Mus musculus

Common Name(s)

House mouse




House mice can be found throughout the North and South Island from the coast to high altitude (1200-1300m), predominant in temperate forest (native and exotic), croplands and pasture, and subalpine tussock. They also occur in various urban habitats. They are very well adapted to dry conditions due to their ability to concentrate their urine and as most of their water requirements can be taken from the moisture of their food. House mice are omnivorous generalists. Caterpillars, spiders and weta are a mayor part of their invertebrate diet. Additionally a range of seeds, including hard beech, mountain beech, kauri and rimu are consumed. They are agile cimbers, good jumpers and can swim.


House mouse’s coat have a dull grey-brown back and a uniform grey belly with a very thin, grey-brown tail and large black eyes.

Threat To Plants

Consumption of seeds my alter the regeneration of these species. Prey on invertebrates may also have secondary effects on the vegetation due to changes in ecosystem processes.


Throughout the North and South Island and many offshore islands ( islands without Norway rats have predominantly higher numbers in mice).


Weight: 15-20g; max. head to body length: 115mm

Year Introduced

1823 (Ruapuke Island )

Reason For Introduction


Colonisation History

First introduced to New Zealand through European and Australian sailing ships. They were first recorded on Ruapuke Island (Foveaux Strait) in 1824 and reached the North Island in the 1830s, while the South Island was not occupied until 1850s. Around the 1900s most suitable environments of both main islands were inhabited.