White-footed mouse

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White-footed mouse
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Neotominae
Genus: Peromyscus
Species: P. leucopus
Binomial name
Peromyscus leucopus
(Rafinesque, 1818)

The white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is a rodent native to North America from Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, and the Maritime Provinces (excluding the island of Newfoundland) to the southwest USA and Mexico.[1] In the Maritimes, its only location is a disjunct population in southern Nova Scotia.[2] It is also known as the woodmouse, particularly in Texas.

Adults are 90–100 mm (3.5–3.9 in) in length, not counting the tail, which can add another 63–97 mm (2.5–3.8 in). A young adult weighs 20–30 g (0.7–1.1 oz). While their maximum lifespan is 96 months, the mean life expectancy for the species is 45.5 months for females and 47.5 for males. In northern climates, the average life expectancy is 12–24 months.[3]

Female with sucklings

This species is similar to Peromyscus maniculatus. Like the deer mouse, it may carry hantaviruses, which cause severe illness in humans.[4]

It has also been found to be a competent reservoir for the Lyme disease-causing spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.[5]


  1. ^ a b Linzey, A.V., Matson, J. & Timm, R. (2008). "Peromyscus leucopus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Atlantic Interior, The Natural History of Nova Scotia
  3. ^ Mammalian models for research on aging (1981) ISBN 978-0-309-03094-6
  4. ^ RR5109-Front Cover-Hantavirus.p65
  5. ^ Donahue JG, Piesman J, Spielman A (January 1987). "Reservoir competence of white-footed mice for Lyme disease spirochetes". Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 36 (1): 92–6. PMID 3812887. 
A captive White-Footed Mouse. She is at least 3 years and 8 months old.

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