ALLELES: wh+ (wild-type), wh (mutant).
PHENOTYPE: The ventral white of the pelage extends well up onto the sides of the body, so that it is visible when viewing the animal dorsally. The lateral line of demarcation is less distinct than in the wild type, tending to be "ragged". The ventral hairs are totally unpigmented, so that there is no dark undercoat on the ventrum. Extensions of the white areas also are usually present on the head, frequently with a narrow stripe through the middle of the forehead.
Whiteside deer mice become deaf after three weeks of age and do not react to high-pitched squeaks. Whirling behavior is frequent. These deer mice also have a reduction of skin pigment of the ears and tip of tail. Substantial mortality occurs during the first postnatal month. Similarity of this coat pattern to that of certain naturally occurring patterns in P. polionotus are striking.
SOURCE: About 1951. University of Michigan. Whiteside deer mice appeared in the laboratory among offspring of stocks of P.m. bairdii x P.m. gracilis. The gracilis stock had been maintained in the laboratory many generations, the bairdii recently taken from the field. No stocks of this variant currently exist.
REFERENCE: McIntosh (1956b).
This page last updated 18 June 1998 and
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