Pseudomys glaucus Thomas, 1910:609

Blue-grey mouse, Blue-gray mouse



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Gyomys glaucus Thomas, 1910:609


Conservation Status


Last record: 1956

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


So far as we know only 3 specimens of the Blue-grey mouse (Pseudomys glaucus) were ever collected; the last of which was in 1956. There have been no further reports of the species despite at least one survey in the 1990's at Cryon, New South Wales, where a single specimen was taken sometime in or prior to 1956 (Troughton, 1957). Given the seeming lack of appropriate surveys throughout the species' entire former range, it is questionable whether one can state that this species is extinct as (Lamoreux, 2008) did. The IUCN's criteria for declaring a species extinct is:

"A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. A taxon is presumed Extinct when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitat, at appropriate times (diurnal, seasonal, annual), throughout its historic range have failed to record an individual. Surveys should be over a time frame appropriate to the taxon's life cycle and life form."


Limiting ourselves to surveys throughout the historic range of a species, (Lamoreux, 2008) states simply that "surveys at Cryon[,] [New South Wales] in the early 1990s did not find this species (Dickman 2008)". Since this species was also collected from Queensland, either (Lamoreux, 2008) omitted details of these other surveys, or the species has been declared extinct even though it does not meet several of the criteria for doing so.



New South Wales and Queensland, Australia

Type locality: "south Qld." (Mahoney & Richardson, 1988:175)


Biology & Ecology

"Ecology: terrestrial."

(Mahoney & Richardson, 1988:175)



Only known from 3 historical specimens (Dickman, 2008), but only NHM 1892.8.7.2 is known to still exist (Roycroft et al., 2021).


Holotype: BMNH (male; skin (wet) & skull) (Mahoney & Richardson, 1988:175)






Original scientific description:

Thomas, Oldfield. (1910). New Australian Muridae of the genus Pseudomys. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (8) 6: 607-610.


Other references:

Bininda-Emonds, O.R.P., Cardillo, M., Jones, K.E., MacPhee, R.D.E., Beck, R.M.D., Grenyer, R., Price, S.A., Vos, R.A., Gittleman, J.L. & Purvis, A. 2007. The delayed rise of present-day mammals. Nature 446, 507-512.

Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Pseudomys glaucus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T18564A22399634. Accessed on 20 June 2022.

Cockburn, A. (1995). Silky Mouse, Pseudomys apodemoides, pp. 585-586. In: Strahan, R. (ed.). Mammals of Australia. Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 756 pp.

Dickman, Chris R. (1993). The Biology and Management of Native Rodents of the Arid Zone in New South Wales. Species Management Report No. 12. Sydney: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Dickman, Chris R. 1996. Overview of the impacts of feral cats on Australian native fauna. Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra.

Dickman, Chris R. (2008). Blue-grey Mouse, Pseudomys glaucus, pp. 631-632. In: Van Dyck, S. and Strahan, Ronald (eds.). The Mammals of Australia. Third Edition. Sydney: Reed New Holland.

Dickman, Chris R. (2023). Blue-grey Mouse, Pseudomys glaucus, pp. 460-461. In: Baker, Andrew M. and Gynther, Ian C. (eds.). Strahan’s Mammals of Australia (4th ed.). Wahroonga, NSW: Reed New Holland Publishers. 848 pp.

Freudenthal, M. and Martín-Suárez, E. (2013). Estimating body mass of fossil rodents. Scripta Geologica 145: 1-130. [0.025-0.030 kg estimate]

Iredale, Tom and Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1934). A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: i-xii, 1-122.

Jackson, Stephen and Groves, Colin. (2015). Taxonomy of Australian Mammals. Clayton South, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. 529 pp. [p. 205]

Johnson, C. 2006 Australia's mammal extinctions: a 50 000 year history. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Lamoreux, J. (2008). Pseudomys glaucus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 19 September 2012.

Lavery, Tyrone, Dickman, Christopher and Lindenmayer, David. (2022). A most enigmatic mouse: additional information on collection of blue-grey mouse (Pseudomys glaucus Thomas 1910) from New South Wales in 1956. Australian Mammalogy 44(3): 371-379.

Lee, A.K. 1995. The Action Plan for Australian Rodents. Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, Australia.

Lee, T. E., Fisher, D. O., Blomberg, S. P. and Wintle, B. A. (2017). Extinct or still out there? Disentangling influences on extinction and rediscovery helps to clarify the fate of species on the edge. Global Change Biology 23(2): 621-634.

Mahoney, J. A. and Richardson, B. J. (1988). Muridae, pp. 154-192. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 5. Mammalia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. x + 273 pp. [p. 175]

Roycroft, Emily et al. (2021). Museum genomics reveals the rapid decline and extinction of Australian rodents since European settlement. PNAS 118(27): e2021390118.

Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1957). Furred Animals of Australia, 6th edition. Sydney: Angus & Robertson. xxxii + 376 pp., 25 pls.

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions, pp. 41-61. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Fritz, Susanne A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1577): 2564-2576. [Supplementary Information]

Watts, C. H. S. and Aslin, H. J. (1981). The Rodents of Australia. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. xii + 321 pp., 16 pls.

Woinarski, John C. Z., Braby, M. F., Burbidge, A. A., Coates, D., Garnett, S. T., Fensham, R. J., Legge, S. M., McKenzie, N. L., Silcock, J L. and Murphy, B. P. (2019). Reading the black book: The number, timing, distribution and causes of listed extinctions in Australia. Biological Conservation 239: 108261.


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