Head and body length of Peromyscus species range from
70-170 mm and tail lengths are 40-205 mm. There are 2 subgenera
and 55 species. P. leucopus has soft dense fur and large
ears which are covered with fine hairs. The tail is about one
third the length of the total length of this mouse, and is also
covered with fine hairs. Females have four or six mammae.
The preferred habitat is deep woodlands and brushy areas. Several
nest are built each year and are line with soft down from plants
or other materials which are shredded. Once a nest is soiled
it is abandoned and another is constructed. P. leucopus
is primarily nocturnal and active year round, though periods
of torpor occur for several hours, during which time there is
a drop in body temperature.
They eat seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, insects and other
small invertebrates and carrion.
Studies have shown that a paired male and female P. leucopus
will live together and that resident females will exclude other
females from their home range. Estrous cycles last an average
of 5.26 days, gestation periods range from 21-27 days. Litter
sizes vary by region, with those in the northern areas being
larger. In central Wisconsin the mean litter size is 4.77 offspring.
P. leucopus is found in S Alberta to S Ontario, Quebec
to Nova Scotia, Canada; throughout much of C and E USA, excluding
Florida; southwards to N Durango and along Caribbean coast to
Isthmus of Tehuantepec and NW Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.