciduous forests with dense, herbaceous growth.
Diet: Omnivorous; primarily eats seeds, berries, fruits, fungi, and insects and their larvae.
Breeding information: Adults begin breeding as soon as they emerge from their hibernation in late April or May. Females typically raise one litter of 2-7 (usually 4-5) young, and sometimes a second smaller litter, by August or early September. The gestation period is 23-25 days. Globular nests made of grass and leaves are built underground, in a hollow tree, or in a clump of shrubs. The hairless and blind newborns open their eyes at 26 days and they are weaned by 34 days.
Status in Tennessee: Woodland Jumping Mouse is Deemed in Need of Management by both TWRA and Tennessee Department or Environment and Conservation.
•When Woodland Jumping Mice are startled, they start drumming their tails on the ground, and then make several erratic leaps covering 3-4 feet with each leap. They stop suddenly and remain motionless under some cover in an attempt to elude predators.
•The subterranean fungus Endogone forms about one-third of their diet.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Moist forests of Appalachian Mountains.