Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Onychomys torridus

Southern Grasshopper Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Onychomys torridus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Southern Grasshopper Mice are also known as scorpion Mice: they are able to kill (and then eat) scorpions, by first immobilizing the venomous tail and then biting the head. They also prey on beetles that secrete defensive chemicals from the tip of the abdomen, by jamming the pointed barb into the ground and then striking a deathblow to the head. Of the three species of grasshopper mice, the southern Grasshopper Mouse inhabits the driest regions. Although it does not have the physiological adaptations of some other desert rodents, such as kangaroo rats or pocket mice, it may be able to get enough water from the bodies of its prey - arthropods and small mammals - to live without drinking water.

Also known as:
Scorpion Mouse

Sexual Dimorphism:
None

Length:
Average: 143.9 mm
Range: 130-160 mm

Weight:
Range: 20-40 g

References:

Coues, E., 1874.  Synopsis of the Muridae of North America, p. 183.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 26:173-196.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Onychomys torridus

Image of Onychomys torridus
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