A buffy-colored mouse with a white belly and reddish-colored hair inside the ear, the fulvous harvest mouse can be distinguished from other harvest mice by their noticeably longer tail. Harvest mice can be differentiated from other mice by their grooved incisors.
Fulvous harvest mice average 6.5 inches in length. These mice have long tails that comprise more than half of their total length.
Native to the south-central United States (Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas), the fulvous harvest mouse’s range extends into Central America. They are often associated with brushy grasslands, prairies and cross timbers habitats. To traverse the grasslands, fulvous harvest mice create narrow beaten paths, or use those created by other rodents like the common hispid cotton mouse.
Fulvous harvest mice eat a variety of seeds, insects and plant matter. Like many species of wildlife, their diet shifts with prey availability. Insects comprise a majority of the mouse’s diet in spring, while seeds form the majority in fall and winter. Breeding occurs from late spring to early autumn, with most litters averaging 3 young. Fulvous harvest mice generally build their grassy nests above ground; oftentimes repurposing abandoned bird nests. Other times, nests are built in small underground burrows or crevices. Fulvous harvest mice are chiefly nocturnal.