US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in The Prairie Naturalist 37(4): December 2005.


The plains harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys montanus) is primarily a species of the central and southern plains of North America (Hall 1981, Wilkins 1986). Its published distribution extends from northwestern South Dakota south to the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sonora, and Durango. To the west, it occurs in eastern Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and southeastern Arizona, while its eastern limits are in eastern Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and southwestern Missouri. In South Dakota, R. montanus has been reported as far north as the vicinity of Ludlow, Harding County, which is the most northerly published location recorded for the species (Andersen and Jones 1971, Higgins et al. 2000). There have been no published reports of plains harvest mice in North Dakota, although Andersen and Jones (1971) cited a previously unreported specimen from 18 km south of Mandan, Morton County, in the collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. This specimen, a study skin and incomplete skull, falls within the range of measurements of R. montanus (Priscilla Tucker, Curator, University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology, personal communication).