| Contents | ITSES | Back to The Shrew Site | Shrew Photo Gallery | Shrew Bibliography | Shrew Talk |

IUCN logo

IUCN/SSC logo
SPECIES
SURVIVAL
COMMISSION



- ITSES -
INSECTIVORE, TREE SHREW & ELEPHANT SHREW SPECIALIST GROUP


Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews:
Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan
Published 1995


Crocidura russula | serezkyensis | shantungensis | sibirica | sicula | suaveolens | susiana | tenuis | whitakeri | zarudnyi | zimmermanni


Continued from previous page | Go to next page

Greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula)

Taxonomy: Sorex russula Hermann. Populations from eastern Europe to Iran formerly included in C. russula (Corbet, 1978) are now assigned to C. suaveolens (Catzeflis et al., 1985). One subspecies C. r. cossyrensis, described from Pantelleria Island, Italy, has been variously referred to as a full species, C. cossyrensis (Contoli, 1990), as a subspecies of russula (Contoli and Amori, 1986), and as closely related to russula (Sara et al., 1990). More recently, Vogel et al., (1992), suggest that this is in fact a subspecies of African origin. In view of its precarious position, this subspecies has been assigned a separate IUCN Category: Vulnerable (D2).

IUCN Category of Threat: Lower Risk (subcategory Least Concern).

Description: Upper surface greyish- or reddish-brown; underside a yellowish-grey with no clear line of separation. Little seasonal variation in fur colour. Ears prominent and tail furnished with long, white hairs as in lesser whitetoothed shrew. Separable from C. suaveolens only by dental characters.

Crocidura russula

One of the commonest shrews in Eurasia, the greater whitetoothed shrew (Crocidura russula) is well adapted to foraging in short grass and woodlands. (Photo by Peter Vogel)

Distribution: This species is one of the commonest of the white-toothed shrews in western Europe. Its range extends from Iberia and the Mediterranean, north-east to northern Germany, southern Poland, and in North Africa from Algeria to Morocco.

Habitat: This species inhabits grassland, woodland, and hedgerows, especially on dry ground. Usually below 1000m, although it has been recorded at an altitude of 1600m in the Alps. Often commensal with man, living around houses and out-buildings.

Ecology and behaviour: Active day and night with peaks of activity after dusk and around dawn. Breeding may extend from February to November in the south.


Crocidura serezkyensis - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura serezkyensis Laptev 1929. Formerly included in C. pergrisea (Jenkins, 1976), but see Hutterer (1993).

IUCN Category of Threat: Lower Risk (subcategory Least Concern).

Distribution: Asia Minor, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tadshikistan and Kazakhstan.


Crocidura shantungensis - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura shantungensis Miller 1901. Considered a subspecies of C. suaveolens by Corbet(1978), but see Hoffmann (in press).

IUCN Category of Threat: Data Deficient.

Distribution: This species is known only from Shandong Province, China.


Crocidura sibirica - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura sibirica Dukelski 1930.

IUCN Category of Threat: Lower Risk (subcategory Least Concern).

Distribution: Central Asia from Lake Issyk Kul to the Upper Oh River and Lake Baikal; perhaps also Mongolia and Sinkiang, China, (Hutterer, 1993).


Sicilian shrew (Crocidura sicula) - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura sicula Miller 1900. Formerly included in leucodon, russula or suaveolens but the species has a distinct karyotype and morphology (Vogel et al., 1989). Four subspecies have been recognised - estuae, sicula, aegatensis and calypso, of which estuae (known from the Pleistocene from Sicily and Malta) is now extinct (see Hutterer, 1991).

IUCN Category of Threat: Lower Risk (subcategory Least Concern).

Description: This species is characterised by a sharply bicoloured body and tail (see Vogel et al., 1989).

Distribution: This species has only been recorded from Sicily, Malta and Egadi Island in the Mediterranean.

Habitat: Scrub and woodlands with ample ground cover.


Crocidura sicula

This Sicilian shrew (Crocidura sicula) from Gozo occurs only on Sicily, Malta and Egadi Island in the Mediterranean. (Photo by Peter Vogel)


Crocidura sicula - caravan

The caravanning behaviour of the Sicilian shrew (Crocidura sicula) is used when a mother and offspring change their nest site. (Photo by Peter Vogel)


Lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens) - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura suaveolens Pallas 181 1.

IUCN Category of Threat: Lower Risk (subcategory Least Concern).

