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woodland jumping mouse

(Napaeozapus insignis roanensis)


It is a medium sized mouse, with a total length from 204-256 mm, and a weight of 17-26 grams. The females are a bit larger than the males. The coat is coarse, with stiff guard hairs and it has a dorsal stripe of brown to black, and sides that are orange with a yellow or red tint. The underparts are white, and the tail bicolored, grayish brown above, white below, and white tipped. They have long hind legs, short fore legs and the ears are longer than Zapus as well as being larger and brighter orange than Zapus. The breeding season is from May-September with 1-2 litters of 2-7 young being produced per year. This species is primarily nocturnal, and it also hibernates from late September -November until early May. During this time they live on stored fat reserves. It nests in a brush pile or burrow system below the ground surface.


This mouse is found only in the southwestern region of the state. They are usually found in upper elevation moist cool forests of hemlock or and mixed hardwoods. Their distribution is notably local, and it often inhabits relatively small areas in the vicinity of watercourses. This species seeks cool moist environments within forest or forest edges. It does not occur where the mean air temperature in the warmest months is greater than 21 degrees C.


This mouse eats insects as well as seeds, fungi, and fruits. The diet consists of about 70% animal material and 30% plants. It does not cache food in the wild.

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