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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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