Thanks for your reply - in answer (briefly this time!) to a couple of points:
The Mammals of the British Isles: Handbook, 4th edition, 2008, states
specifically that lab mice and "fancy" mice (for the pet trade) are M.
You are of course correct to question the origins of the Australian house mouse
populations as this will affect the species involved, hybrid potential etc. I
have no knowledge/evidence of where they came from but I did say in my original
posting "assuming that" and "most likely" that your population came from the
UK, given that we "gave" you so much other junk! If not, the species result
could be very different from ours.
I agree that not all authorities have yet accepted the split - I guess the
mammal world is a bit like the bird world in that respect (but without the
twitchers wanting to propose ever more species). By the way, as an amateur
birdo i'm still trying to get to grips with the albatrosses splits/non-spilts
in C&B...............maybe even more difficult a subject to reach a concensus
than house mice?
Amphibian Reptile & Mammal Conservation Ltd
67A Ridgeway Avenue
> Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010 05:10:10 -0700
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Off topic - Mouse ID
> To: ; ;
> Dear Clive Herbert,
> There have been a number of scientific articles in recent decades proposing
> split, which apparently has not necessarily been accepted by all authorities.
> there a recent consensus article? Moreover, has more light been shed into the
> story that laboratory mice may be hybrids between M. (m.) musculus and M. (m.)
> domesticus? And finally, albeit that undoubtedly many introduced animals came
> through the UK to Australia, how do we know that about mice, which reportedly
> were introduced accidentally by ships (theoretically originating from harbours
> in the range of either musculus or domesticus or spretus or castaneus or...)?
> Nikolas Haass
> Sydney, NSW
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: clive herbert <>
> To: ;
> Sent: Wed, September 29, 2010 8:40:43 PM
> Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] Off topic - Mouse ID
> The correct specific name for the House Mouse that we have in Britain is Mus
> domesticus not Mus musculus. Originally the introduced House Mouse in Western
> Europe (including Britain) was regarded as one variable species Mus musculus.
> Several species have now been recognised, including M. spretis (Iberia), M.
> domesticus (rest of western Europe) and M. musculus (eastern Europe) which
> but scarcely interbreed along a line from Denmark to the Dalmatian coast. All
> the lab mice etc are from M. domesticus. Assuming that the introduced
> present in Australia will most likely to have originated from the UK, rather
> than mainland Europe, then your species should now be called M. domesticus.
> Clive Herbert
> Amphibian, Reptile & Mammal Conservation Ltd
> 67A Ridgeway Avenue
> East Barnet
> EN4 8TL
> > From:
> > To:
> > Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 11:30:32 +1000
> > Subject: [Birding-Aus] Off topic - Mouse ID
> > Thanks to all the people who responded to my request - nearly universally
> > the mouse was identified as a plain old house mouse, Mus Musculus.
> > Bill
> > ===============================
> > To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
> > send the message:
> > unsubscribe
> > (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
> > to:
> > http://birding-aus.org
> > ===============================
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
> send the message:
> (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)