Total length 18 - 21 cm; tail 8 - 11 cm; mass 30 - 55 g
This mouse is easily distinguished from all other species as it has four distinct longitudinal stripes running down the back. General colour is variable and ranges from dark russet-brown to almost grey-white. Similarly the underparts vary from off-white to pale grey-brown. The backs of the ears (and often the snout) are russet to yellowish-brown.
Wide-ranging, from desert fringe to high-rainfall montane areas. The only consistent requirement is the presence of grass.
Principally diurnal but also often active at night. Makes own burrows from which radiate numerous runways. Often around houses.
It eats mainly seeds, but also other plant parts; insects.