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Oldfield Mouse Peromyscus polionotus


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Alternate name: Beach Mouse

Family: Muridae, Mice and Rats view all from this family

Description Small Peromyscus whose inland forms are fawn-colored or brownish gray dorsally, slightly darker along the midline with hairs that are slate-gray at the base. Underparts are white with hairs pigmented at the base, and the bicolored tail has a dark dorsal stripe. Beach forms are paler and have underparts that are white to the base of the hairs, and a dark tail stripe that is reduced or absent.

Dimensions 110-150mm, 40-60mm, 10-15g

Endangered Status Six subspecies of the Oldfield Mouse are on the U.S. Endangered Species List. The Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse, the St. Andrew Beach Mouse, and the Anastasia Island Beach Mouse are classified as endangered in Florida; the Alabama Beach Mouse is classified as endangered in Alabama; and the Perdido Key Beach Mouse is classified as endangered in Florida and Alabama. The Southeastern Beach Mouse is classified as threatened in Florida. The major factors contributing to the decline of these mice are residential development of their coastal habitat, tropical storms, competition with introduced House Mice, and predation by cats and other carnivores.

Habitat Beaches, shorelines & estuaries, Meadows & fields

Range Southeast, Florida

Discussion Many coastal subspecies are Endangered because of the declining health of the Gulf states’ coastal dune ecosystem. Inhabits open, sandy habitats in early successional stages of abandoned fields, and grassy dunes along the coast.