Marsh rice rat

Oryzomys palustris

TAXONOMY

Oryzomys palustris (Harlan, 1837), near Salem, New Jersey, United States. Tribe Oryzomyini.

ability. Animal items vary, but insects, fiddler crabs, snails are the most common; other animal items are fishes, clams, eggs, and young of long-billed marsh wrens.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeding may occur throughout the year, although it may be low during hot summer months. Gestation period lasts between 21 and 28 days. Different average litter size has been reported, 3.6, 4.8, and 5. Newborn weigh around 0.1 oz (3.5 g). Weaning occurs at age 11-20 days. Sexual maturity is reached between 40 and 45 days of age. Life expectancy is generally less than one year.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Reservoir of the Bayou hantavirus, a pathogenic virus associated with human pulmonary syndrome. ♦

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