White-footed Mouse

Peromyscus leucopus

R.W. Devender

The White-footed Mouse grows up to eight inches long (with tail). Its fur can be brown, reddish, or grayish. It is white underneath, and sometimes has a dark stripe down its back. The tail is very long, about half the length of the body. These mice have large ears.

White-footed mice live in wooded, brushy areas or open areas next to woods, such as marshes. They are active year-round, but mostly come out at night.

White-footed Mice are good swimmers and excellent climbers. They often climb shrubs and trees looking for food. Their tails give them good balance.

Mice build nests in burrows, stumps, brush piles, buildings, hollow trees, old birds' nests, old squirrels' nests and under logs. Nests are made with grasses, leaves, hair, feathers, milkweed silk, shredded bark, moss, and cloth.

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Dick Cooper

White-footed Mice live by themselves, except during the breeding season. They do most of their breeding during the Spring and Fall.

Female mice have a litter with three to five young. The male does not care for them.

When they are old enough, mice leave the nest to live on their own.

Copyright, Andrew Liebhold

M.L. Campbell

White-footed Mice eat a large variety of foods, including nuts, seeds, fruits, and small animals. Some of their diet includes: beetles, caterpillars, coccoons, centipedes, snails, moths, crane flies, grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects. They occasionally eat small mammals or birds.

Plants they eat include: Black Cherry, Jewelweed, acorns, blueberries, knotweed, maple seeds, pine seeds, Yellow Poplar, Flowering Dogwood, violets, dock, hickory nuts, and beechnuts. They also eat roots of many plants and fungi.

White-footed Mice cache (store) nuts and seeds in the Fall near their nests. Usually the cache is hidden under a log, in a bird's nest, or in an abandoned burrow of another small mammal.

Mammals of Quebec

When alarmed, these mice drum their feet rapidly. They will also sometimes drum their front feet on a hollow reed to make a musical buzzing noise, though we don't know why.

Predators of White-footed Mice include snakes, owls, hawks, skunks, foxes, coyotes, and weasels.

Mice help fungi spread after they eat them when they poop out spores in new places. They do the same for plants after they eat fruits and seeds.

White-footed Mice usually live for one to two years.

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Spotted Jewelweed

Copperhead

Switchgrass

Eastern Gray Squirrel SP

Black Cherry

Black Rat Snake

Common Reed

Common Crow SP

White Oak

Northern Water Snake

Tussock Sedge

Common Reed

Yellow Poplar

Northern Ringneck Snake

Poison Ivy

Flowering Dogwood D

Eastern Forest Snail

Red-tailed Hawk

Virginia Creeper

Meadow Vole SP

Garden Centipede

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Bracken Fern

Honey Mushroom D

Red Maple

Barred Owl

Common Milkweed

Spotted Jewelweed D

Differential Grasshopper

Great Horned Owl

Highbush Blueberry

Black Cherry D

European Gypsy Moth

Common Crow

Witch Hazel

Bird-foot Violet D

Patent-leather Beetle

Striped Skunk

Common Cattail

Bald Eagle SP

Common Black Ground Beetle

Red Fox

Greenbrier

Mockernut Hickory

Blue Jay

Evergreen Blackberry

American Beech

Great Blue Heron

White Cushion Moss

Crane Fly

Japanese Honeysuckle

Highbush Blueberry

Wild Grape

Virginia Pine

Dodder

Flowering Dogwood

Buttonbush

Bird-foot Violet

Goldenrod

Honey Mushroom

Running Cedar

Virginia Pine Sawfly

Virginia Rose

Relationship to Humans:

White-footed Mice help control populations of insects and other pests. They are especially helpful because they eat many gypsy moth caterpillars. They also spread seeds of plants and spores of fungi, which can be good or bad, depending on the species.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Chordate
CLASS
Mammal
ORDER
Rodentia
FAMILY
Muridae
GENUS
Peromyscus
SPECIES
Peromyscus leucopus

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