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Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Mammals Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)

General: Long-tailed Pocket Mice (Chaetodipus formosus) are small, buffy-gray mice with small ears; a long, tufted tail; and no other marks. The head and body are about 3-inches long, and the tail is 4-5 inches long. They have external, fur-lined cheek pouches; run on all four feet; and have a crest of long hairs on the top of the tail.

Like kangaroo rats, pocket mice have external, fur-lined cheek pouches that they use to carry seeds and other food items to and from their burrows and seed caches. Most animals carry food in their mouth (e.g., dogs and cats) or inside the cheeks (chipmunks), but pocket mice actually have an extra pouch on the outside of their cheeks, similar to the pouch of an Australian kangaroo.

Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Pocket Mice are common or abundant in the deserts and lower mountains around Las Vegas in the Lower Sonoran (Creosote-Bursage Flats) and Upper Sonoran (Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zones. You won't see them because they are nocturnal, but their burrows give away their presence, and you might see them darting across desert roads at night.
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Arrows indicate the external, fur-lined cheek pouches. The reddish area between the arrows is her chin.
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Arrows indicate the mouth (note the yellow rodent teeth) and the external, fur-lined cheek pouches.
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) The tail is long and crested (longer hairs on the top of the tail).
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Typical pocket mouse burrow entrance. Notice that the hole goes straight down and that there is no evidence of a dirt mound. Pocket mice often move into the burrows of other animals (e.g., pocket gopher, kangaroo rat), and dig escape holes by burrowing upward from inside an existing tunnel.
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Note the pear-shape body form and long tail
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Note the long hairs on the top of the tail
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Pelage is buffy-gray above, lighter below
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Ear relatively small
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long whiskers
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Hind feet fairly large
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Front feet relatively small
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Yep, it's a female.
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
External, fur-lined cheek pouch
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
External, fur-lined cheek pouch
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus) Long-tailed Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus formosus)
Long-tailed Pocket Mouse tracks in soft sand

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170702

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