Wood Mouse - Apodemus sylvaticus

Alternative names
Long-tailed Field Mouse

This mouse is easily distinguished from the House Mouse by its larger ears and eyes and pale underside. They have soft, smooth fur which is sandy or orange brown on the head and back, yellowish on the flanks and white on the belly. The tail is almost as long as the body. They are about 10 cm long. The male is 25g - 30g and the female is 20g.

Identification difficulty

It will live just about anywhere there is food and shelter. It traditionally roams fields, hedgerows, forests and grass lands where it can find plenty of food. It is increasingly turning up in houses, particularly in autumn.

When to see it

All year round. It does not hibernate.

Life History

They nest wherever there is cover and warmth, usually below ground but they can also be found in hedgerows, buildings, etc. It has 3 to 8 young (average is 5). The gestation period is 25-26 days. The life span is short - usually only a few months but it may survive longer. They are generally nocturnal animals with superb hearing and vision (hence the large eyes and ears). These mice are primarily seed eaters, relying to a great extent on the seeds of trees, but will also eat berries, invertebrates, worms, carrion and other similar food.

UK Status

Widespread in Britain and Ireland and also on many of the surrounding islands.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map