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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read on the internet that the fancy mice we keep as pets are scientifically known as 'mus musculus domesticus.'

I've also read that wild house mice across America are actually known as 'mus musculus musculus.' (Yes, double 'musculus' - for example, we humans are actually '**** sapien sapiens,' or so I learned way back in 6th grade).

First off, I wanted to know if these speciation distinctions are accurate, as I have also been told that wild house mice in North America (such as the little ones that run around all the train tracks in Boston!) are also categorized as 'mus musculus domesticus.'

In Europe, there is an overlapping of the domesticus vs. musculus varieties, as stated in this study: http://www.jstor.org/pss/49973.

So my basic overall question is whether or not this distinction of subspecies exists in here in North America. Are those little 'house mice' in Boston mostly m. m. musculus as apposed to m. m. domesticus? ;)
 

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They are considered subspecies, I believe. Just like with dogs vs wolves, they are virtually identical genetically, can interbreed and have the offspring viable both within and without the family group, but differ in temperament so radically as to render them separate designations, though there I'm not sure if it's at species or subspecies level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm trying to find another article that said that the offspring the two subspecies produce are somehow genetically inferior and can actually be asymmetrical (as in one eye is bigger than the other). I will definitely edit this once I find the article - it even included information about mate preference based on the sex of each subspecies!

What I really want to know is if the house mice around where I live (the "wild" ones) are mus musculus musculus, or mus musculus domesticus like our fancy mice are. ;)
 

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Your wild ones are almost certainly musculus, and I say that with full knowledge that could be wrong...I'm not sure shy or how the line is drawn...but Wikipedia lists them as separate species. they are rarely wrong, although I did see a couple of ridiculous things in an article they used to have about fancy meeces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is true; I can't entirely trust Wikipedia, but I do question whether or not the author of that article was from Europe or not. I know that some of the "wild" ones in Europe are musculus and some are domesticus and that there is actually an "overlapping zone" between the species. Silly me, I can't find the article to back up what I'm saying here - but I will and I will edit this once I find it! :)
 
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