Ryukyu Mouse (Mus caroli)
This species is widespread throughout Southern China and
South-East Asia. It is known from Okinawa Island, Japan (it is not known whether
this population was introduced (Abe et al. 2005)) to Taiwan, Province of China,
Southern China (Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Hainan Island, and
Hong Kong provinces) (Smith and Xie 2008), Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and
Thailand (Musser and Carleton 2005). It has also been recorded from the
Malay Peninsula, and in Indonesia in Sumatra, Java, Madura and Flores Islands in
Nusa Tenggara; all places where they may possibly have been inadvertently
introduced (Musser and Newcomb 1983), but they may also represent relictual
populations (although those on Flores are definitely introductions). The spotty
distribution of this species on the Sunda Shelf is best explained by inadvertent
human introductions (Musser and Newcomb 1983).
Cambodia; China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Yunnan); Hong Kong; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Vietnam
Present - origin uncertain:
Indonesia (Jawa, Lesser Sunda Is., Sumatera); Japan (Nansei-shoto); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia)
Size. HB: 76; T:78; HF:18; E: 14; W: 12 g.
A cute tiny mouse; the pelage is brownish grey to brown above, and white to creamy white below; the head is small with large ears; projecting upper incisors are tan or brownish; the long tail is longer than or equal to the head-to-body length, dark above and pale below; foot pads are small and oval in shape.
Habitat and Ecology:
This species inhabits grasslands, scrub and secondary growth
as well as other grassy agricultural fields such as rice paddies where it feeds
on seeds and invertebrates (Smith and Xie 2008). They are mainly active at
night, although they sometimes also are active for brief periods during the day
(Smith and Xie 2008). It digs tunnels in the clay sod of the terrarium by
biting off mouthfuls and raises a litter of 5 or 6 inside a ball of dry grass
deep in the sod.
There are no major threats to the species throughout its
This species probably occurs in several protected areas throughout its range. In China, it occurs in Changshanerhai and Tongbiguan Nature Reserves (CSIS 2008). Research should be conducted to determine the status of a potentially distinct species in central Myanmar. In China, this species has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).