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Sorex dispar

Long-tailed Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Sorex dispar
Click to enlarge. (37 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The Long-tailed Shrew probably uses its long tail for balance when it is climbing among the rocks or boulders that are always present where it lives. It spends almost all its time underground, and was, until recently, thought to be uncommon (not being where biologists set traps). Its particularly narrow skull and buck-toothed incisors give it the ability to extract insects, spiders, and centipedes from rocky crevices. Individuals in the north of this shrew's range are much smaller than individuals in the south. In most mammal species, the opposite is true—northern individuals tend to be larger.

Also known as:
Rock Shrew, Gray Long-tailed Shrew, Musaraigne Longicaude

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 119.5 mm
Range: 103-136 mm

Average: 4.9 g
Range: 3.1-8.3 g


Batchelder, C.F., 1896.  An undescribed shrew of the genus Sorex, p.133.  Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 10:133-134.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Sorex dispar