Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Mammals

Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis)

Description

An adult Yellow-necked mouse can be 88-130 mm long and weigh as much as 10-45 g, males are usually a bit heavier than females. The tails of this species are always somewhat longer than their body length, about 90-135 mm long. On the topside the mouse has rust-like/chestnut brown fur with a distinguished white belly. It has a yellow chest-spot which elongates to the throat and neck, like a yellow collar. The Yellow-necked mouse has litters of 2-11 young. The pups are born naked and blind, and weigh around 2.8 g. They begin opening their eyes after about 13 to 16 days and their distinctive yellow collar will starting to appear as a grey mark.

Habitat

Yellow-necked mice are commonly found in woodland type habitats. It tends to be in the edge of forests, but it can also be found in open shrub lands, urban areas and gardens. Its spatial distribution is related to the distribution of forest trees with heavy seeds, like oaks and hazels.

Diet

The diet of the Yellow-necked mouse, as most mice species, mainly consists of plant material (grains, nuts, fruits, seedlings, buds) and invertebrates (insects, larvae, worms, snails).

Protection Status

The mouse is currently listed as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List. No special conservation needs at this moment.

Interesting facts

The Yellow-necked mouse was thought to be the same species as the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) until 1894 when researchers noted the yellow-necked mouse had a yellow neck which the wood mouse did not, thus giving it the name "Yellow-necked mouse''. The yellow-necked mouse has also been found to occasionally transmit the virus causing tick-borne encephalitis while being immune to the virus itself.

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