Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Deer Mouse Peromyscus maniculatus


enlarge +

Deer Mouse with young
credit: 6th Happiness/CCSA

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Muridae, Mice and Rats view all from this family

Description The most widespread, geographically and ecologically variable mouse in North America. Has large black bulging eyes, relatively large, naked ears, fine, smooth-lying fur, and white feet. The well-haired, sharply bicolored tail is tipped with a tuft of short, stiff, hairs something like a watercolor brush. Juveniles are gray, subadults are yellowish brown. The two main forms include a long-tailed, large-eared forest dweller and a short-tailed, small-eared, open-country form. Generally has darker, richer colors in humid regions and paler, drabber colors in arid regions

Dimensions 120-225mm, 50-125mm, 10-30g

Warning The droppings of the Deer Mouse have been associated with a sometimes fatal illness in humans called hantavirus. Never vacuum or sweep mouse droppings; thoroughly wet the area with a disinfectant, then carefully wipe up the droppings with a wet cloth.

Similar Species Differs from White-footed Deermouse by having a distinctly bicolored tail that is about as long as the head and body length; from Northwestern Deermouse by having a shorter tail and foot; from Brush and White-ankled Deermouse by having a shorter tail; from California Deermouse by being smaller; from Cactus and Merriam’s Deermouse by being darker in color with more hair on tail and more distinctly bicolored tail; from Canyon Deermouse by having darker color, shorter tail, and shorter, less soft pelage; and from Piñon and Northern Rock Deermouse by having smaller ears.

Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Meadows & fields, Grasslands & prairies, Forests & woodlands, Alpine & subalpine habitats, Canyons & caves, Cities, suburbs & towns

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Southeast, Southwest, Texas, California, Northwest, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Alaska

Discussion Found in almost all habitat types within its range.