Little native mouse
- Not to be confused with the delicate mouse (Mus tenellus) of Africa or the salt flat mouse (Salinomys delicatus) of South America.
|Little native mouse|
The little native mouse (Pseudomys delicatulus), also known as the delicate mouse, is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Papua New Guinea.
Description and behaviour
The little native mouse has fur that is yellow-brown to grey-brown above and white underneath. It is the smallest of all Australian native mice with a head and body length of 55–75 mm with adults of both sexes being roughly the same in size, weight (6–15 g) and colour. In Arnhem Land, the only place the species has been studied at length, breeding takes place in July and August. Two to four young are born in a grass-lined nesting chamber after a gestation of 28–31 days. At birth the eyes are shut and the ears tightly folded back, they develop quickly and are independent of the mother around four weeks of age.
The species is found in sandy, well drained, sparsely covered savanna. The animal lives in hollow logs, under pieces of bark, or in burrows, the design of which varies with local conditions: in hard granite sand ridges the burrow is shallow, intricately constructed retreats with many false passages and one main nesting chamber; in sandy conditions the burrows are deep simple structures around two meters long and with only one main chamber. It occasionally excavates burrows in termite mounds.
Grass seeds from native grasses comprise most of their diet.
- Dickman, C., Aplin, K., Burbidge, A. & Pennay, M. (2008). "Pseudomys delicatulus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
- "Delicate Mouse - profile". New South Wales Threatened Species. NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change. 2005-01-09. Retrieved 2009-07-04.
- Horner, B.E. (1986). Australian Mammals. Australia. p. 201.
- Taylor, J.M. (1970). Observations on reproduction in Leggadina. p. 51.
- Musser, G. G.; Carleton, M. D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 1455–1456. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.