Peromyscus leucopus - (Rafinesque, 1818)
White-footed Deermouse
Other English Common Names: White-footed Mouse, white-footed deermouse
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Peromyscus leucopus (Rafinesque, 1818) (TSN 180278)
French Common Names: souris à pattes blanches
Spanish Common Names: Ratón
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103307
Element Code: AMAFF03070
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Rodents
Image 7738

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae Peromyscus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Peromyscus leucopus
Taxonomic Comments: Two "chromosomal races" occur, corresponding with Great Plains (texanus cytotype) and Eastern Deciduous Forest (leucopus cytotype) regions. In central Oklahoma, these interbreed freely with no apparent depression in hybrid fertility; apparently these two groups originated following the subdivision of leucopus into two sets of populations during Wisconsin-age climatic changes, with subsequent secondary contact (Carleton 1989; see also Musser and Carleton, in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 04Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 08Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (01Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S4), Arizona (S5), Arkansas (S5), Colorado (S4), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S5), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S5), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maine (S5), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S5), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (S5), Montana (S4), Nebraska (S5), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S5), New Mexico (S5), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S5), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S5), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (S5), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5), Vermont (S5), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (S5), Wyoming (S3)
Canada Alberta (SU), Nova Scotia (S5), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S5), Saskatchewan (S3S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Occurs throughout most of the central and eastern U.S., excluding Florida, west to the Rockies and central Arizona, south through eastern Mexico (to Yucatan Pensula), north to portions of southern Canada (southeastern British Columbia, southern Alberta, southern Ontario, southern Quebec, and Nova Scotia) (see map in Carleton 1989).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Occurs throughout most of the central and eastern U.S., excluding Florida, west to the Rockies and central Arizona, south through eastern Mexico (to Yucatan Pensula), north to portions of southern Canada (southeastern British Columbia, southern Alberta, southern Ontario, southern Quebec, and Nova Scotia) (see map in Carleton 1989).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, NS, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005; Sechrest, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NC Currituck (37053), Dare (37055)
WY Big Horn (56003), Campbell (56005), Carbon (56007), Crook (56011), Johnson (56019), Niobrara (56027)*, Washakie (56043)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Albemarle (03010205)+, Pamlico Sound (03020105)+
10 Nowood (10080008)+, Middle Fork Powder (10090201)+, Crazy Woman (10090205)+, Clear (10090206)+, Middle Powder (10090207)+, Little Powder (10090208)+*, Upper Little Missouri (10110201)+, Hat (10120108)+*, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201)+, Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+*, Redwater (10120203)+
14 Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Adults are reddish brown (juveniles gray), with a white belly, white feet, membranous ears, and bicolored tail (usually not sharply bicolored); adult total length 145-205 mm, tail 62-97 mm (usually shorter than head and body), hind foot 18-24 mm, ear 13-19 mm; 16-29 g in the northeastern U.S.; 3 pairs of mammae (Hall 1981, Godin 1977, Paradiso 1960).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Often difficult to distinguish from P. MANICULATUS. In New England, differs from MANICULATUS by having coarser and redder pelage, a more well-defined mid-dorsal stripe, a tail that is less distinctly white on the ventral surface and that seldom is as long as the head and body, and a broader rostrum (Godin 1977). See Hoffmeister (1986) for differences from PEROMYSCUS species in the southwestern U.S.
Reproduction Comments: Young generally are born March-December in the north (spring and fall peaks, mid-summer and/or winter lull in many areas), all year in southern Texas and probably in Oklahoma (and probably other areas with similar climate). Gestation 22-25 days, longer if female is lactating. Litter size averages 4-5 in the north, 3-4 in the southern U.S. Young are weaned in about 3 weeks. Sexually mature in about 5-7 weeks; young of year may enter breeding population in fall. Most live only a few months; few live more than 1 year. Mating system ranges from promiscuity to facultative monogamy. Male may share nest with female until parturition. (Kirkland and Layne 1989).
Ecology Comments: Home range is about 0.1-0.2 ha, may range from a few hundred to a few thousand sq m, depending on circumstances. Territorial behavior is most prevalent at high population densities.

