Australian jumping mouse

Notomys alexis


Notomys alexis (Thomas, 1922), Northern Territory, Australia. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Australian hopping mouse, jerboa mouse; French: Souris sauteuses d'Australie; German: Australische Hüpfmäuse; Spanish: Ratón saltador.


Body length 3.9-5.9 in (10-15 cm); tail 3.5-8.2 in (9-21 cm); weight 0.7-1.7 oz (20-50 g). Their upper coloring is light sandy brown to gray. Their bellies are white to light gray. They have long tails and large ears, but their distinguishing feature is the narrow, large hind feet that enable them to effortlessly jump higher than 3.2 ft (1 m), and relatively small forefeet. Their tails are long and finely coated and, like the rest of the genus, have sebaceous glands, which are utilized for territorial marking.


Endemic to and spread throughout central Australia's deserts arid landscapes.


Live in dunes and grasslands and dig burrows that can vary in complexity.


Nocturnal social creatures, they involve themselves in grooming, huddling, walking over each other, crawling under each other, and sleeping together. When they fight, they not only rush at each other and punch each other with their fore legs, but they also leap at each other. The hopping mice generally walk on all fours, but in cases of haste and aggression will leap with their hind legs. They also live in groups with a high maximum density.


Eat berries and other vegetation, but they can live without water provided they receive sufficient hydration from their regular diet. They have extremely concentrated urine and avoid dehydration by staying underground during periods of intense heat.


A month-long gestation period leads to a litter of about three pups. They are born naked and blind, but open their eyes by week three and are weaned after five weeks and are ready to reproduce at three months. Females carry their young by their nipples. Their reproductive rates vary widely, depending on ecological conditions.


The dusky hopping mouse, N. fuscus, is listed as Vulnerable. SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

There is no major significance to humans, but they have become popular pets. ♦

Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

Golden spiny mouse Acomys russatus German: Goldene Stachelmaus

Cyprus spiny mouse Acomys nesiotes German: Zypern-Stachelmaus

Striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius German: Brandmaus

Long-tailed field mouse Apodemus sylvaticus German: Waldmaus; Spanish: Ratoli de rostoll

African grass rat Arvicanthis niloticus

Golden-bellied water rat Hydromys chrysogaster German: Australische Schwimmratte

Short-tailed bandicoot rat Nesokia indica

Dusky hopping mouse Notomys fuscus French: Souris sauteuse; Spanish: Ratones saltadores de Australia


Light golden brown, underparts are white. Pelage is bristly, the ends of the spines are black or gray. White patch below each eye and ear. Head and body length 2.7-5.9 in (7-15 cm), tail length 1.5-5.1 in (4-13 cm), weight 0.5-2.8 oz (15-80 g).

Predominantly golden brown. Long, drawn-out pointed face that tapers out into a pointed nose. High-standing funnel ears. Head and body length 3.5-5.1 in (9-13 cm), tail length 3.5-4.7 in (912 cm).

Yellow-brown with black, mid-dorsal stripe. Head and body length 3.7-4.5 in (9.4-11.6 cm), tail length 0.7-8 in (1.92.1 cm).

Arid regions consisting of deserts and savannas dominated by rocky crevices. Breeds throughout the year.

Deserts, savanna, and dry steppes with stony areas. Build nests; good runners and climbers.

Grassy fields, cultivated areas, paddies, woodlands, and forests. Breeding season throughout the year. Females can produce up to six litters per year, each of up to six young.

Eastern Egypt, Sinai, Jordan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.


Not threatened

Animal matter but also includes snails, insects, seeds, and other plant material.

Mainly snails and Insects. Data Deficient

Grayish buff, grayish brown, brown with yellow or red, mixed with pale sand color Underparts are white or light gray. Feet are white, tail not prehensile. Head and body length 2.3-5.9 in (6-15 cm), tail length 2.7-5.7 in (7-14.5 cm).

