Sorex araneus, Sorex minutus, and Neomys fodiens. ("Alpine Shrew", 2004; Corbet, 1966; Corbet, 1978; Hutterer, et al., 2010; Spitzenberger, 1996; Spitzenberger, 1999; Stone, 1995; van den Brink, 1968)is endemic to Europe and lives in isolated patches throughout the Alps, Balkans, Carpathians, and numerous other mountain ranges in central Europe. Its range overlaps geographically and ecologically with those of
- Other Habitat Features
- Range elevation
- 200 to 2500 m
- 656.17 to 8202.10 ft
shrews). Its weight ranges from 5.5 g to 11.5 g. The physical appearance of is similar to that of S. araneus and S. minutus, but its long tail and darker fur distinguishes from these two species. Sexual dimorphism has not been documented in this species. ("Alpine Shrew", 2004; "Comparison of Species- Shrews", 1990; Corbet, 1966; Hutterer, 1982; Murariu and Benedek, 2005; Stone, 1995; de Magalhaes and Costa, 2009; van den Brink, 1968)has slate-colored, near-black fur on its dorsum, while its venter is gray-brown. Its feet are hairless, and its head and body length range from 6.0 cm to 7.7 cm. Its limbs are white, and it has a long, pointed muzzle. It has small, rounded, pink ears; small, black eyes; big, white hind feet; and red-tipped teeth. Both sexes possess lateral scent glands. Tail length ranges from 5.4 cm to 7.5 cm, making its tail nearly as long as its body. The tail is covered in short hair. The dorsal surface is essentially black and the ventral surface is light yellow. has five plantar pads on its feet, as opposed to six commonly found in in other
- Range mass
- 5.5 to 11.5 g
- 0.19 to 0.41 oz
- Average mass
- 7.8 g
- 0.27 oz
- Range length
- 6.0 to 7.7 mm
- 0.24 to 0.30 in
Sorex species (for the lone exception see S. mirabilis). The penis of is relatively large compared to S. araneus and S. minutus. No other information is known regarding the mating system of this species. ("Alpine Shrew", 2004; Corbet, 1984; Hutterer, 1982; Mutchler, 2011; Taylor, 2002)mates from April to October and is likely polygynandrous. Males have a tripartite penis, which is relatively unique among
- Mating System
- polygynandrous (promiscuous)
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding season
- April to October
- Range number of offspring
- 3 to 9
- Range gestation period
- 19 to 21 days
- Parental Investment
- female parental care
S. minutus, mortality peaks around 2 to 4 months, likely due to the fact that it is hard for young to survive the winter. ("Comparison of Species- Shrews", 1990; Mutchler, 2011; Pedro de Magalhaes, 2011; Taylor, 2002; de Magalhaes and Costa, 2009)is thought to live up to 1.3 years in the wild. Little research has been done on in captivity; however in the closely related species,
- Typical lifespan
- 12 to 16 months
- Typical lifespan
- Average lifespan
- 16 months
- Average lifespan
Sorex minutus and S. araneus, are solitary and establish territories they can defend. Similar to other members of Soricidae, has a high metabolic rate and cannot go without food for more than 5 to 6 hours. Soricids have to eat more than their weight in food daily. Because of their high metabolic requirements, soricids are unable to hibernate and must remain active throughout winter. ("Alpine Shrew", 2004; Corbet, 1966; Murariu and Benedek, 2005; Mutchler, 2011; Stone, 1995; Taylor, 2002)is nocturnal and an excellent climber. It uses its long tail for balance and support while climbing. Similar species, such as
Communication and Perception
S. minutus and S. araneus. All Sorex have scent glands on their flanks and S. minutus uses these glands to scent mark its territory. It has also been suggested that S. minutus uses high frequency echolocation to locate insect prey and detect potential threats in its local environment. Similar to other Sorex, has significantly reduced eyes but may still depend on sight for detection of light and movement. (Lukacova, et al., 1996; Mutchler, 2011; van den Brink, 1968)is relatively less vocal than closely related species,
insects, arachnids, snails, and earthworms. There is no other information regarding the food habits of this species; however, closely related S. araneus and S. minutus are both opportunistic feeders. Sorex minutus does not burrow and eat earthworms , but S. araneus and do. Dietary separation between sympatric species may help decrease interspecific competition. ("Alpine Shrew", 2004; "Comparison of Species- Shrews", 1990; Murariu and Benedek, 2005; Mutchler, 2011; Taylor, 2002)eats
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial non-insect arthropods
- terrestrial worms
There is no information available regarding predation in S. araneus and S. minutus. The scent glands on S. minutus and other shrews may help deter potential predators. Common predators of S. minutus and S. araneus include tawny owls, weasels, red foxes, and domestic cats. Nocturnal and burrowing tendencies of likely helps decrease risk of predation. ("Comparison of Species- Shrews", 1990; Mutchler, 2011; Taylor, 2002). Where sympatric, however, predation on is likely similar to that of
arthropods and may help control insect pest population. It is a host to a number ectoparasitic arthropods including fleas and ticks. Although major predators of have not been documented, related species (e.g., S. minutus and S. araneus) are prey for many small carnivores. (Kocianova, et al., 1993; Mutchler, 2011; Stone, 1995; Taylor, 2002; Trpis, 1994; van den Brink, 1968)forages on in a number of
- fleas (Siphonaptera)
- ticks (Acari)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
- controls pest population
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Felicity Burke (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
The process by which an animal locates itself with respect to other animals and objects by emitting sound waves and sensing the pattern of the reflected sound waves.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream).
- scent marks
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
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