Mice are adorable. I understand why some people are suspicious of wild mice that burrow into cabinets, leave feces in drawers, and exhibit poor hygiene, but pet mice are charming. They’re teeny-tiny, with twitching whiskers and round ears.
I adore them. Indeed, they are available in a rainbow of hues, including black, white, cream, red, chocolate, lilac, blue, fawn, silver, dove, champagne, cinnamon, golden agouti, and silver agouti.
Medium-sized, golden (deep ochre brown) mouse with white legs with soft and thick fur; larger than the fulvoso harvest mouse and without furrows on the upper incisors; white legs; pale cinnamon brown underparts; brownish tail, darker on top than on the bottom.
Dental formula: I 1/1, C 0/0, Pm 0/0, M 3/3 × 2 = 16. Average values for external dimensions: total length 176 mm; tail 78 mm; rear leg 19 mm. Weight 15-25 g.
These little, arboreal mice are primarily found in forested settings. Trees, vines, and brush tangles appear to be a favoured environment. Specimens were collected on dark, wooded slopes where mice nestled in tangles of grapevines; others were collected in an old meadow overgrown with blackberries, wild grapes, and a few tiny trees. Two specimens were captured near Bowie in a hollow, fallen tree in the river bottomlands; one specimen was captured near Lufkin in a pile of brush in the hammock region near the Angelina River bottom. Their nests are made of grass, Spanish moss, or leaves and lined with shredded plant fibers or, on occasion, feathers; nests range in size from a small brood nest the size of a softball to massive communal nests 20–30 cm in diameter that can house a half dozen or more mice.Eight individuals, all males, were housed in one such nest. Typically, nests are built in trees or shrubs between a few millimeters and three meters above the ground; occasionally, nests are built on the ground beneath some form of protective cover such as a log, a stump, or a pile of brush, or in cavities in standing trees.
Golden mice were frequently trapped in the preserve’s woodland habitats during fieldwork in the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, few specimens of this mouse have been collected in eastern Texas over the last few decades. Cody Edwards and Andy Bradstreet of Stephen F. Austin University conducted a study of golden mice in Nacogdoches and San Augustine counties in 2003 and 2004 and discovered two viable populations. Additionally, they gave information about the species’ ecology and natural history.
IUCN lists the golden mouse as one of the least worrying species and it does not appear on federal or state lists of affected species. Given the rarity of this species, populations must be monitored and their conservation status determined. You may have trouble finding a fancy frizzie mouse in an old pet store, but there are many good breeders who focus on them.