coastal Gapper’s red-backed vole

(Clethrionomys gapperi maurus)


This is a medium-sized, short-tailed mouse with a total length of 147-172 mm. The back is a reddish color with gray sides and a silvery belly. It is similar to Clethrionomys g. gapperi and C.g. carolinensis but darker and more blackish. Also the dorsal band is obscure. The breeding season occurs in March and 3 to 4 litters are born annually with 4 to 6 young per litter. This species is active any hour or season. The home range is 0.25-1.0 acres. It is solitary and is rather nervous and irritable. It is known to have a trilling song and is an agile and frequent climber. The maximum life span is 20 months.


They are confined to the Cumberland Mountains along the Kentucky-Virginia state line. This species is found on moist shaded slopes around moss covered logs and rocks. The optimum habitat is evergreen forest stands of large diameter trees and an understory with little or no grass.


This species feeds on fungi, bones and antlers. Evergreen fronds are an important food in the winter, and early spring. Plant foods that are consumed consist primarily of unidentified fibrous and leafy vegetation. They also take bark, roots and woody stems and insects are eaten occasionally.