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Meadow Jumping Mouse has hind legs much longer than the front legs and a tapered tail that is nearly twice as long as the combined length of the head and body.
Meadow Jumping Mouse
The The coarse fur is yellowish brown above, darkest along the middle of the back, paler along the sides, and white to yellowish-brown below. The tail is bicolored, gray above and white below. The dark eyes are relatively small, the whiskers long, and the sparsely-haired, large ears partially hidden by the surrounding fur. Total length is about 215 mm (8.5 in), and the average weight of an adult is 19 g (0.7 oz). The meadow jumping mouse resembles the woodland jumping mouse (Napaeozapus insignis) but is duller in color and the tail is not usually tipped with white.
Meadow Jumping Mice have very long tails and very large feet. They are most common in grassy or weedy fields, where they use runways made by other rodents. If they are frightened, they may creep away through the grass, or make a series of short jumps. They have to put on about six grams of fat in the fall, because they burn about a gram a month in their six months of hibernation.
Habits: Meadow jumping mice may live in various habitats that have some herbacious cover, but moist grassland is preferred and heavily wooded areas are avoided. Grassy fields and thick vegetated areas bordering streams, ponds, or marshes generally support greater numbers. It is possible that these mice prefer habitats with high humidity.
Meadow jumping mice primarily eat seeds, but also feed on berries, fruit, and insects. Grasses may be cut in sections to reach the seed heads. These mice may leave these piles of grass debris with rachis and glumes on the surface. In the spring, one half of the diet may consist of animal foods after emergence from hibernation. Especially important are Lepidoptera larvae and beetles of the familia Carabidae and Curculionidae.
Life cycle:The breeding season of meadow jumping mice occurs shortly after hibernation in late April or May. Males emerge from hibernation slightly prior to females and are reproductively active when the females emerge. Within two weeks after emergence, the majority of females are pregnant and gestation begins. Gestation is usually about 18 days, but may be longer for lactating females. A female may have 2 to 3 litters in a year. The average litter size is 5.3, though the number of young varies between 2 and 9. In the north, most young are born and weaned between June and August. Small and weighing about 0.8 g, the neonates are naked, pink, blind, clawless and deaf, but squeak audibly at birth. In the first week, their ear pinnae unfold, fur begins to cover their backs, and their claws appear.
They begin crawling between the first and second weeks, and by the third week they can hop, creep, and hear. Their incisors have erupted, and they have tawny coats. By the end of the fourth week, the young have adult pelage, and open eyes. Weaned, they are independent between the 28th and 33rd day. Those young females born during the spring may reproduce after two months.
Damages:Meadow jumping mice are omnivores, eating seeds and fruits as well as insects and insect larvae, which can make up to one half of their diet in the spring. They are important prey to red-tailed hawks, weasels, foxes, and great horned owls. Due to their relatively low numbers, the meadow jumping mouse probably does little damage to grain crops, and may actually help keep insect populations in check.
Meadow Jumping Mouse
Control: Prebleâ€™s are active from mid May â€“ mid October, and hibernate for the remainder of the year. Like most rodents of this size, Prebleâ€™s are active mostly at night, and occupy nest-like structures during most of the day. These nests range in form from simple piles of vegetation on the ground surface to sub-surface burrows (Whitaker 1972, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2002a).Prebleâ€™s are active from mid May â€“ mid October, and hibernate for the remainder of the year. Like most rodents of this size, Prebleâ€™s are active mostly at night, and occupy nest-like structures during most of the day. These nests range in form from simple piles of vegetation on the ground surface to sub-surface burrows.
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