Beach mice are subspecies of the old field mouse – Peromyscus polionotus. There are 8 subspecies of beach mice, 5 of which live along the Gulf Coast. Beach Mouse Fact Sheet Beach mice inhabit frontal and scrub dunes along the coast of Florida and Alabama. Conserving beach mouse habitat also helps sea turtles, shorebirds, and other species – including humans!! Beach mice are nocturnal (active only at night), and spend their daylight hours in burrows. Beach mice are monogamous and pair for life. This is unusual among mammals – only 3% of mammals are monogamous. Beach mouse subspecies are most easily distinguished by coat coloration and pattern. All beach mice, with exception of the Santa Rosa beach mice are state and federally protected. The Alabama beach mouse is light brown with less white on the face than other subspecies. A tail stripe is present, but variable in length. The Perdido Key beach mouse is paler than the Alabama beach mouse and has more white on the head. Note how the white coloration extends up behind the ears. Destruction of the coastal sand dune ecosystem for development was the main factor leading to the listing of beach mice. The Santa Rosa beach mouse is the lightest in color of all of the beach mice. It is pale gray along its back and the pigment area is greatly reduced. There is no tail stripe. The Choctawhatchee beach mouse is more distinctly orange-brown or yellow-brown than other subspecies and often has considerable white on its nose. The St. Andrew beach mouse is a paler form than other beach forms but is not as pale as the Santa Rosa beach mouse. It is brownish-gray along its back and sides, but has considerable white coloration on its head.
Insects Common Beach Mouse Food Sources Sea Oats (Uniola paniculata) Bluestem grass (Schizachyrium maritimum) Ground Cherry (Physalis angustifolia) Evening primrose (Oenothera humifusa) Dune Spurge (Chamaesyce ammannioides) Seashore Elder (Iva imbricata) Jointweed (Polygonella gracilis) Beach Pea (Galactia spp.) Seaside Pennywort (Hydrocotyle bonariensis)