My Bantam Lake

White-Footed Mouse

Written on 06/28/2018

Peromyscus leucopus

White-footed mice are most abundant in warm, dry forests and brushlands at low to mid-elevations. The upperparts of the body are pale to rich reddish brown and the belly and feet are white. Males have home ranges that overlap with multiple females, providing access to multiple mating opportunities. Pups in a single litter often have different fathers. Most white-footed mice live for one year in the wild. This means that there is an almost complete replacement of all mice in the population from one year to the next. Most mortality occurs in the spring and early summer. White-footed mice are primarily nocturnal. They are mainly solitary and are territorial, though adjacent home ranges do overlap. White-footed mice climb and swim well. They also have keen homing instincts.A distinctive behavior of white-footed mice is drumming on a hollow reed or a dry leaf with its fore paws. This produces a prolonged musical buzzing, the meaning of which is unclear. White-footed mice are omnivorous. Diet varies seasonally as well as geographically and may include seeds, berries, nuts, insects, grains, fruits, and fungi. Because they do not hibernate, even in cold weather, in the fall they store seeds and nuts for the winter.


Source: Peromyscus leucopus White-footed Mouse, Animal Diversity Web, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology