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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Soricomorpha · Soricidae · Blarina carolinensis

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Blarina carolinensis

Southern Short-tailed Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Blarina carolinensis
Blarina sp. - summer coat
Click to enlarge. (43 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The Southern Short-tailed Shrew is a highly active, primarily nocturnal predator. It is most common in moist, well-drained hardwood forests or pine stands, especially where deep organic litter provides easy burrowing for shelter and food. These shrews eat snails, butterfly and beetle larvae, ants, and small soil-living invertebrates. The Southern Short-tailed Shrew is preyed upon by many species, ranging from snakes to hawks to foxes and coyotes. Barn owls also eat these small animals, and regurgitate their skeletal and fur remains in the form of pellets; the pellets are a rich source of information for field biologists. This species is so similar to other short-tailed shrews that even experts cannot distinguish them easily, and must rely on a laboratory count of chromosomes to tell them apart.

Sexual Dimorphism:



Average: 90 mm
Range: 72-107 mm


Range: 5.5-13 g


Bachman, J., 1837.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 7:366.


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Blarina carolinensis

Image of Blarina carolinensis
Blarina sp. - winter coat
Click to enlarge. (47kb)

Image of Blarina carolinensis
Click to enlarge. (100kb)

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