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white-footed mouse

white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)
Photo © R. B. Forbes, Mammal Images Library of the American Society of Mammalogists

Features and Behaviors

The white-footed mouse is about three and three-fourths to four and one-fourth inches in length (head-body). It has bulging, black eyes. The body fur is red-brown with a dark band down the middle of the back. The belly and feet have white fur. The tail is longer than its head-body length. The tail is dark above and light below.

The white-footed mouse may be found statewide in Illinois. This rodent prefers wooded or brushy areas but will live in nearly any terrestrial habitat. The white-footed mouse eats seeds and other vegetation, insects and spiders. It is found on or above the ground in such locations as hollow logs, stumps, trees, abandoned bird nests and in thickets and is active at night. It is believed that the white-footed mouse mates throughout the year and that young may be born in any month. Litter size is four or five. Young are helpless at birth but are ready to live on their own in about one month.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Illinois Status: common, native