Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Soricomorpha · Soricidae · Cryptotis parva
  Smithsonian Institution
  Copyright Notice
  Privacy Notice
 
Cryptotis parva

North American Least Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Cryptotis parva
Cryptotis parva - summer
Click to enlarge. (64 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


North American Least Shrews have a repertoire of tiny calls, audible to human ears up to a distance of only 20 inches or so. Nests are of leaves or grasses in some hidden place, such as on the ground under a cabbage palm leaf or in brush. Weighing in at only a few grams, this shrew is remarkably adaptable, as its extensive north to south distribution attests. From southern New England to northern Panama, the North American Least Shrew inhabits grassy fields, marshes, and woodland habitats.

Also known as:
Small Short-tailed Shrew, Little Short-tailed Shrew, Bee Shrew, Least Shrew

Sexual Dimorphism:
None

Length:
Average: 75 mm
Range: 61-89 mm

Weight:
Range: 3-10 g

References:

Say, T., 1823.  in Account of an expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains : performed in the years 1819 and ’20, by order of the Hon. J.C. Calhoun, sec’y of war, under the command of Major Stephen H. Long : from the notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and other gentlemen of the exploring party compiled by Edwin James, botanist and geologist for the expedition; in two vols., H.C. Carey and I. Lea, Philadelphia,1822-23. Vol 1, p 163.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Cryptotis parva

Image of Cryptotis parva
Click to enlarge. (144kb)

Image of Cryptotis parva
Cryptotis parva - winter
Click to enlarge. (79kb)

Image of Cryptotis parva
Click to enlarge. (109kb)

Skull of Cryptotis parva
Click to enlarge. (30kb)