Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Key to the Skulls of North Dakota Mammals
Note on Peromyscus
The genus Peromyscus is represented in North Dakota by at least two species:
P. maniculatus, Deer Mouse and P. leucopus, White-footed Mouse
(each species has two or more subspecies recorded from the state). While Marston
(1966) showed that the two species can be readily discriminated (separated)
by electrophoretic methods, skulls show a high degree of variability. They are
variable to the extent that identifying some of them is almost impossible. Soiseth
(1970) studied phenetic discrimination of P. m. bairdii and P. l.
noveboracensis in the Red River Valley of North Dakota. Soiseth obtained
a certain degree of separation but was not able to show complete discrimination.
Until additional research is done, separation of these two species in North
Dakota is not advisable using skull characteristics.
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