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
 4.5 - 6.3 inches
0.5 - 0.8 inches
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.

Fun Facts:
•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.