A largely nocturnal species (2) (4), the western chestnut mouse shelters in a grass nest during the day (2). Its diet consists mainly of grass and seeds (2).
Although the western chestnut mouse can breed year-round if conditions are favourable, most breeding occurs in response to rainfall, often taking place during the wet season (2) (3). Breeding activity may then tail off again towards the end of the dry season, when food resources become scarce (3).
The female western chestnut mouse gives birth to between 3 and 5 young (1) (2) (4), after a relatively short gestation period of 22 to 24 days (1) (5). As in many native Australian rodents, the young mice are likely to cling to the female’s nipples for much of the time, being carried around as she moves about (3) (4) (5). The female western chestnut mouse is likely to mate again soon after giving birth (3).
Young western chestnut mice mature quickly, with some females able to start breeding from about 40 days old. This means that the young may be able to breed in the same season in which they were born (5).
Unlike some related species, the western chestnut mouse is not believed to be particularly social, and males can be aggressive towards each other (5).