Zoological Studies

Vol. 37 No. 3, 1998

A Population Study of House Mice (Mus musculus castaneus) Inhabiting Rice Granaries in Taiwan

Chih-Wen Chou1, Pei-Fen Lee1, Kao-Hong Lu2 and Hon-Tsen Yu1,*

1Department of Zoology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan 106
2Pesticide Toxicology Department, Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute, Wufeng,Taichung, Taiwan 413

Chih-Wen Chou, Pei-Fen Lee, Kao-Hong Lu and Hon-Tsen Yu (1998) Samples of house mice (Mus musculus castaneus) were collected from rice granaries in 5 townships in Taiwan to study the population biology of the species, including population dynamics, reproductive biology, sex ratio, and age structures. The population sizes among granaries were highly variable and this is assumed to result from changes of rice storage. House mice can breed year round, as expected by the species commensal habits. Two methods for age determination, i.e., tooth wear patterns and body weight criteria, were established and compared. Age structure of the populations seemed to have remained stable as a result of continuous breeding activities. Sex ratio of the populations were 1:1, but fewer males were represented among old mice than among young mice. Finally, we report on high rates of tapeworm infection and missing teeth in these mouse populations.

Key words: Age structure, Tooth wear, Population size, Sex ratio, Tapeworm.

*Correspondence: E-mail: ayu@ccms.ntu.edu.tw