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

Olive-backed Pocket Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Perognathus fasciatus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The striking olive dorsum of the Olive-backed Pocket Mouse is set off by a yellowish stripe on the side and a white underside. This is the only species of pocket mouse east of the Rocky Mountains whose range extends well into Canada. It inhabits grassland, shrub-steppe, and desert scrub habitat. In cold weather, it may retreat to a grass-lined nest in its burrow and become torpid, suspending activity for a period of time until the weather improves. It appears to prefer loose sandy or sandy-loam soils, where it sandbathes to clean its fur and fur-lined cheek pouches. Like other pocket mice, the Olive-backed Pocket Mouse feeds primarily on seeds that can be stuffed into its cheek pouches and transported to the tunnel system.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 134.7 mm
Range: 125-142 mm

Range: 8-14 g


Wied, Maximilian, Prince of., 1839.  Uber einige nager mit assueren backentaschen aus dem westlichen nord-America, p. 369.  I.  Uber ein paar neue Gattungen der Nagethiere mit ausseren Backentaschen, Nova Acta Physico-Medica, Academiae, Caesareae Leopoldino-Carolinae, 19:367-374.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Perognathus fasciatus