House Mouse
Mus musculus

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Rodentia
FAMILY: Muridae

SIZE:
2 - 3.5 inches in body length; weight about 1 ounce

RANGE:
All of North America

HABITAT:
Houses, outbuildings, stores; also fields, along water courses, and dense vegetation

DIET:
Wild - Variety of plant material, seeds, green stems, and leaves.
Zoo - Dry food pellets, protein based, seeds, nuts

DESCRIPTION:
Small; scaly-tailed; short haired with moderately naked ears; variety of colors suffused with black, light underbelly. Brown tail with black tip, which is longer in warmer climates (tail allows mouse to lose more heat).

FACTS:

  • Not native to North America, but was introduced at seaport towns; largely nocturnal, moderately active during the day, mostly searching for food.
  • Cannot see beyond two inches in the daylight, but relies on keen sense of smell.

YOUNG:
Highly prolific breeders; 13 litters can be produced in one year with the litter averaging 6 young. Young mature rapidly and are sexually mature at 35 days. Rodents make up the largest order of mammals.

STATUS:
Widespread; common, can be a pest in some areas. Easily bred in captivity.

REFERENCES:
Mammals of Texas--Online Edition
Texas Cooperative Research Unit, Texas Tech University