Description: The pelage is grey-reddish brown above and slightly lighter on the underside, with little seasonal variation. Ears are short-haired and prominent. The tail is covered with short bristly hairs interspersed with fine, long, white hairs. Similar to C. russula and only distinguishable by careful measurement. Externally, the tail (which measures 24-44mm in C. suaveolens; 33-46mm in russula) and hind feet (10-13mm and 10.5-14mm, respectively) are the most practical means to distinguish between the two species. The lesser whitetoothed shrew is also smaller (head and body length 50-75mm) and lighter (3-7g) than the greater white-toothed shrew (60-90mm and 4.5-14.5g, respectively).

Distribution: This is a widely distributed species. In Europe, it occupies a scattered distribution throughout western and south-eastern France, northern and southwestern Spain, Italy and much of eastern Europe. Absent from the mainland of Great Britain and Ireland but present on the Scilly Isles, Jersey, Sark, Ouessant and Yeu. Also present on some of the Balearic Islands, Sardinia and Sicily. This species is listed as 'Endangered' in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany (Ingelög et al., 1993). C. suaveolens is also found in North Africa (Morocco and Algeria) and ranges widely eastwards to Japan - only Tsushima Island (Abe, pers. comm.) - Korea, China and Taiwan.

Habitat: Temperate woodlands and steppe. Similar to C. russula.

Ecology and behaviour: The lesser white-toothed shrew is essentially a solitary species, not nearly as pugnacious as Sorex. Home ranges of individuals overlap so the species is probably not highly territorial (Churchfield, 1991). The breeding season extends from March to September. Females have post-partum oestrus which permits lactation and pregnancy to occur simultaneously. May produce 3-4 litters per annum in the wild. In captivity, one litter each month has been recorded. Some breed even in the year of birth (Rood, 1965). The life span of C. suaveolens in the wild may be as long as 18 months (in Poland) (Huminski and Wojcik-Migala, 1967).


Crocidura susiana - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura susiana Redding and Lay 1978.

IUCN Category of Threat: Endangered (Bl and 2c).

Distribution: This species is only known from the vicinity of Dezful (Khuzistan Province, south-west Iran), but its range may be more extensive. The taxonomic status of this species is uncertain and further investigations are required to determine its status and precise range.


Crocidura tenuis - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Sorex tenuis Miiller 1840. This species is known from only two damaged specimens and may belong with C. fuliginosa; see Jenkins (1982). More recently, Ruedi (1994) has suggested that C. tenuis is a proper species based on karyological data of one specimen.

IUCN Category of Threat: Vulnerable (Bl and 2c).

Description: Although only known from two specimens, this species resembles C. fuliginosa in size, with its robust teeth and short tail, but lacks the caudal vibrissae, as does C. orientalis.

Distribution: This species is only found on the island of Timor within the Indonesian Archipelago.


Crocidura whitakeri - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura whitakeri de Winton 1898.

IUCN Category of Threat: Lower Risk (subcategory Least Concern).

Distribution: Apart from one record from coastal Egypt, this species is known from the Atlantic and Mediterranean parts of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.


Crocidura zarudnyi - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura zarudnyi Ognev 1928. Previously described as C. pergrisea but given specific rank following Hassinger (1973).

IUCN Category of Threat: Lower Risk (subcategory Least Concern).

Distribution: This species has been recorded in western Pakistan and Afghanistan, and also in south-east Iran.

Habitat: Little is known about the preferred habitat of this species. Recorded specimens have been collected through a wide range of altitudes ranging from 100-2250m.


Crocidura zimmermanni - Return to Top of Page | Table of contents

Taxonomy: Crocidura zimmermanni Wettstein 1953. Formerly included in C. russula; but see Hutterer (1 993).

IUCN Category of Threat: Vulnerable (Bl and 2c).

Distribution: This species in only known from the highland regions of the island of Crete.

Ecology and behaviour: The behaviour of this species in the wild is unknown.




CITATION:
IUCN. 1995. Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews - Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. (Compiled by Stone, R. David, IUCN/SSC Insectivore, Tree Shrew and Elephant Shrew Specialist Group). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. vii + 164 pp. ISBN 2-8317-0062-0


Online version: http://members.vienna.at/shrew/itsesAP95-cover.html

Copyright © 1995 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources


CONTACTS
ITSES Chairman: Rainer Hutterer
This page is hosted by The Shrew Site and The Tapir Gallery
Webmaster: Werner Haberl, ITSES Member shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at

This page format was designed by Sheryl Todd, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group,
and modified by Dr. Werner Haberl for the ITSES.

| Back to The Shrew Site | Shrew Photo Gallery | Shrew Bibliography | Shrew Talk | IUCN | SSC |