Harvest Mouse

Latin Name Micromys minutus
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Muridae
IUCN status Least concern
Habitat Areas of tall dense vegetation including cornfields, hedgerows, bamboo stands, reedbeds
Distribution Range across Europe (although absent from Scandinavia) from UK to Korea

General Information

Smallest of the British rodents weighing only 5 to 11gm. They live up to 18 months feeding mainly on seeds, fruits and bulbs. Occasionally, they eat insects, moss and fungi often caching their food underground for a winter store.

Breeding nests are built high above the ground and are made from woven grass where the female gives birth to 1 to 7 young up to 3 times each year.

Fun Fact

The only Old World mammal to have a truly prehensile tails, this means the tail automatically curls around anything it touches to hold them on, such as when they are climbing around on thin stalks and stems of tall grasses.

Keeper Notes

Our Harvest Mice breeding programme has been amazingly successful over the 2012-2013. We are delighted to continue working alongside university students and other organisations to make sure one of our tiniest creatures in the UK is fully supported.