sigmodontinids for inhabiting areas near human development, including areas dominated by invasive plant species. is most commonly found in open fields with dense grass or ground cover, where it creates runways connecting feeding and nesting areas. ("Cane Mice", 1991; "Zygodontomys brevicauda", 2010; Mayer, et al., 1992; Utrera, et al., 2000)can be found in a wide variety of habitats including grasslands, marshes, roadsides, forests and agricultural lands, and is typically found at lower elevations (0 to 600 m). Because it can inhabit many different environments, it is better-suited than most
- Other Habitat Features
- Range elevation
- 0 to 600 m
- 0.00 to 1968.50 ft
pelage with hues of yellow and red. The venter ranges from grayish-white to darker shades of gray. Pelage color varies with population and habitat type. Island residents are more richly pigmented than those found in arid, mainland regions. ("Cane Mice", 1991; Mayer, et al., 1992; Voss, 1991)ranges in head-body length from 95 to 155 mm, and its tail ranges from 35 to 130 mm in length. Tail length is typically three-quarters the length of an individual's head-body length. Adults weigh 60 to 80 g, and captive-born pups weigh 3 to 4 g at birth. has grizzled brown
Members of Zygodontomys can be distinguished from most sigmodontinids by their shorter tails and short hind feet, and can be distinguished from Akodon (i.e., grass mice) by the short nails on their forefeet. can be distinguished from its closest extant relative, Zygodontomys brunneus, by its smaller size and deeper zygomatic notches. Sexual dimorphism has not been reported in this species. ("Cane Mice", 1991; Voss, 1991)
- Average mass
- 80 g
- 2.82 oz
- Range length
- 95 to 155 mm
- 3.74 to 6.10 in
There is little information on the mating systems of Sigmodontinae generally have promiscuous mating systems. However, Akodon azarae is polygynous females mates with a single male and males attempt to mate with as many females as possible. (Carleton and Musser, 1984; Suarez and Kravetz, 1998). However, members of the subfamily
Neonates are born altricial, without hair and teeth, but digits are separated. Young develop juvenile pelage around the 5th day after birth and open their eyes on the 6th or 7th day following birth. Females become mature by 25.6 days after birth, and males become mature by 42.3 days. The presence of adult males increases the rate of uterine growth in young females. ("Cane Mice", 1991; Pierson and Heideman, 1994; Voss, 1991)
- Key Reproductive Features
- year-round breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- post-partum estrous
- Breeding season
- Short-tailed cane mice breed non-seasonally throughout the year.
- Range number of offspring
- 1 to 11
- Average number of offspring
- Average gestation period
- 25 days
- Range weaning age
- 9 to 11 days
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 25.6 days
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 42.3 days
There is no information available regarding the lifespan of short-tailed cane mice. The average lifespan of wild members of the subfamily Sigmodontinae is less than one year. Those living in captivity can live much longer, sometimes up to 5 years, probably due to adequate food supply and lack of predators. (Nowak, 1999)
Short-tailed cane mice are nocturnal and terrestrial. They are seldom found in or captured in trees. They prefer areas of dense ground cover, where they make runways leading from burrows to areas with resources. They construct burrows in holes or under roots of grasses or other plants. Populations vary in density depending on season and resource availability. When resources are abundant, densities can be up to 15 mice per ha. In times of harsh weather and limited food supply, there may be fewer than 1 mouse per ha. Although there is evidence that they are social, little is known of the social structure of this species. They can persist, proliferate and thrive at high densities as long as resources are plentiful. ("Cane Mice", 1991; Mayer, et al., 1992; "New World Rats and Mice", 2009)
- Range territory size
- 70 (high) m^2
There is little information available regarding the home range of short-tailed cane mice. Based on a single study, home ranges may be as large as 70 m^2. (Giuggioli, et al., 2005)
Communication and Perception
There is no information available regarding communication and perception in sigmodontine rodents, they likely use sight, olfaction, hearing and touch to perceive their environment. It is common for mice to communicate vocally with squeaking sounds or visual signals. may also use scent or chemical cues used to demarcate territorial boundaries and communicate with conspecifics during mating season. (Carleton and Musser, 1984; Nowak, 1999). However, similar to other
Short-tailed cane mice are omnivorous, feeding mostly on seeds, grains, insects and fruit. They are also known to eat fungi, insect larvae and grass. Short-tailed cane mice are used in biological studies investigating dietary quality and gastrointestinal function, as they have exceptionally broad diets and are tolerant of a wide range of foods. ("Cane Mice", 1991; Mayer, et al., 1992; "New World Rats and Mice", 2009; Voss, 1991)
- Primary Diet
- Animal Foods
- Plant Foods
- seeds, grains, and nuts
- Other Foods
Short-tailed cane mice live in a variety of habitats and therefore face a diverse group of predators. Major predators include various birds of prey, including barn owls, striped owl, white-tailed kites, and gray hawks; and small carnivorous mammals, including forest foxes and jaguarundi. Their coloration likely helps reduce risk of predation and the semi-fossorial tendencies help minimize interactions with potential predators. (Voss, 1991)
As omnivores, short-tailed cane mice are opportunistic feeders that consume both plants and animals. They are locally abundant throughout their range and may have a significant influence on insect pest populations. As herbivores and granivores, they likely disperse the seeds of various plants throughout their geographic range. They are an important prey item for a wide variety of carnivorous animals. Short-tailed cane mice are host to numerous ectoparasites, including mites (Laelaps dearmasi), lice (Hoplopleura nesoryzomydis), fleas, ticks and chiggers (Atelepalme smarma). They are also host to various endoparasites including pinworms and trichomonad protozoa. Short-tailed cane mice are reservoirs for various diseases, such as Yersina pseudotuberculosis, Hantavarus and murine coronavirus, which may affect local wildlife and human populations. ("Cane Mice", 1991; "Hanta bearing mice: is their movement diffusive?", 2004; Voss, et al., 1992; Voss, 1991)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
- research and education
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
- Negative Impacts
- carries human disease
- crop pest
There are three subspecies of Z. brevicauda brevicauda, Z. brevicauda cherriei and Z. brevicauda microtinus. (Voss, 1991):
Angela Gedeller (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
- scent marks
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
- year-round breeding
breeding takes place throughout the year
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