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southern short-tailed shrew

southern short-tailed shrew (Blarina carolinensis)
Photo © Barbara C. Williams

southern short-tailed shrew (Blarina carolinensis)
Photo © R. Altig, Mammal Images Library of the American Society of Mammalogists

Features and Behaviors

A southern short-tailed shrew is four to five inches in length, including the tail. It has a large body with gray-black fur except on the belly where the fur is brown. The tail is short. There are no external ears, and the eyes are tiny and black.

The southern short-tailed shrew may be found in the southern one-third of Illinois. It lives in wooded areas, grassy fields and thickets. This mammal feeds on invertebrates including earthworms, snails, slugs and insect larvae. The southern short-tailed shrew is active during the day and night throughout the year. Little is known of its reproduction, but it is believed that young are born in the spring and fall. Females born in the spring may bear a litter in the fall.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
Family: Soricidae

Illinois Status: common, native