Last modified on 16 October 2012, at 20:12

Field Guide/Mammals/House Mouse

Mus musculus (House Mouse)
Family: Muridae
Size: Length: 2.5 to 3.75 inches (65 to 95mm)

Tail length: 2.3 to 4 inches (60 to 105mm)

Weight: .42 to 1.06 ounces (12 to 30g)
Description: The house mouse's fur color ranges from light brown to black. They typically have white fur on their bellies. They have long furless tails with circular scales.
Similar Species: The house mouse is very similar in appearance to the deer mouse and white footed mouse. It can be distinguished from the two by its naked tail and relatively small ears.

Range: The house mouse has a range all over the world, and they can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. [1]
Habitat: The house mouse usually lives close to humans, rarely straying away from buildings. They can also be found in fields and barns. They typically cannot be found in forests or deserts. [2]
Diet: In the wild, the house mouse eats plant matter and insects. In houses they will eat any food that is available.
Activity: They are generally nocturnal, sometimes active during the day.

Reproduction: Males have more than one female mate at a time. Females usually have 5-10 litters a year consisting of 3-12 offspring. House mice reach sexual maturity at 5-7 weeks old. [1]
Lifespan: House mice can live up to 18 months in the wild, and up to 5 years in captivity.

Notes: House mice are common throughout all parts of the world. In homes they are considered a pest, so they are often exterminated. They will look for food in homes and store what they find which can often create a stench. They have been domesticated as the 'fancy mouse' and are kept as pets. House mice are able to run very quickly and can also swim well, climb, and jump. [1]
House Mouse

  1. a b c Ballenger, L. (1999), "Mus musculus", Animal Diversity Web, http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Mus_musculus/, retrieved October 4, 2012 
  2. Musser, G.; Amori, G.; Hutterer, R.; Kryštufek, B.; Yigit, N.; mitsain, G. (2008), "Mus musculus", IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/13972/0, retrieved October 4, 2012