The pinyon mouse (Peromyscus truei) is native to the southwestern United States and Baja California in Mexico. These medium-sized mice are often distinguished by their relatively large ears. The range of this species extends from southern Oregon and Wyoming in the north, and extends south to roughly the U.S.-Mexico border, with a disjunct population designated as Peromyscus true comanche that occupies an area in the vicinity of Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle.
The pinyon mouse (P. truei) fur varies in color from a pale yellowish brown to a brownish black color, and their feet are a lighter color, varying between dusky and white. For this reason they can incorrectly be grouped with other "white footed mouse" (P. leucopus) but there are a few distinguishing differences. P. truei tends to have a larger size of the ear which is as large or larger than the hind foot. Larger tail size and heavier hair distribution on tail tip is also observed. They have a larger skull, auditory bullae are more inflated and possess a less robust zygomatic arch.
Distribution and Habitat
P. truei can be found in a variety of habitats. Although they prefer rocky slope areas and pinyon-juniper areas, they are also found in desert, forest, and grassy plains. They tend to have a larger range than other Peromyscus, up to 2.9 Ha for males, which can possibly be attributed to drought conditions and searching for food sources. They have been shown that they are flexible in habitat elevations and able to adjust to varying climate conditions.
P. truei are omnivores and have been found with insects, invertebrates and fungi, but they tend to be more specialists, compared to other Peromyscus when searching for food. In burned out areas they tend to stick to the edges instead of moving into the burn area. Finding water is usually a challenge in most of their habitats and they adjust their diet accordingly.
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