| The Maritime Shrew was first described in 1938 as a subspecies of the Arctic Shrew. More recent genetic studies have shown that this shrew should be considered a separate species, related to the Arctic Shrew. Both shrews are described as “tri-colored” – brown back, lighter brown side, gray underbelly. Their tails are darker on the top than underneath. The Maritime shrew’s colors are a bit lighter than those of the Arctic shrew.
The Arctic and Maritime Shrews are known as “medium sized” shrews; males and females are quite similar in size although measurements of males average slightly smaller. They are more often found in wet, grassy areas, although the Maritime Shrew has also been found in forested land in Nova Scotia. Like other shrews, they are very busy finding food to sustain themselves. They are most active during the night and least active between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Volobouev, V. T. and Van Zyll de Jong, C. G. 1988. The karyotype of Sorex arcticus maritimensis (Insectivora, Soricidae) and its systematic implications. Canadian Journal of Zoology 66: 1968-1972.
Stewart, D. T., Perry, N. D. and Fumagalli, L. 2002. The maritime shrew, Sorex maritimensis (Insectivora: Soricidae): a newly recognized Canadian endemic. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 94-99.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).