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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Rodentia · Heteromyidae · Perognathus parvus

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Perognathus parvus

Great Basin Pocket Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Perognathus parvus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The Great Basin Pocket Mouse is the largest member of the genus. It inhabits arid and semi-arid habitats in nearly the entire Great Basin region of western North America, particularly where sagebrush dominates the vegetation. The Mice increase the amount of water available from the small seeds they eat by storing them in the burrow, where humidity is higher than it is aboveground - the seeds actually absorb water while they are stored. Great Basin Pocket Mice become inactive from about November through March, entering torpor for long periods of time. The breeding season begins in April and ends as early as July in the northern part of the range, and as late as October farther south. Females have 1-3 litters of 2-8 young annually, though they may not breed during a drought.


Average: 174 mm males; 171 mm females
Range: 160-181 mm males; 160-190 mm females


Average: 25.4 g males; 20.5 g females
Range: 21.5-31 g males; 16.5-28.5 g females


Peale, T.R., 1848.  U.S. exploring expeditions 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 under the command of Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., Mammalogy and Ornithology, p. 53.  Asherman and Co., Philadelphia, 8:1-338.


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Distribution of Perognathus parvus

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