Japanese Dormouse

The Japanese dormouse's body is 6.1–8.4 cm long, with a tail length of 4–5.6 cm. It is nocturnal and mainly active high up in trees. It builds nests in tree hollows or birdhouses using moss and other materials. A member of Order Rodentia (rodents), it is similar to squirrels and has sharp front teeth. As an omnivore, it eats insects, fruits, seeds, etc., but can only eat soft foods due to its weak jaw and digestive system. Its lifespan is about three years. Depending on habitat, the appearance of the Japanese dormouse varies by region; even within the Oki Islands, dormice have been found that are thought to be from different groups. In winter, the Japanese dormouse hibernates by lowering its body temperature to nearly the same as the outside air.
This species is endemic to Japan and is designated as a Natural Treasure of Japan.

  • Classification

    Family Gliridae

  • Distribution

    Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Oki Islands (Dōgo)