Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Photo by Aaron Ambos
Photo Copyright Aaron Ambos

The dark kangaroo mouse, Microdipodops megacephalus, occurs primarily in the Great Basin ecoregion of the western United States. In Utah, the species occurs in the West Desert, typically in sagebrush areas with sandy soils. Dark kangaroo mice are nocturnal and are primarily active during warm weather, remaining in underground burrows during the day and during the cold winter months.

Females give birth to a litter of two to seven young during late spring or early summer, and may produce more than one litter per year. The dark kangaroo mouse primarily eats seeds, but insects are also consumed. Food is sometimes stored in burrows for later use. Interestingly, members of the species do not seem to need a free water source, apparently obtaining the water they need from their food.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.