Mammal Species of the World Logo



SPECIES Apodemus sylvaticus

Author:Linnaeus, 1758.
Citation:Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1: 62.
Common Name:Long-tailed Field Mouse
Type Locality:Sweden, Uppsala (neotype designated by Zagorodnyuk [1993]).
Distribution:European and N African: Europe north to Scandinavia; south to NW Turkey (Thrace and NW Anatolia; Filippucci et al., 1996; Pamukoglu and Albayrak, 1996; specimens in USNM); and east to C Belarus, E Ukraine, and closely adjacent W Russia, which is the easternmost limit of the species (Zagorodnyuk, 1993); see maps in Zagorodnyuk et al. (1997:39), Mezhzherin (1997a:33), Niethammer (1978c:341), and Mitchell-Jones et al. (1999:275). Range in N Africa extends from Atlas Mtns in Morocco east across Algiers to Tunisia (Aulagnier, 1991; Aulagnier and Thevenot, 1986; Kock and Felton, 1980). Also found on Iceland; Britain, Ireland, and numerous nearby islands; Aegean islands (Kryštufek, 2002a; Özkan and Kryštufek, 1999); some islands in the Tuscan Arch. (De Marinis et al., 1996); Sardinia, Corsica (Masseti, 1993), and other Mediterranean islands (Alcover and Gosalbez, 1988; Amori, 1993; Amori and Masseti, 1996; Cheylan, 1991).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc).

Sylvaemus group. The geographic range as mapped by Corbet (1978c) east of Belarus and E Ukraine reflects distributions of other species (A. uralensis, A. witherbyi, A. pallipes, and A. rusiges) once included within A. sylvaticus; "A. sylvaticus is virtually absent from the entire area of the Middle East" (Macholán et al., 2001b:806). Contrary to published records, A. sylvaticus is not part of the modern Israeli fauna (Filippucci et al., 1989). Tchernov (1979, 1986, 1994, 1996), however, maintains it is and is also represented there by fossils from middle to late Pleistocene cave sediments (late Acheullan to Upper Mousterian), and from 40,000 to 10,000 years B.C. During that Pleistocene interval, A. mystacinus was found along with A. sylvaticus in the same caves, but A. flavicollis was usually absent (Tchernov, 1979). Tchernov’s "sylvaticus" probably represents A. witherbyi (B. Kryštufek, 2002, in litt.; see account of A. witherbyi), which along with A. mystacinus and A. flavicollis are part of the modern Israeli fauna (see accounts of latter two). An Arabian Peninsula record at Qatar is based on Mus (Kock and Nader, 1990). See Kowalski (2001) for the inclusion of Hungarian leptodus.

The population of A. sylvaticus on Corsica arrived there (presumably by passive human transport from peninsular Italy through the Tyrrhenian islands, Michaux et al., 1996a) at the beginning of the third millennium B.C. and occurred together with the endemic murine Rhagamys orthodon and arvicoline Microtus henseli, both of which vanished by the end of the first millenium B.C. (Vigne, 1992; Libois et al., 1993; and references cited in those reports). The population on Sicily represents a Holocene anthropogenic introduction (about 750,000 years ago); its origin is not peninsular Italy or W Europe but possibly North Africa or the E Mediterranean basin (Michaux et al., 1998). Allozymic variation among European and North African samples of A. sylvaticus (Filippucci, 1992; Filippucci et al., 2002; Libois et al., 2001) indicated high genetic homogeneity among samples of North African populations and recent derivation from SW Europe most likely through anthropogenic introduction, results corroborated by Michaux et al. (2003) based on phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA cytochrome b sequences. North African populations are no older than Holocene (Kowalski and Rzebik-Kowalska, 1991) or late Pleistocene (Ouahbi et al., 2001). Dobson (1998, 2000) claimed A. sylvaticus is unknown from the Maghreb fossil record prior to the Iron Age (about 3000-2300 years before present) and its presence in North Africa is likely the result of human intervention, but Ouahbi et al. (2001) documented it from late Pleistocene sediments in N Morocco.

Allozymic (Byrne et al., 1990; Fernandes et al., 1991; Gemmeke, 1981a) and morphometric (Alcantara, 1991; Murbach, 1979) intrapopulational analyses provided results of differentiation within A. sylvaticus and change in its evolutionary history (see Berry, 1973, and references therein); other allozymic and morphometric analyses of European populations presented by Gemmeke (1981a) and Nauroz (1984); high genetic diversity within samples from W Europe as measured by mtDNA cytochrome b sequences documented by Reutter et al. (2003); and phylogeography based on study of mtDNA cytochrome b sequences, which suggested postglacial colonizations of all of Europe from Iberian and S France refuge regions (Michaux et al., 2002a, 2003). Several studies have focused on aspects relevant to systematics of A. sylvaticus: morphometric and molecular analyses of samples from Mediterranean region in the context of taxonomy and biogeography (Libois et al., 1993; Michaux et al., 1996a, b, 1998; Sarŕ and Casamento, 1995b), adaptive latitudinal trends in mandible shape (Renaud and Michaux, 2003), insular gigantism in the Mediterranean (Alcover and Gosalbez, 1988; Libois and Fons, 1990, and references cited therein; Michaux et al., 2002b), B chromosomes in samples from Czech Republic (Zima et al., 1997d), sex-chromosome heterochromatin variation (Nová et al., 2002), epigenetic characteristics and divergence among Bulgarian populations (Markov and Chassovnikarova, 1999), morphometric analyses of samples from Iberian Peninsula (González-Esteban et al., 1996), variability in allometric relationships between body mass and skull size in Spanish samples (Alcantara et al., 1991), and karyotypes of Macedonian sample (Zima et al., 1997a). Conspecificity of krkensis with A. sylvaticus documented by Williams et al. (1980) and Dolan and Yates (1981). The name charkovensis, usually associated with A. uralensis (e. g., Mezhzherin, 1997b; Zagorodnyuk, 1992b), was identified by Zagorodnyuk (1993) as referring to the easternmost population of A. sylvaticus; he also selected a lectotype. Based only on chromosomal data, Orlov et al. (1996a, b) regarded vohlynensis as a separate species within the A. sylvaticus superspecies, and one that occurs in Central Europe, the Balkans, and east to the Dnepr basin. Distribution and population density of A. sylvaticus at the easternmost limits of its range (E Ukraine) and comparisons with A. uralensis documented by Naglov (1995). The range expansion of A. sylvaticus into forested tracts that were originally clay semidesert in the Trans-Volga region outlined by Bykov (1990). See account of A. flavicollis for reports documenting morphological, chromosomal, and molecular contrasts between it and the closely related and morphologically similar A. sylvaticus.

