Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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  Rodentia · Heteromyidae · Perognathus flavus
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Perognathus flavus

Silky Pocket Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Perognathus flavus
Perognathus flavus - indistinguishable visually from P. merriami; differentiated by territory
Click to enlarge. (59 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


The smallest Perognathus species of all, the Silky Pocket Mouse is among the smallest rodents in North America. These Mice are most active on cool, humid nights, typically foraging for fallen seeds by sifting sand with their tiny forepaws. Sometimes they climb the stems of grasses to harvest seeds that have not yet fallen. They carry nesting materials and seeds back to the burrow in their fur-lined cheek pouches, and store seeds within the burrow. The Mice do not hibernate in winter, but remain active within their burrows, fueled by a cache of seeds. Silky Pocket Mice have not often reproduced in captivity, so knowledge about their reproductive habits is somewhat sketchy. They are known to have one or two litters a year, depending on climate and food availability. Two to six young are born in a litter, after a gestation of about four weeks.

Also known as:
Baird's Pocket Mouse

Sexual Dimorphism:
None

Length:
Average: 113 mm
Range: 100-130 mm

Weight:
Range: 5-10 g

References:

Baird, S.F., 1855.  Characteristics of some new species of Mammalia, collected by the U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey, Major W.H. Emory, U.S.A. Commissioner, p. 332.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 7:331-333.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Perognathus flavus

Image of Perognathus flavus
Click to enlarge. (83kb)