white-footed mouse

(Peromyscus leucopus)

Conservation Status
white-footed mouse
Photo by Bill Reynolds
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked


not listed


White-footed mouse is a medium-sized, nocturnal, ground dwelling mouse. It occurs in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, in adjacent Canadian provinces, in Mexico, and in Central America. It is very common in most of Minnesota but completely absent in the extreme northeast and most of the Arrowhead region. It is very similar to and difficult to distinguish from the deer mouse, which occurs throughout the state and often in the same habitats. Its preferred habitat is deciduous woodlands and shrubby areas, but it is also found in open areas, disturbed areas, and around buildings.

Adults are 3½ to 4 (91 to 107 mm) in length from nose to tail, 59 16 to 83 16 (145 to 205 mm) in total length including the tail. They weigh from ½ to 1 ounces (15 to 25 grams).

The coat (pelage) is pale to rich reddish- or orangish-brown with a broad blackish stripe down the back (middorsal). The belly and feet are white. The tail is “gradually bi-colored,” dark above and white below with a narrow region where one color grades into the other. The hairs on the throat are completely white, not gray in the basal half. Juveniles are gray.

The eyes are large. The ears are prominent, thin, and sparsely covered with fur. The upper lip is dusky. The tail is long but not quite as long as the head and body, about 45% of the mouse’s total length.




Total length: 59 16 to 83 16 (145 to 205 mm)

Head and body: 3½ to 4 (91 to 107 mm)

Tail: 2 to 4 (61 to 102 mm)




The hind track of a deer mouse is ¼ to ½ long, to ½ wide, and shows five toes. The fore track is similar in size but shows only four toes. The trail is 1 to 1¾ wide, similar to that of a chipmunk only smaller.


Similar Species


Mostly deciduous woodlands with shrubby under-story and brushy fields, but also open areas, disturbed areas, and around buildings.




Adults are active year round at night. They spend most of their time on the ground.




1 to 2 years


Life Cycle






Seeds, nuts, and insects


Distribution Map



4, 7, 24, 29, 30, 76.




Widespread and common

  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Eutheria (placental mammals)  
  Magnorder Boreoeutheria  
  Superorder Euarchontoglires (primates, rodents, and allies)  
  Grandorder Glires (rodents and rabbits)  
  Order Rodentiia (rodents)  
  Suborder Myomorpha (mice, rats, and hamsters)  
  Superfamily Muroidea (muroids)  


Cricetidae (hamsters, voles, lemmings, and allies)  


Neotominae (North American mice and rats)  
  Tribe Reithrodontomyini (harvest and deer mice)  


Peromyscus (North American deer mice)  

Subordinate Taxa


Buxton Woods white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus buxtoni)

Cozumel deer mouse (Peromyscus leucopus cozumelae)

Martha's Vineyard white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus fusus)

Monomoy mouse (Peromyscus leucopus ammodytes)

Pungo white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus easti)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus affinis)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus arizonae)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus castaneus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus leucopus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus incensus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus lachiguiriensis)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus mesomelas)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus texanus)

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus tornillo)

woodland white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis)






Common Names


white-footed deermouse

white-footed mouse

wood mouse











The coat of a mammal, consisting of fur, wool, or hair, and including a soft undercoat and stiff guard hairs.

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Bill Reynolds

    white-footed mouse   white-footed mouse  
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    white-footed mouse      






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Other Videos
  Souris à pattes blanches - Peromyscus leucopus

Jan 28, 2017

Souris à pattes blanches - Peromyscus leucopus




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  Bill Reynolds

Location: Pennington Co. MN

white-footed mouse  
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Created: 12/6/2019

Last Updated:

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