Panama City Ecological Services / Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office
Conserving the Nature of America


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Perdido Key beach mouse
  Santa rosa beach mouse
Photos by FWS



Beach Mice



Beach mice are small, pale mice with large ears and dark eyes. Although pale, beach mice exhibit a hint of brownish or grayish coloration across their backs. Beach mice are difficult to tell apart from other Florida mice. However, beach mice are normally much whiter than other mice. The amount and hue of coloration varies among subspecies, with the Santa Rosa beach mouse being the palest and the Alabama beach mouse having the most pigmentation. Subspecies also may be distinguished by the extent to which coat coloration extends onto their faces and down their sides, and by the presence or absence of a tail stripe.

Beach mice have a monogamous mating system. A male mates with one female. Monogamy appears in less than 3% of all mammals. Mating among beach mice peaks in the winter but continues year-round. Beach mice live 9 months to a year in the wild.

The beach mouse survives in dunes and open scrub along the beach and feeds primarily on seeds and insects. Habitat loss is due mostly to coastal development and hurricanes.

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Last updated: December 8, 2015