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any of three species of terrestrial, nocturnal, insectivorous and carnivorous mice that are physiologically adapted to semiarid and arid habitats in the open country of western North America. The northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster) lives in grassland and shrub steppes from central Canada southward through the Great Plains and Great Basin to northern Mexico. The southern grasshopper mouse (O. torridus) is found from southern California, Nevada, and Utah southward to northeastern Mexico. Mearns' grasshopper mouse (O. arenicola) ranges from the southwestern United States to central Mexico. The last two species prefer warm, very arid, scrubby desert habitats. All are stout bodied, weighing up to 49 grams (1.7 ounces) and having a body length up to 13 cm (just over 5 inches) and a much shorter tail of up to 6 cm. The coat is silky and dense; the underparts are white; and the upperparts range from grayish to reddish brown, depending upon the species