European populations reviewed by Niethammer (1978c) and Mitchell-Jones et al. (1999); N Eurasian segment by Mezhzherin (1997a, b). Literature covering ecological aspects of A. sylvaticus is voluminous, extending back for decades, and only a few current regional reports focusing on distribution, taxonomy, habitat, and other aspects are listed here for populations in: Pyrenees and NE Spain (Castién and J. Gosálbez, 1992; Torre et al., 1996), Portugal (Santos-Reis and Mathias, 1996), Netherlands (Thissen and Hollander, 1996; Wammes, 1992a), Belgium (Libois, 1996), N Germany (Dolch et al., 1994), Slovakia (Danko, 1994; Kminiak, 1996; Mošanský, 1994; Stanko and Mosansky, 2000; Stanko et al., 1994), Czech Republic (AndŤra and „ervený, 1994; Smaha, 1996; Zima and AndŤra, 1996); Austria (Bauer and Spitzenberger, 1996), Switzerland (Hausser, 1995; Maurizio, 1994), Italy (Amori et al., 1999, 2002b; Cagnin et al., 1996; Cantini, 1991; Cresti et al., 1994; Cerone and Aloise, 1994; Locatelli and Paolucci, 1996), E Baltic region (Miljutin, 1997, 1998; Timm et al., 1998), Serbia and Montenegro (Petrov, 1992), Albania (Prigioni, 1969); Bulgaria (Peshev, 1996), Translvanian Romania (Istrate, 1998), Slovenia (Kryštufek, 1991), Thrace (Greece; Vohralík, 1992) and NE Turkey (Kryštufek and Vohralík, 2001). North African populations reviewed by Kock and Felten (1980) and Kowalski and Rzebik-Kowalska (1991); the latter authors also point out that algirus Pomel, 1856 and chamaeropsis Loche, 1867 may refer to species of Mus or Gerbillus rather than Apodemus. Abundance of Algerian populations in different habitats compared with Mus spretus reported by Khidas et al. (2002).

EXPORT AS CSV Back to search results



    albus (Bechstein, 1801)
    algirus (Pomel, 1856)
    alpinus (Burg, 1921)
    bergensis (Krausse, 1921)
    butei Hinton, 1914
    callipides (Cabrera, 1907)
    candidus (Bechstein, 1796)
    celticus (Barrett-Hamilton, 1900)
    chamaropsis (Levaillant, 1857)
    charkovensis (Migulin, 1936)
    clanceyi Harrison, 1947
    creticus Miller, 1910
    cumbrae Hinton, 1914
    dichruroides Miric, 1960
    dichrurus (Rafinesque, 1814)
    dichrurus Cabrera, 1921
    eivissensis Alcover, 1977
    fiolagan Hinton, 1914
    flaviventris (Petrov, 1943)
    flavobrunneus (Hilzheimer, 1911)
    fridariensis (Kinnear, 1906)
    frumentariae Sans-Coma and Kahmann, 1977
    ghia Montagu, 1923
    grandiculus Degerbol, 1939
    granti Hinton, 1914
    griseus (Mina Palumbo, 1868)
    hamiltoni Hinton, 1914
    hayi (Waterhouse, 1838)
    hebridensis (de Winton, 1895)
    hermani Felten and Storch, 1970
    hessei Miric, 1960
    hirtensis (Barrett-Hamilton, 1899)
    ifranensis Saint Girons and Bree, 1962
    ilvanus Kahmann and Niethammer, 1971
    intermedius (Bellamy, 1839)
    isabellinus (Mina Palumbo, 1868)
    islandicus (Thienemann, 1824)
    krkensis Miric, 1968
    larus Montagu, 1923
    leptodus Kretzoi, 1956
    leucocephalus (Bechstein, 1796)
    maclean Hinton, 1914
    maximus (Burg, 1925)
    milleri de Beaux, 1926
    nesiticus Warwick, 1940
    niger (Bechstein, 1796)
    parvus (Bechstein, 1793)
    pecchioli (Pecchioli, 1844)
    reboudia (Loche, 1867)
    rufescens Saint Girons and Bree, 1962
    spadix Fritsche, 1934
    thuleo Hinton, 1919
    tirae Montagu, 1923
    tural Montagu, 1923
    varius (Bechstein, 1796)
    vohlynensis (Migulin, 1938)

  Bucknell Home Page   Biology Department Home Page


©Bucknell Univesity All Rights Reserved
Comments and questions to