Population density ranges up to about 40/ha, sometimes up to 100+ per ha (see Kirkland and Layne 1989). In Virginia, adult density ranged from 22.9/ha in March to 0.3/ha in November of the following year (Terman, 1992, J. Mamm. 74:678-687). In Virginia, populations were highest in the year following a large mast crop (Wolff 1996, J. Mamm. 77:850-856).

Demographic unit may occupy 2.4-13.5 ha; small units may often undergo winter extinction (Krohne and Baccus 1985). Males tend to disperse from natal area before their first breeding season (may overwinter communally before dispersing); some females may remain and breed in natal range (Kirkland and Layne 1989).

This species does not disperse particularly well over water and is not a good colonizer of barrier islands (Loxterman et al. 1998).

More communal in winter than at other times; several may share single nest.

Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Desert, Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris, Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Prefers woodland edges, brushy fields, clearcuts, riparian zones; primarily a forest dweller. In Pennsylvania, abundance increased with forest fragmentation (Yahner 1992), and in Indiana density was highest in forest patches of less than 2 ha (Krohne and Hoch 1999). In Ohio, summer habitats included roadsides, crop fields, and farmsteads; these may act as dispersal corridors between wooded habitats (Cummings and Vessey 1994). In Indiana, few mice dispersed through grassland or agricultural fields surrounding forest patches (Krohne and Hoch 1999). Nests are placed in a variety of sites; underground (especially in winter), under debris, in building, in log or stump, in tree cavity, in old squirrel or bird nest, or in bird nest box.
Adult Food Habits: Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats arthropods, fruit, nuts/seeds, green plant material, and fungi (Wolfe et al. 1985). Frequently forages in trees in some areas. May store food (e.g., cherry pits), especially for winter use in north.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Primarily nocturnal. Active all year but may remain in nest during coldest winter weather. May exhibit daily torpor in some areas, especially in winter.
Length: 21 centimeters
Weight: 43 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Important host of deer tick and principal reservoir for the spirochete known to cause Lyme disease (see Ostfeld et al. 1993).
Management Summary
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Monitoring Requirements: Ear tagging increases deer tick infestation rates, may cause a higher percentage of ticks to carry Lyme disease (Ostfeld et al. 1993).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Small Murid Rodents

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Mapping Guidance: Separate sites separated by less than 1000 meters should be mapped as separate polygons.
Separation Barriers: Barriers include: wide highways with heavy traffic (subjective determination) and highways with continuous solid barriers that prevent rodent passage; major water bodies, arbitrarily set at those greater than 50 meters across in ice-free areas and those greater than 200 meters wide if frozen regularly.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Home ranges may be quite small, but at least some species exhibit good dispersal ability that may take them several kilometers from their natal area (Maier 2002). Peromyscus that have been displaced up to 3 km may return home within a few days (see Maier 2002). Displaced Neotoma fuscipes dispersed up to at least 1.6 km from their release point in five nights (Smith 1965). A male Dicrostonyx richardsoni moved more than 3 kilometers per day several times (Engstrom, in Wilson and Ruff 1999). Some species can traverse significant distances of unsuitable habitat. For example, Peromyscus leucopus may move between wooded areas separated by a deforested agricultural gap of up to at least 2 km (Krohne and Hoch 1999). In New Brunswick, a tagged subadult male Peromyscus maniculatus was captured at locations 1.77 km apart after a period of 2 weeks in September, suggesting that dispersal may extend at least this far (Bowman et al. 1999). In Kansas, individual Peromyscus maniculatus were captured at trap sites up to 1.32 km apart (Rehmeier et al. 2004). Dispersal can play a key role in the population dynamics of murid rodents.

Patterns of genetic (DNA) variation indicate that gene flow can be low among subpopulations of Neotoma magister and that effective dispersal is limited among subpopulations separated by as little as 3 km (Castleberry et al. 2002).

Separation distance for suitable habitat is a compromise between the typical small home range sizes of these mammals and their sometimes considerable dispersal ability and the likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent populations.

Roads, especially divided highways, are major barriers to dispersal in small mammals (Oxley et al. 1974, Wilkins 1982, Garland and Bradley 1984).

Date: 08Mar2005
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings
Notes: Group contains most members of the family Muridae: mice, voles, lemmings, woodrats, etc.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 07Nov1996
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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