Fawn-Coloured Mouse (Mus cervicolor)
Size. HB: 83; T: 58; HF: 16; E: 13; W: 15g.
A short haired. soft furry, long nosed mouse, coloured brownish grey above, whitish underneath. Differs from Mus caroli in its shorter tail, coloured brownish grey above instead of blackish, long nasals, smaller feet which are always white, paler incisors, incisive foramina cutting back between the anterior molars, and posterior palatal foramina located exactly in the middle of the palatal bridge as in all Mus except caroli.
This species is patchily distributed from
Pakistan and northern India, through Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand,
Cambodia, Vietnam and Southern China (Anning and Ruili, both localities in
Yunnan [Smith and Xie 2008]) (Musser and Carleton 2005). It has also been
recorded from northern Sumatra and Central and Eastern Java, both to Indonesia,
where it may represent either introduced or natural, relictual populations (Ken
Aplin pers. comm.). It is found from sea level to roughly around 2,000 m asl. it
is a common species, and can be locally very abundant.
Cambodia; India; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Vietnam
Habitat and Ecology:
In South Asia, it is a nocturnal, fossorial and
sometimes terrestrial species. It occurs in all types of habitats except
deserts. It is often found in fields and tall grassland habitat close to rivers.
It has been found to occupy irrigated and cultivated fields (Molur et al. 2005).
It is a paddy field mouse and is also found in grass raised for fodder. A litter
of 5 or 6 with a gestation period of 3 weeks with 3 weeks nursing. In China, it occurs in secondary growth, grass, brush, rice fields and other
agricultural areas (Smith and Xie 2008). In Southeast Asia, this species is
found in open areas in deciduous dipterocarp forest, grasslands and paddy fields
(Marshall 1977). This species is often sympatric with Mus caroli (Marshall
There appear to be no major threats to this species.
It is presumably present in many protected areas (eg. Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal in India). No direct conservation measures are currently needed for this widespread and adaptable species. It is listed in the Schedule V (considered as vermin) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Further studies are needed to clarify the taxonomic status of populations currently allocated to this species.