Woodland Jumping Mouse

 Napaeozapus insignis
Chuck Fergus

Found in the Northeast, New England and Canada, the woodland jumping mouse lives throughout Pennsylvania except for the southeastern lowlands. It is 8.4 - 9.8 inches long, including a 5.5-inch tail. It has a bright yellowish brown back and sides and a white belly; the tail is tipped with a prominent white tuft.

Napaeozapus insignis prefers cool, moist hemlock-hardwood forests in the mountains; it lives near streams, rarely in open fields or meadows, occasionally in dry oak-and-maple woods. Woodland jumping mice eat seeds, berries, nuts, green plants, fungi (particularly subterranean fungi of genus Endogene), insects, worms and millipedes. An individual home range is 1.2 - 8 acres. Although mainly nocturnal, woodland jumping mice venture out on cloudy days. They use burrows and trails made by moles and shrews. Normally they travel on all four feet, but for greater speed they hop with their long hind legs and can leap up to 10 feet. They evade predators by taking several bounds, then stopping suddenly under cover. Screech owls, weasels, skunks, minks, bobcats and snakes prey on woodland jumping mice. Like its cousin the meadow jumping mouse, the woodland species hibernates from October to late April or early May (about half the year) in an underground nest, singly or in pairs. Females bear 3 - 6 young in late June or early July; a second litter may be born in August.


Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Attn: Mammal Atlas Coordinator
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management