Stout body, short legs. Coloration ranges from buff to olive brown to dark gray-brown. May have dorsal stripe. Under parts are lighter. Weight 1.7-4.2 oz (50120 g).

Grassy fields, cultivated areas, woodlands and forests. Produces up to four litters a year, each with four to seven young. Nocturnal.

Savanna grasslands. Five to six young per litter. Gregarious, live in burrow systems.

Central Europe to Lake Roots, grains, seeds,

Baikal, south to Thrace, berries, nuts, and insects.

Caucasus, and Tien

Shan Mountains; Amur

River through Korea to eastern Xizang and eastern Yunnan, western Sichuan, Fujiau, and Taiwan, China; and

Quelpart Island, Korea.

Europe north to Roots, grains, seeds,

Scandinavia and east to berries, nuts, grasses, northwestern Ukraine grain kernels, fruits, and

Not threatened

Not threatened and northern Belarus, and on many islands, as well as mountains of northern Africa from Atlas Mountains in Morocco east across Algiers to Tunisia.

Most of Africa.


Webbed, broad front and hind feet. Blunt Found near permanent fresh Australia, Tasmania, muzzle with whiskers, flat head with small ears and eyes. Thick, white-tipped tail.

Dull brown or grayish brown on back, underparts are light gray. Pelage ranges from dense and coarse to long and smooth. Head and body length 5.5-8.4 in (14-21.5 cm), tail length 3.4-5 in (8.812.9 cm).

Long tail, large ears, and dark eyes. Upperparts range from pale sandy brown to yellowish brown to ashy brown or grayish. Underparts are white. Head and body length 3.5-7 in (9.1-17.7 cm), tail length 4.9-8.8 in (12.5-22.5 cm).

water. Dependent on water for food. Breeds in spring and summer, lives alone or in pairs in burrow system. Diurnal, sedentary, and generally solitary.

Moist areas or along streams and canals, as well as deserts, steppes, cultivated areas, and forests. Nocturnal and fossorial. Make extensive burrows with several chambers. A single rat occupies each burrow.

Sand dunes, grasslands, tree and shrub heaths, and lightly wooded areas. Build nests; glands used for marking territories and individuals.

and New Guinea.

Egypt to Sinkiang and northern India.

Grains, seeds, grass shoots, as well as insects and fruits.

Crustaceans, mollusks, fish, ducks, poultry, frogs, turtles, bats, house mice, and aquatic insects.

Leaves and roots of lawn grass.

Not threatened

Not threatened

Not threatened


Seeds, berries, leaves, green plants, and occasionally insects.


Common name /

Scientific name/


Habitat and


Other common names






Long-tailed mouse

Grayish brown above, underparts are

Areas with high annual

Australia and Tasmania.


Not threatened

Pseudomys higginsi

white. Bicolor tail, tipped with white.

rainfall, such as rainforests,

subterranean fungi, fruits

Nostril is pink and naked. Head and body

wet sclerophyll forests, wet

of shrubs, and

length 5 in (13 cm), weight 2.1-2.5 oz

scrub, and eucalyptus scrub.


(60-70 g).

Breeding season from

November to April. One to

two litters in a season, each

with a litter size of three to

four offspring. Nocturnal,

motile, and sedentary.

False water rat

Long, flat head with small eyes and

Coastal swamps with

Northern Territory and

Small crustaceans such


Xeromys myoides

short, rounded ears. Coloration is dark

mangrove forest. Nocturnal.

Melville Island off the

as crabs, marine

French: Faux rat d'eau; Spanish:

gray, white underside. Coat is water

Litter size is small, two

coast of Northern

polyclads, marine

Rata bastarda de agua

resistant. Tail is scaled. Head and body

offspring. Little is known of

Territory, Australia.

pulmonates, shellfish,

length 4.5-10.6 in (11.5-27 cm), tail

reproductive patterns.

and worms.

length 3.3-3.9 in (8.5-10 cm), weight

1.4-2.1 oz (40-60 g).

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