Steppe mouse description and photo, how it looks and where it lives | Message

Steppe mouse (lat. Sicista Subtilis) received the first description back in 1773. This is a small rodent, which is popularly called a striped mouse. The animal is characterized by compact dimensions and high activity of the entire day. They are familiar with the “bear lifestyle”, the mice fall into hibernation in winter.

Appearance and features

Masters are pretty small rodents similar to mice. They have a very long and thin tenacious tail. Its length reaches 7.5-8.2 cm in length, while the length of the whole body does not exceed 6.1-7.2 cm. Short rare hairs are located on the tail of the animal. Mouse weight up to 25 g.

Outwardly, the mouse is similar to mice, but the anatomical structure is more like tushka. The rodent has a pointed muzzle and the base of the auricle. The hair on the back prevails with a brown-gray color with a hoarse “raid”. A dark strip runs along the ridge, and longitudinal strips with blurry edges spread on the sides of it.

The mouse has the hind limbs twice as long as the front. Characteristic features include the lower jaw with high corneal processes and long vibris on the sides of the nose. The tail of rodents is necessary not only for support, but also to cover the stems and branches, performs “grabbing” functions.


Steppe mouse got their name for a reason. Rodents settled in cereal-along and cereal-growing steppes, near priosary basins, reed and shrub thickets along the banks of lakes.

Animals can be found on the deciduous edges of the bors, in birch stoops and sandstone. In general, they can settle in a wide variety of stations. In order for the mouse to be safely existed, it is vital for her dense herbal cover or thickets of shrubs.

Striped mice live shallow underground. It is generally accepted that they do not dig holes themselves, but settle in the abandoned “houses” of other rodents. Masters can settle under the bark of fallen trees and live in rotten stumps or moss bumps. In rare cases, animals equip round nests directly on the surface of the earth using grass and moss.

Behavior and life

The striped mouse refers to rodents flowing into the hibernation in winter. All stages of the life cycle occur very quickly. Rodents are active no more than 5-5.5 months a year. The population completely changes the hairline at the time of hibernation molting falls on the summer time of time. At the same time, males are fed in June, females in July, and young animals, born this year, throws off the wool in the last summer month.

The animals lead an active lifestyle at any time of the day they run a lot, but do not leave the limits of their habitat. During the cooling period, the activity of the mouse is reduced, they can fall into a numb.

Masters are able to move quickly, impulsively, run by trot or gallop, raising the tail that serves as a balancer. Rodents are very dexterous, because they can easily move along inclined and vertical stems and branches.

What they eat

Small rodents prefer insects and some other invertebrates. They also consume various plant foods (bulbs, seeds, rhizomes, green parts of plants). They consider articulated “goodies” to be arthropods, especially with soft cover. Willingly eat flies, scaly, locusts, various larvae and caterpillars.

The consumption of the food of the mouse passes on the hind limbs they rest on the tail, holding the insect with front paws.


The marriage period in rodents occurs approximately 10-12 days after waking up from winter hibernation. This period in individuals is accompanied by activity. Only a couple of hours a day they can rest.

Usually these are peaceful animals, because fights and brawls are extremely rare between them, even during the breeding period. Males, as a rule, during sexual activity show demonstrative behavior show excessive attention of the female they like, also make all kinds of sounds similar to trill or chirping.

Females give offspring once a year, the duration of the bearing is 25-35 days. Usually from 2 to 7 animals in one litter is born.

Newborn rodents are very similar to ordinary mice, but in the mouse the length of the body is 2.5-3 cm, it does not have a hairline, which is why multiple blood vessels are visible. Animals are born with closed eyes and covered auditory passages.

Masters grow up slowly, for about 14 days they begin to move independently and eat. Auditory and visual qualities are manifested a month after birth. At this age, they are outwardly similar to adults, but only a little smaller. For 1-1.5 months, small mice feed on mother’s milk, and only when the parent begins to move away, the kids have to learn to be independent.

Interesting Facts

There are several interesting facts about small rodents that look like mouse.

What is interesting to know:

  • Life is familiar with mousetodo with mouse they sit in holes in the afternoon and only in the evening may appear out;
  • Rodents quickly wake up after winter hibernation, they have enough for this no more than half an hour. In this case, they make whistling sounds;
  • Preparations for winter hibernation in mice are taking place from the arrangement of a special hole with a nest. Animals log in the entrance to the sleeping place with dry foliage.
  • Steppe mouse are not dangerous for humans rodents, as they prefer to live in the steppes and equip holes underground. These are rodents characterized by small sizes, but having a tenacious tail that allows you to tightly grab the branches of the trees and move to the right place.

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