wood mouse

field mouse

or wood mouse

In general, any mouse that normally lives in fields; more strictly, any of about seven species of small, long-tailed mice in the genus Apodemus (family Muridae). Field mice in this genus are found in fields, woodlands, and mountain meadows in the warm and temperate parts of Eurasia. They are grayish or light or reddish brown and are 2–5 in. (6–12 cm) long excluding the tail. They generally live in burrows and build nests of grass and other plants. They eat seeds, roots, and other plant material, occasionally damaging crops or young trees.

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The wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), also called the long-tailed field mouse, is a common rodent that was recognised as a distinct species in 1894. It is closely related to the yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis) but differs in that it has no band of yellow fur around the neck, has slightly smaller ears, and is usually slightly smaller overall: around 90mm in length. If a wood mouse is caught by its tail, it can quickly shed the end of it, which may never regrow. The wood mouse does not hibernate and, despite its name, it prefers hedgerows to woodland. It is found across most of Europe and is a very common and widespread species, is commensal with people and is sometimes considered a pest.


Almost entirely nocturnal, wood mice burrow extensively, digging a series of chambers and runs. Their usual habitat is woodlands, fields and hedgerows, although they are also found in open grassland.


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