Pungo white-footed mouse

(Peromyscus leucopus easti)


This is a medium sized mouse with a sparsely haired tail that is less than half the total length. It has a total length of 162-180 mm, and a weight of 16-28 grams. The upperparts of the species are a pale brown with a reddish wash on the flanks; its belly and feet are white. This subspecies is distinguished from P. l. leucopus and P. l. easti by having a reddish, rather than yellowish, wash on the flanks. They have several litters between March and October of 4-5 young/litter. They are preyed upon extensively by owls, hawks, foxes, and weasels. Population density ranges from 4-12 per acre, and it is known to live 2-3 years in the wild.


This subspecies was not listed until 1960, and probably occurs from the region of Cape Henry, Virginia south along the barrier beach to Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. Within its range, this subspecies is apparently confined to the marshes and sandy flats back of the dunes. It inhabits thickets of myrtle and poison ivy at the marsh edge behind the dunes and is the common “house mouse” in beachfront dwellings.


This species eats seeds and nuts of oaks, maples, and pines, as well as insects. It is also is known to store seeds and nuts.