Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Onychomys arenicola

Chihuahuan Grasshopper Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Onychomys arenicola
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Grasshopper Mice are adapted to a predatory lifestyle. Their molar teeth have high-cusped shearing surfaces for puncturing and slicing, and their biting strength is increased through enlarged muscle attachments on the lower jaw and skull. Their fingers and claws are long, for grasping and manipulating prey. ("Onychomys" means "clawed mouse.") They feed primarily on grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles. The Chihuahuan Grasshopper Mouse and the Southern Grasshopper Mouse can be distinguished only by comparing genetic details. However, their ranges do not overlap: the Chihuahuan Grasshopper Mouse lives in the Chihuahuan desert, and the Southern Grasshopper Mouse inhabits areas west of the Continental Divide in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Also known as:
Southern Grasshopper Mouse, Mearns' Grasshopper Mouse

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 138.7 mm
Range: 121-158 mm

Range: 20-35 g


Mearns, E.A., 1896.  Preliminary diagnosis of new mammals from the Mexican border of the United States. Preprint of the Proceedings of theU. S. National Museum, 19:137-140.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Onychomys arenicola