Range Description. Dryomys nitedula is found from Switzerland in the west through eastern and southern Europe, Asia Minor and the Caucasus to central. Mammal Species of the World – A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third edition. ISBN IUCN: Dryomys nitedula (Pallas, ) (Least. Species: Dryomys nitedula; Common name: Forest dormouse; Synonyms: Eliomys angelus, Myoxus dryas, Myoxus intermedius, Dyromys milleri, Myoxus pictus.

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Forest dormouse

Class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Myoxidae, genus Dryomys. Pest of fruit crops.

The length of head and body is mm; the tail is mm long, the hind feet are mm long. Wool on the upper part of the body is grayish-tan; body ventrum is dromys. The tail is fluffy and slightly flattened. A black stripe passes from nose to ear, surrounding eye.

Vibrissae are in the form of bushy tuft, one fifth the head length. There are 6 rather large and convex callosities on each palm and foot. In winter, the Forest Dormouse runs into hibernation.

Term drykmys reproduction period varies in different geographical areas, appreciably depending on duration of bitedula. In the Caucasian region and Central Asia, this species can produce 2 litters per year. In the European part of the distribution area, the Forest Dormouse breeds once a year. The beginning of reproduction period dates to the first weeks after the hibernation termination; i. The gestation period lasts days; 2 to 9, more oftencubs are born.

The young dormice open eyes in days and feed themselves independently in 20 days; the lactation period lasts about one month; the young animals leave parental nest in days. They become sexually mature in the second year of their life. In the Forest Dormouse populations, the sex ratio is practically 1: The area covers the territory of Europe from the Alps southward, including the Balkan Peninsula, northward to the Baltic Sea, and eastward to Volga and the Ural Mountains.


The Forest Dormouse reaches altitudes up to m. Its distribution inside the area is sporadic. The Forest Dormouse eats fruits of about 20 tree and bush species, including apricots, apples, cherries, plums, cherry plums, pears, peaches, blackberries, currants, etc.

Forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula) longevity, ageing, and life history

In spring after hibernation, the dormice eat green parts of cereals, bean, and other plants, and also xryomys seeds, fruits, young sprouts, etc. Animal food is essential in ration. The most optimum stations in the Forest Dormouse habitats are various plots of deciduous forest with shrubby layer and dense undergrowth. Its population reaches the greatest density in forests of central Moldova, in Transcaucasia, in the mountains of Central Asia; the Forest Dormouse is rather numerous in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Voronezh nature reserves.

In Moldova, the greatest density individuals per hectare has been found in forest belts near agricultural lands with orchards. The life interval in this species in nature is probably not more than 4 years. The basis of a population in all parts of the species area is made up of individuals who nitddula wintered 1 or 2 times; on the average, 3. The Forest Dormouse nktedula is reduced by long storm rains causing death of cubs in openly located nests.

Furthermore, they may be prey of terrestrial predators European pine and stone martens, forest cats and birds owls, corvids, ddryomys.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Sometimes the Forest Dormouse competes in artificial and natural nests with hazel dormice, fat dormice and birds nesting in hollows. The pest harms fruit nitedla, eating and also damaging fruits in all stages of maturation; it eats both pulp and seeds. The Forest Dormouse frightens away insectivorous birds, borrowing artificial nests, ruining their eggs, and eating nestlings.


The species is also the natural vector of agents of tick-born encephalitis, leptospirosis, and probably of the Black Death. In the beginning of the 20th century, the dormice caused essential damage to orchards, especially in Central Asia, the Caucasus, Moldova, and western Ukraine.

Now the species density is low in the major territory of its area, and it is included in the Red Books of some regions and countries. Therefore, scare methods only biophysical ones, chemical repellents, and sound are possible as means of orchard protection.

Life of our birds and animals. Leningrad State University, p. The Forest dormouse Dryomys nitedula Pallas, Some data about Forest dormouse’s breeding Dryomys nitedula Pall. About ecology of the Forest dormouse in Niterula valley. Uzbekskii biologicheskii zhurnal 2: Animals of the southeastern part of Chernozem center.

Voronezh Publishing House, p. Distribution and ecology of the Forest dormouse Dryomys nitedula Pallas, in Tajikistan. Comparative cytogenetics of Gliridae Rodentia. Zoologicheskii zhurnal 72 Catalogue of USSR mammals. Mammals of USSR fauna. The Mammals of Russia and adjacent territories. Gale Group, p. Breading of the Forest dormouse in Alma-Ata fruit zone. Bulletin of Kazakhstan agricultural science 7: Representatives of Dormouse family Gliridae at the territory of Belarus.

Rare mammalian species of Russia and adjacent territories Proc. Fauna and ecology of rodents. Animals of the USSR and adjacent countries.

Dryomys nitedula

Taxonomy of the USSR mammals. Moscow University, p. Mammals of the Volga-Kama territory. The picture is copied from Vorobeva, G.

Soviet encyclopedia, p.