Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Rodentia · Heteromyidae · Chaetodipus penicillatus
  Smithsonian Institution
  Copyright Notice
  Privacy Notice
 
Chaetodipus penicillatus

Desert Pocket Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Chaetodipus penicillatus
Chaetodipus penicillatus - Desert Pocket Mouse
Click to enlarge. (75 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


The Desert Pocket Mouse is a common inhabitant of warm deserts throughout the United States and Mexico. It prefers sandy soil and avoids rocky settings, and like other pocket mice, comes out at night to search for seeds. It favors large seeds such as palo verde and mesquite, and uses the shrubs as shelter and protection from predators such as owls while it forages. In winter, these pocket Mice lower their body temperature and enter a state of inactivity known as torpor. They wake occasionally to nibble on the food they have stored. This saves energy and helps them get through the winter.

Also known as:
Sonoran Desert Pocket Mouse

Length:
Average: 170 mm
Range: 155-185 mm

Weight:
Average: 16 g
Range: 13-20 g

References:

Woodhouse, S.W., 1852.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 6:200.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Chaetodipus penicillatus

Image of Chaetodipus penicillatus
Click to enlarge. (176kb)