State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Micromys minutus (Pallas, 1771)

  • Mus minutus Pallas, 1771
Vernacular Name
Eurasian Harvest Mouse, Harvest Mouse
Conservation status
Value of species
Micromys minutus danubialis Simionescu, 1971 Micromys minutus minutus (Pallas, 1771) The harvest mouse has a large range in the Palaearctic and Indomalayan regions, where it occurs from northern Spain and Great Britain through Europe, eastern Fennoscandia, and Russia to northern Mongolia, China, the Korean peninsula, northeast India, Myanmar and Viet Nam (Corbet 1978, Panteleyev 1998, Spitzenberger 1999); also Japan and Taiwan. It is present on the border between southern Sweden and south-east Norway, where it is regarded as possibly introduced (van der Kooij et al. 2001, Wilson and Reeder 2005, van der Kooij et al. in litt. 2006). In Europe, it is largely absent from Iberia, southern part of Italy, the Alps, and it occurs only sporadically in the Balkans. It is typically a lowland species, although it occurs at altitudes of up to 1,700 m asl in Europe (Spitzenberger 1999). It is restricted to the northern parts of Mongolia, including Mongol Altai, Hövsgöl, Hentii and Ikh Hyangan mountain ranges, Mongol Daguur Steppe and Eastern Mongolia. In Japan, the species is found on Honshu (Miyagi and Niigata Prefectures southwards), Shikoku, Kyushu, as well as the Oki Islands (Dogo, Nishinoshima, and Nakanoshima), Awaji, Teshima, Innoshima, Osaki-kamishima, Tsushima, Shimoshima (Amakusa Islands), Fukue (Goto Islands), and Kuchinoerabu (Osumi Islands) (Abe, et al., 2005). The species is likely found more widely on small islands in the vicinity of the known distribution in Japan (Abe, et al., 2005). The species is found from sea level up to 1,200 m asl in Japan. Population declines have been noted in many parts of Europe. However, populations of this species fluctuate drastically, and some reported declines may in fact have been part of a natural fluctuation (Trout 1978, Haberl and Kryštufek 2003). The species is hard to trap and is often not recorded even when it is present (Haberl and Kryštufek 2003). However, nests may be found quite easily by experienced observers (R. Juškaitis pers. comm. 2006). It is considered to be common in South Asia. Present in a wide variety of habitats, including alpine grasslands, tall grass fields, bamboo stands, wetlands, reedbeds, and clearings and edges of humid forest. It has also adapted to a variety of anthropogenic habitats, including gardens and arable land (in the wetter north-western parts of its range), drainage ditches, and grain or rice paddies (Spitzenberger 1999). It has a high tolerance of disturbed habitats (Haberl and Kryštufek 2003). Their diet includes seeds, green vegetation, insects, and bird's eggs.
Book reference
  • Татаринов К. А. Звірі західних областей України (матеріали до вивчення фауни Української РСР). - Київ: Вид-во АН УРСР, 1956. - 188 с.

Taxonomic branch