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

place holder

  Rodentia · Cricetidae · Peromyscus californicus

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
 

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:
None

Length:
Range: 220-285 mm

Weight:
Range: 33.2-54.4 g

References:

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

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 Peromyscus californicus

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