Meadow Jumping Mouse - Diet


The food preference of the meadow jumping mouse consists of seeds, but they also eat berries, fruit and insects. Usually right after emerging from hibernation they will eat the larvae of insects such as butterflies, and beetles of the family Carabidae, and Curculionidae. Later they will feed on seeds, and endogone which is a fungus. Towards the beginning of fall they start to gain weight in order to get ready for hibernation. Usually two weeks before hibernation is when they began to store up enough fat, and the greatest weight gain is noticed. Overall the meadow jumping mouse is considered to be a granivore, but can also be classified as an herbivore.

In 1947 a study was done to see what the jumping mouse preferred for food. For this study many caged jumping mice were fed forty species of plants representing 20 different families. They were also fed many different fruits, such as apples, pears, and also given grains such as oatmeal. To test if they would eat anything they were given, they were also fed prepared rat and mouse concentrate. Twenty-eight species of insects, pertaining to ten different orders were collected and fed to the jumping mouse. All were partially or completely eaten except for lady bugs, carrion beetles, and one of the larvae Lepidoptera. It is not easy to say which member of a given area prefers which insect but as a whole insects do compose an important part of the jumping mouse’s diet. By the time the study was concluded they could not say that any particular mouse from any given area preferred one type of food over another. However when the meadow jumping mice were fed plants, they consumed the only the seeds of some and the roots of others, but the plant itself usually stay intact.

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