Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mouse trouble (dead things warning)

Wood Mouse, so it seems

I seem to have made a complete bollocks of mouse id.

I have been reporting the mice that the cats occasionally dump on the kitchen floor or that we sometimes rescue from them and release as Yellow-necked Mouse Apodemus flavicollis but this is a species unrecorded in Yorkshire (The Naturalist N0 1062 Vol 132). So these mice have to be Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus. The id criteria are about the size of the yellow throat patch and the sharpness of the demarkation between the belly and upper body colour. My pix of the latest casualty do indeed show a small throat patch (good for Wood Mouse) but I'm not sure how much sharper the boundary between the colours needs to be, looks sharp to me (good for Yellow-necked).

If a higher authority has an opinion it will be gratefully received.

A little research shows that there is a record of A. flavicollis just south of Yorkshire and one record west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Methinks I should get hold of some better id criteria and examine these beasties a bit more carefully in future - document with photos for sure.

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