Date of Award

Summer 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Robert K. Rose

Committee Member

Alan Savitzky

Committee Member

Frank P. Day

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 C42


Reithrodontomys humulis, the eastern harvest mouse, is a small cricetid rodent which is common in old field communities in the eastern U.S. A live-trapping study was conducted in Suffolk, Virginia from March 1983 through February 1984 in order to learn the details of its life history and the vegetational characteristics which best describe its microhabitat. Specifically, population densities, trap-revealed survival times, home ranges, plant species composition of the study area, and vegetational structure were examined. In order to trap as many Reithrodontomys as possible, special traps which excluded animals weighing over 20 g were constructed. Densities of harvest mice on the study area were moderately high; at the peak there were 44.4 individuals/ha. The mean trap-revealed survival time was 9.5 weeks. Home ranges were large for so small a mouse (952.43 m2). Vegetational structure was important in describing the habitat of Reithrodontomys, whereas plant species composition was not. Eastern harvest mice preferred to live in areas where the vegetation was dense from ground level up to 50 cm.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).