Plains harvest mouse

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Plains harvest mouse
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Reithrodontomys
Species: R. montanus
Binomial name
Reithrodontomys montanus
(Baird, 1855)

The plains harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys montanus) is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found in northern Mexico and the central United States.[1]

Description[edit]

The dorsal part of the Plains Harvest Mouse is grey with a darker grey mid-dorsal stipe, and the ventral part is whitish.[2] Its tail has less and shorter hair, with the same color as the mid-dorsal stripe.[2] The body length of the Plains Harvest Mouse is 54 mm to 146 mm total, and the tail is 20 mm to 69 mm.[2] The body mass of a female Plains Harvest Mouse is 7.5 g to 13.5 g, slightly larger than the male at 6.5 g to 10.8 g.[3] Its hair length is different by season, being 11 mm-12 mm in winter, and 6 mm-7 mm in summer.[3]

Reproduction & Growth[edit]

R.montanus reaches breeding age at 85 days.[2] The gestation period is about 21 days, and the time between successive gestations is 21 to 27 days.[2] The breeding period for R.montanus living in colder regions (Central United States) is during June to August while in warmer regions (Central America) R.montanus can breed in every month of the year.[2] Lactation period of the female is every month but August to October.[4]

Newborn Plains Harvest Mice weigh about 1 g.[2] It is born naked and blind. Its hair grows in 6 days, it opens its eyes at 8 days, and weaning is in 14 days.[2] Reaching adult size takes 5 weeks. When it is juvenile, the fur is plain, sparse and curled like cotton.[2] As a juvenile, the hair becomes more shiny, but less dense than the adult.[2]

Ecology[edit]

Since the food sources of the Plains Harvest Mouse are mainly invertebrates and seeds,[5] the mouse can be found in grassy fields or grazed prairie.[6] Their nest is globular and has a dimension of 10 cm to 11 cm. It is formed of compacted grasses and has one opening.[2] Sex ratio in their habitat is almost 1:1.[5]

Their main predator is still not identified, but most carnivorous mammals, some reptiles, and amphibians are predators of the mouse.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Linzey, A.V., Timm, R., Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T. (2008). "Reithrodontomys montanus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Wilkins, Kenneth T. (1986). Mammalian Species. Colorado: The American Society of Mammalogists. pp. 1–5. 
  3. ^ a b Kaufman, Donald W.; Kaufman, Glennis A. (2015). Plain Harvest Mice in North- Central Kansas: Abundance, Habitat Association and Individual Attributes. Kansas: Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. pp. 75–89. 
  4. ^ Goertz, John W. Biological Sciences. Ruston, Louisiana: Louisiana Polytechnie Institute. p. 123. 
  5. ^ a b Clark, Jay E.; Hellgren, Eric C.; Jorgensen, Eric E.; Leslie Jr., David M. (2005). The American Midland Naturalists. Nortre Dame: University of Notre Dame. pp. 240–252. 
  6. ^ Kaufman, Glennis A.; Kaufman, Donald W. (2014). Plain Harvest Mice in Tallgrass Prairie: Abundance, Habitat Association and Individual Attributes. Kansas: Kansas Academy of Science. pp. 167–180. 
  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.