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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Rodentia · Cricetidae · Peromyscus californicus

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Peromyscus californicus

California Deermouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Peromyscus californicus
Peromyscus californicus - right (with P. crinitus)
Click to enlarge. (69 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

California Deermice are nocturnal, with peak activity periods near dusk and dawn. Adults are fairly sedentary, spending much of their time nesting under fallen logs or debris, in trees, or in the dens made by other rodents. The social organization is monogamous, with males and females forming long-term relationships—"long term" being a relative term, since this species has a life span of 9-18 months. Males help care for the young, and the male's presence increases their chance of survival. Females nurse their young for a prolonged period, compared to other Peromyscus; the young are not weaned until they are about five weeks of age. Female offspring disperse farther than males to establish their adult territories, another unusual characteristic.

Also known as:

California Mouse

Sexual Dimorphism:



Range: 220-285 mm


Range: 33.2-54.4 g


Gambel, W., 1848.  Descriptions of two new Californian quadrupeds, p. 78.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 4:77-78.


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Distribution of Peromyscus californicus

Image of Peromyscus californicus
Click to enlarge. (115kb)

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