Skip to main content
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

place holder

  Rodentia · Heteromyidae · Perognathus parvus

Search the Archive
 • Species Name
 • Family Tree
 • Conservaton Status
Collections
 • Skulls
 • Bones and Teeth
Field Guide
 • Map Search
   Including search by
     • Location
     • Ecoregion
     • Species
     • National Park
 • About Maps
dotted line
   Glossary
   Teacher Resources
   About the Site
dotted line
Smithsonian Institution
Copyright Notice
Privacy Notice
 

Perognathus parvus



Great Basin Pocket Mouse



Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Perognathus parvus
Click to enlarge. (75 kb)

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.

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

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

References:

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.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account *
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Perognathus parvus

Image of Perognathus parvus
Click to enlarge. (92kb)