Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Kathie Davies
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The olive-backed pocket mouse, Perognathus fasciatus, is native to the north-central United States and a small area of south-central Canada. In Utah, the species is known to occur only in the extreme northeastern area of the state.

Olive-backed pocket mice chiefly eat weed seeds, but insects are also occasionally consumed. Similar to other pocket mouse species, the olive-backed pocket mouse has external fur-lined cheek pouches used for temporary seed storage. Long-term food storage occurs in underground burrows.

The species breeds in the late spring and early summer, with females capable of producing two litters of about four to six young each year. Arid grassland and sagebrush areas with loose soils are preferred habitats for the species. Olive-backed pocket mice are nocturnal and hibernate from mid-fall to early spring.


  • 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.