Southern Short-Tailed Shrew

Last updatedLast updated: July 13, 2022
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Southern Short-Tailed Shrew Information

The Southern Short-Tailed Shrew is identified by its gray short tail and long pointed snout. It has short ears that are hidden by fur. The shrew’s coat is a grayish color tinged with dark brown. Its habitat is found in forests and meadows with lots of cover usually in moist-well drained hardwood and pine forests. They are found from Eastern Texas to Georgia, Southern Alabama through Florida to Eastern North and South Carolina, in Tennessee and Kentucky.

This type of shrew is different from the northern short-tailed because of its elaborate burrows. The Southern Short-Tailed shrew builds its burrow in two layers, one near the surface, and one deeper and connected below the first. Often found under logs, the shrew will share its burrow with several individuals. Male and female adults live together especially during the pre-breeding season. Adults usually breed from February to November and produce a litter of two to six young three times a year. The young shrews are reared in nests of grasses and leaves. Breeding nests are larger than resting nests.Southern Short-Tailed Shrew

Primarily nocturnal, the Southern Short-tailed shrew will eat insects, annelids, vegetation, centipedes, spiders, mollusks, vertebrates, crustaceans, snails, ants and butterfly and beetle larvae. The poison in their saliva is strong enough to kill mice. Predators are snakes, hawks, owls, foxes, weasels, skunks and cats. Barn owls eat the shrew and regurgitate the skeletal and fur remains in pellets.

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