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

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

Fog Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae


Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Fog Shrews are the largest of the Pacific Coast brown shrews, and inhabit what is known as the fog belt of Oregon and California, near and along the coast. They live in redwood or dense spruce forests, in marshes, near streams, and under old logs and stumps in dense chaparral. There they prey on insects, earthworms, centipedes, slugs, and snails. Fog Shrews, like other shrews, are difficult to observe; these small mammals are mostly nocturnal and scurry about under the protection of dense cover. They reproduce from early spring through late summer, and have litters of 2-6. Captive animals frequently spend time grooming. To clean its face, a shrew licks its paws and rubs them over its face. A Fog Shrew cleans its tail by holding it in its front paws and licking it.

Also known as:
Sonoma Shrew

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 137.25 mm
Range: 105-180 mm

Range: 5.5-15 g


Jackson, H.H.T., 1921.  Journal of Mammalogy, 2:162.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Sorex sonomae