• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center is closed

    The Visitor Center and bookstore will be closed for several weeks for construction. A temporary Visitor Center will be set up in the parking lot. The trail to the Lower Cliff Dwelling will be open during this period. No entrance fees will be collected.

Southern Grasshopper Mouse

southern grasshopper mouse

Southern grasshopper mouse

NPS Photo

Southern Grasshopper Mouse
Onychomys torridus

Body length: 3 1/2 - 4"
Diet: Insects, scorpions, other mice, lizards, and seeds

Grasshopper mice have been described as the wolves of the mouse world. Unlike their seed-eating relatives, they are insectivorous and carnivorous - that is, insect-eating and meat-eating. Although insects may form their principal food, grasshopper mice also eat spiders, scorpions, and lizards, and are legendary for killing and eating other mice in captivity. At times when these foods are scarce, grasshopper mice will also eat seeds.

To add to their most un-mouse-like nature, grasshopper mice "howl", or call (like wolves) with a high-pitched whistle. This species is monogamous, or faithful to one mate, and both parents care for the young. In appearance, grasshopper mice are difficult to distinguish from other mice, having a typically small build, gray-brown fur, and large ears. When captured, however, they emit a distinctive, almost skunk-like smell. Grasshopper mice occur at Tonto National Monument in areas north of the Visitor Center.

Did You Know?

hillside with wildflowers

Spring can be a very colorful season at Tonto National Monument, but when will the wildflowers bloom? Rain is needed throughout the winter, and warm days are a good indicator of a full bloom ahead. If you miss the peak flowering season, remember that you’ve also missed the peak crowds. More...