Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Perognathus flavescens

Plains Pocket Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Perognathus flavescens
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The color of the Plains Pocket Mouse varies with soil color. The black volcanic sands near Flagstaff, Arizona harbor mice with nearly black fur, and mice with nearly white fur match the white gypsum dunes of New Mexico. Plains Pocket Mice are shy and nocturnal. Bright moonlit nights suppress their activity, perhaps because it would expose them to predators such as owls. Although Plains Pocket Mice are seed-eaters, they also eat insects, either when those are abundant, or when seeds are scarcer. When they are in their burrows, they plug the entrance with soil, and sometimes add another plug farther into the tunnel.

Also known as:
Apache Pocket Mouse

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 132.3 mm
Range: 117-155 mm

Average: 10.1 g
Range: 7-16 g


Merriam, C.H., 1889.  Preliminary revision of the North American pocket mice (genera Perognathus et Cricetodipus auct.) with descriptions of new species and subspecies and a key to the known forms, p. 11.  North American Fauna, 1:1-36.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Perognathus flavescens