Nutrition of the Edible dormouse (Glis glis Linnaeus, 1766) across the distributional range


  • Victoria A. Vekhnik Samara Federal Research Scientific Center RAS, Institute of Ecology of the Volga River Basin of RAS, 445003, Komzina str., house 10, Togliatti, Samara Oblast, Russia



Beech and Oak Forest, Dormice, diet, invertebrates, seasonal changes


The edible dormouse is an example of adaptations of mammal nutrition for a long hibernation. Because of the absence of caecum, the food of dormice is rather refined. The animals prefer foods with a significant content of nutrients. The main food is tree seeds, such as beech nuts and acorns. Also, hazelnuts, walnuts, chestnuts, cones, and birch seeds may become the main forages in several localities. All available fruits in biotopes make a significant part of the species’ diet. Green parts of plants and animal food are permanent additions. Strong seasonal changes depend on the availability of forages in biotopes present. At the beginning of the active season in May-June tree buds, flowers, leaves, young bark, last-year tree seeds, and invertebrates are the main forages. In July-August, mainly fruits, berries, and unripe tree seeds become the basis of the diet. Before hibernation, high-calorie tree seeds are the most important. Geographical differences determine the species’ diet depending on the composition of plant communities in biotopes. Predation of birds is also registered in several regions. In captivity, dormice eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, seeds, protein, and carbohydrate forages. Amounts of consumed food considerably exceed daily energy requirements, which provides significant body mass gain during the active period.


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How to Cite

Vekhnik, V. A. (2022). Nutrition of the Edible dormouse (Glis glis Linnaeus, 1766) across the distributional range. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 6(Special issue), 1–23.



Gliridae Ecology and Conservation