The Spinifex Hopping Mouse (notomys alexis) is the most widespread of all hopping-mice and is found in Central Australia extending west in areas of sandy soil. Hummocky spiny spinifex is the characteristic vegetation. However they are also found in open Eucalypt woodland, Acacia shrubland and Tussock grassland.
Hopping-mice are well-adapted to cope with the environmental conditions of arid Central Australia. They are nocturnal and shelter during the day in deep humid burrows. These can be up to 1 metre deep and colonies of up to 10 individuals may reside in each burrow system.
Spinifex Hopping-mice are relatively easy to obtain and can be kept indoors, although, as they are rodents, they do have a “mouse” smell. They weigh about 35 grams (range 27 – 45 grams) and have a head-body length of about 102 mm and a tail length of about 137 mm. Consequently, it is an ideal choice for anyone wishing to keep a small native animal, be they a first time novice or an experienced keeper.
These guys are cute and have interesting habits when compared to keeping normal mice. They are fascinating to watch at night, especially if they are after a freshly added cricket to eat.
If you are about to get a hopping mouse, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any hopping mouse.
- Small animal cage or enclosure
- Sawdust or straw bedding
- Ceramic food dish
- Drip/sip bottle
- Food (including live crickets)
- Mouse house or den
- Play equipment
- Tunnel systems
- Wood chews
- Salt/mineral lick stone
Suitable For People Aged: 7 & over
Experience Required: Preferably other Rodents
Feeding Care Time Required: 10 minutes a day
Maintenance Time Required: 1/2 Hour Twice a Week
Minimum Space Required: Small Animal Cage
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $4 Per Week
Life Span: (approx) up to 4 years
Availability: All Year
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