The Cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus) is a species of rodent native to western North America. It is a closely related group of New World mice often called "deermice".
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Torpor is a state of decreased physiological activity in an animal, usually marked by a reduced body temperature and metabolic rate. Torpor enables...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Zoochory animals are those that can disperse plant seeds in several ways. Seeds can be transported on the outside of vertebrate animals (mostly mam...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Cactus mice have large eyes and ears, a pointed snout, and a long monocolor tail. Females weigh slightly more than males and are significantly larger in body length, ear length, length of mandible, and bullar width of skull. Cactus mice can be identified by having naked soles on their hind feet and almost naked flesh-colored tails, which are usually the same length or longer than the animals' body length. Their ears are nearly hairless, large, and membranous. Their fur is long and soft; coloration varies between subspecies and between different populations. The color of fur varies from ochre to cinnamon, with white ventral areas, and the sides and top of the head slightly grayish. Females tend to be slightly paler in color than males, while juveniles appear more gray than their parents.
Cactus mice are found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, as well as islands off the coast of the Baja California peninsula and in the Gulf of Mexico. They live in dry desert habitats, steppe, and mountain foothills.
Cactus mice are solitary rodents. They are nocturnal but may even appear at midday. They may be less active during the full moon. They have been described as "shy and excitable, and seldom bite when handled". They vocalize a shrill, high-pitched squeak when frightened. They may enter torpor when deprived of food in the winter, and food and/or water in the summer. Below 15 °C (59 °F), they enter torpor more slowly.
Cactus mice are omnivores. They eat seeds, mesquite beans, hackberry nutlets, insects, and green vegetation. In winter, they rely more on insects; on seeds and flowers in the spring; and seeds, leafy greens, and insects in the summer.
The mating habits of Cactus mice are currently not well studied, but like other Peromyscus species, they are thought to be polygynandrous (promiscuous). They mate year-round, but more so during warmer months. After the gestation period of 20 to 25 days, the female gives birth to 1-4 pups; they may have up to 4 litters per year. Young females start to breed after about 2 months of age.
There are no major threats to Cactus mice at present.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Cactus mouse total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, and its numbers today are stable.
Cactus mice play an important role in their ecosystem as seed dispercers and as prey items for other animals.