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Sorex merriami

Merriam's Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Sorex merriami
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Merriam's Shrew is noted for its predilection for dry habitats. It is most often found in sagebrush steppe, but also in grassland, brushland, and woodland, at elevations from 200 m to 2,900 m. It preys on beetles, spiders, caterpillars, crickets, and wasps, and probably on many other terrestrial invertebrates. This shrew has a grayish-brown back, paler flanks, and a nearly white underside. The tail shows the same strong bicoloration. Owls are known to prey on shrews, but some mammals eat them only if they have no other food available, because of their pungent smell.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 96.3 mm
Range: 99-107 mm

Average: 5.9 g
Range: 4-7 g


Dobson, G.E., 1890.  Monograph of the Insectivora, systematic and anatomical, vol. 3. British Museum (Natural History), London. Part 3, fasc. 1, pl. 23, fig. 6.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Sorex merriami