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  Soricomorpha · Soricidae · Sorex bendirii

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Sorex bendirii

Marsh Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Sorex bendirii
Sorex bendirii
Click to enlarge. (69 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Large for a shrew and with velvety dark fur, the Marsh Shrew can be found in marsh, stream, and beach habitats of the coastal rain forest in extreme southwestern Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. This shrew is distinguished from the equally-large water shrew by the absence of a fringe of stiff hairs on its hind toes. The Marsh Shrew has been observed running on the surface of the water for three seconds or so before diving, on its hunt for aquatic insect larvae. With the highest energy, it also consumes earthworms, slugs, snails, termites, spiders, and sowbugs. After a bout of feeding, it will sleep, sometimes for half an hour.

Also known as:
Bendire's Water Shrew, Bendire's Shrew, Pacific Water Shrew

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 128-174 mm
Range: 156 mm

Average: 15.4 g
Range: 7.5-21 g


Merriam, C.H., 1884.  Description of a new genus and species of the Soricidae, p. 217. Trans. Linnaean Society of New York, 2:217-225.


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

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account *
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Sorex bendirii

Image of Sorex bendirii
Click to enlarge. (131kb)