North American least shrew Cryptotis parva, from The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals.

Belongs within: Soricidae.

Cryptotis, the small-eared shrews, is a genus of shrews found in southern North America and northern South America. They are mostly found in forests except for the North American least shrew C. parva, which prefers open grassy fields (Nowak 1999). Cryptotis parva is also the only species of the genus found north of Mexico, with its range occupying Mexico and much of the eastern United States.

Characters (from Nowak 1999): Head and body length approximately 55-100 mm, tail length 12-42 mm, adult weight about 4-7 g. Upper parts brownish or blackish, underparts same colour or paler. Snout pointed, eyes minute, ears inconspicuous. 30 teeth, with four upper unicuspids: the second and third incisors, the canine, and a premolar; unicuspid premolar smaller than canine, usually minute.

<==Cryptotis Pomel 1848 [incl. Brachysorex Duvernoy 1842, Soriciscus Coues 1877] V67
    |--C. parva (Say in James 1823) B75 [=Sorex parvus B75; incl. *C. cinereus C57]
    |--C. avius Allen 1923 [=C. avia] C57
    |--C. celatus Goodwin 1956 G69
    |--C. endersi IT07
    |--C. fossor G69
    |--C. frontalis G69
    |--C. goldmani IT07
    |--C. goodwini IT07
    |--C. gracilis IT07
    |--C. hondurensis IT07
    |--C. magna IT07
    |--C. merus Goldman 1912 C57
    |--C. mexicana IT07
    |    |--C. m. mexicana G69
    |    |--C. m. machetes G69
    |    `--C. m. peregrina G69
    |--C. micrura (Tomes 1862) (see below for synonymy) G69
    |--C. montivagus (Anthony 1921) [=Blarina montivaga] C57
    |--C. nigrescens IT07
    |--C. squamipes (Allen 1912) [=Blarina (Cryptotis) squamipes] C57
    |--C. surinamensis (Gmelin 1788) (see below for synonymy) C57
    `--C. thomasi (Merriam 1897) [=Blarina thomasi] C57
         |--C. t. thomasi C57
         |--C. t. equatoris (Thomas 1912) [=Blarina equatoris; incl. B. osgoodi Stone 1916] C57
         |--C. t. medellinius Thomas 1921 C57
         `--C. t. meridensis (Thomas 1898) [=Blarina meridensis] C57

Cryptotis micrura (Tomes 1862) [=Sorex micrurus non Galemys micrurus Pomel 1848 (not preoc. if in dif. gen.), Blarina tropicalis Merriam 1895, Corsira tropicalis Gray 1843 (n. n.)] G69

Cryptotis surinamensis (Gmelin 1788) [=Sorex surinamensis; incl. Blarina pyrrhonota Jentinck 1910, Cryptotis pyrrhonota] C57

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1–184.

[C57] Cabrera, A. 1957. Catalogo de los mamiferos de America del Sur. I (Metatheria—Unguiculata—Carnivora). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” e Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de Las Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Zool√≥gicas 4 (1): 1–307.

[G69] Goodwin, G. G. 1969. Mammals from the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in the American Museum of Natural History. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 141 (1): 1–269, 40 pls.

[IT07] Isaac, N. J. B., S. T. Turvey, B. Collen, C. Waterman & J. E. M. Baillie. 2007. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PloS One 2 (3): e296.

Nowak, R. M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th ed., vol. 1. John Hopkins University Press.

[V67] Van Valen, L. 1967. New Paleocene insectivores and insectivore classification. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 135 (5): 217–284.

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