The Southern Grasshopper Mouse, aka Werewolf Mouse
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN – OR HEARD – ONE OF THESE? This Wetlands Park resident is proof positive that you don’t have to be big to be fierce!
Grasshopper mice (Onychomys torridus) are nocturnal predator rodents. They kill and eat insects, scorpions, spiders, centipedes, lizards, and even small mammals, including other mice. Nearly 90% of their food is meat, though they do stash a few seeds away for winter emergencies.
These mice are immune to scorpion stings. They use their quick reflexes to avoid the strikes of centipedes and other venomous prey animals, and often subdue prey as large as themselves.
Grasshopper mice not only hunt, they howl as they do! Standing on their hind legs, the mice throw back their heads, close their eyes, and “sing” or “howl” to others in the neighborhood. The piercing howl has earned the grasshopper mouse its alternate name: “Werewolf mouse.”
For a better look at the hunting and howling Werewolf mouse, search “Grasshopper Mouse” on YouTube. While there, check out the Nat Geo Wild video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izizsAodOCk (you may need to copy/paste this link in your web browser). -Chris Leavitt