back to HYPP Zoology home page


.
Apodemus sylvaticus L.
Mammalia, Rodentia, Muridae .

Common wood mouse

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images


[R]Description
- Adult: length of the head and body: 7.5 to 11.0 cm; lenght of the tail: 7.0 to 10,5 cm; weight: 20 to 30 g.
- The wood mouse has an elongated body, a tail as long as the body, large ears proud of the fur, large eyes like ankle-boot buttons. The hind legs are more developed than the fore legs, which allows the wood mouse to move quite frequently in leaps (jumping mouse) (*) .
It looks like a mouse (Mus musculus) but differs from it by larger size, lighter fur (brown grey above, white grey below) and by the fact that the tail's sheath comes off easily when pulled (*) .

[R]Biology
- The wood mouse frequents various habitats (edges of deciduous forests, hedges, fields, parks and gardens). In autumn, it has a tendency to seek refuge in buildings and homes. It is nocturnal. It runs quickly and climbs easily. In general it digs a shallow burrow, but can also live in existing cavities: hole of a wall, birds' box.
- Varied diet: it essentially eats seeds but also buds, fruit (*) , mushrooms and invertebrates. Like the mouse, it de-husks cereal seeds and eats only the kernel.
- The wood mouse can reproduce all the year round, but in general the female limits itself to 3 to 4 litters a year, each of 4 to 5 young (period of gestation: 23 days).
- Longevity: 2 to 4 years.

[R]Damage
- In large-scale farming or in gardens or glasshouses, the wood mouse eats and stores cereal seeds, red beet... at sowing time.
- Also, it eats varied stored food: fruit, seeds (*) , tubers and certain food produce; it can also damage insulation materials.


[R]Common Names
DE: Waldmaus, Kleine Waldmaus, Springmaus ES: Raton del monte FR: Mulot sylvestre, Souris sauteuse IT: Topo selvatico PT: Rato do campo GB: Common wood mouse

[R] Images

  1. Apodemus sylvaticus L. (ENV Lyon)
    Adult
  2. Apodemus sylvaticus L. (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Gnawed apple
  3. Apodemus sylvaticus L. (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Gnawed hazels emptied of their kernel
  4. Apodemus sylvaticus L. (ACTA)
    Comparison between the common wood mouse and the house mouse The common wood mouse is larger in size and its fur is paler than that of the house mouse.
    .
  5. Apodemus sylvaticus L. (Timbal J.)
    Stripping of bark of a conifer

To read this page in French

HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

back to HYPP Zoology home page