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

  Soricomorpha · Soricidae · Sorex haydeni
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Sorex haydeni

Prairie Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Sorex haydeni
Click to enlarge. (39 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The Prairie Shrew is small, weighing only 2-5 g, brown, and relatively short-tailed. This species inhabits the northern Great Plains in Canada and the United States. In some places, such as the Black Hills of South Dakota, it is locally abundant. It makes runways under leaf litter in grasslands, some wet areas, and some drier, rocky pine forests, and the nests it constructs resemble birds' nests. Female Prairie Shrews do not become pregnant until the year after their birth, but they are known to produce as many as three litters in one year. Only recently have scientists concluded that Prairie Shrews and Cinereus Shrews are two separate species.

Also known as:
Hayden's Shrew

Sexual Dimorphism:

Range: 88-99 mm

Range: 3-5 g


Baird, S. F., 1857. Mammals: general report upon the zoology of the several Pacific railroad routes. Vol. 8, pt. 1, p. 29, in Reports of explorations and surveys to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Senate executive document no. 78, Washington, D.C., 757 pp.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Sorex haydeni