The wood mouse
), 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
) 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
. 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.