- Federal Status: Not listed
- FL Status: No longer listed in Florida as of January 11, 2017, but is part of the Imperiled Species Management Plan.
- FNAI Ranks: G3/S3 (Rare)
- IUCN Status: VU (Vulnerable)
The Florida mouse is a large member of the genus Podomys that can reach a length of eight inches (20.3 centimeters) and a weight of 0.7 to 1.7 ounces (36.9-49 grams). This species has a yellowish-brown upper body with orange colored sides and a white belly. It also has five plantar tubercles (foot pads) on each foot, which is distinct to the species (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001, Layne 1990, Layne 1992, Jones and Layne 1993).
The diet of the Florida mouse primarily consists of seeds, plants, fungi, and insects (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d.).
The Florida mouse digs small burrows inside the burrows of other species, primarily the gopher tortoise, where they will prepare a nest (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, n.d.). Reproduction occurs throughout the year, but peaks in the fall and winter. The number of young per litter is typically between two and four. Offspring are weaned at three to four weeks of age (Jones 1990, Layne 1990, Jones and Lane 1993).
The Florida mouse inhabits xeric uplands (ecological communities with well drained soils) such as sandhill and scrub (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). Peripheral peninsular counties are St. Johns, Clay, Putnam, Alachua, Suwannee, and Taylor counties in the north, south to Sarasota County on the west coast (although not documented in Sarasota County in recent years), south to Highlands County in central Florida, and, at least formerly, south to Dade County on the east coast (now south to near Boynton Beach (Layne 1992; Jones and Layne 1993; Pergams et al. 2008).
The Florida mouse exhibits narrow preferences for fire-maintained, xeric upland habitats occurring on deep, well-drained soils, especially scrub and sandhill habitats (Jones and Layne 1993). Because of this narrow habitat specificity, the major threat to the Florida mouse is loss and degradation of habitat caused by conversion to other uses (e.g. development and agricultural use) and insufficient management (e.g., fire suppression) (Layne 1990, 1992). In Highlands County, 64% of the species’ habitat was destroyed between 1940 and 1980, with an additional 10% considered disturbed or degraded (Layne 1992).
Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 2001. Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Podomys_floridanus.pdf
Jones, C.A. 1990. Microhabitat use by Podomys floridanus in the high pine lands of Putnam County, Florida. Ph.D. dissertation. The University of Florida, Gainesville, 158pp.
Jones, C.A. and J.N. Layne. 1993. Podomys floridanus. Mammalian Species 427:1-5.
Layne, J.N. 1990. The Florida mouse. Pp.1-21 in Proceedings of the eighth annual meeting gopher tortoise council: Burrow associates of the gopher tortoise (C.K. Dodd, Jr., R.E. Ashton, Jr., R. Franz, and E. Wester, eds.). Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, 134 pp.
Layne, J.N. 1992. Florida mouse Podomys floridanus. Pp. 250-264 in Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume I. Mammals (S.R. Humphrey, ed.). University Press of Florida, Gainesville, 386 pp.
Pergams, O., G. Hammerson, and D.R. Jackson. 2008. Podomys floridanus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.3. iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 05 October 2010.