Waldspitzmaus (Sorex araneus) CC BY-SA 3.0 Soricida (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldspitzmaus#/media/Datei:Sorex-araneus.jpg)

Eurasian shrew


The snout-vent length is 65 to 85 mm, the tail length 35 to 47 mm and the weight 6.5 to 14.3 g. The upperparts are blackish brown, the flanks are light brown and the underpart is grey. In young animals the upperparts are lighter and the transition to the light flank colouration is smooth.

The closely related crowned shrew, which is also widespread in western Central Europe, is slightly smaller on average. The dark brown colouration on the back is usually narrower and contrasts more clearly with the light brown colouration on the flanks. In both species, however, the body size and colouration of the specimens varies considerably and so there are ultimately no reliable external distinguishing characteristics. They can only be identified by genetic examination and minor differences in the skeletonised skull. The Eurasian pygmy shrew is smaller, the upperpart colouration is not clearly bicoloured, but grey-brown, the tail is proportionally longer and quite conspicuously thickened. Their eyes are proportionally even smaller. 

The Alpine shrew, Eurasian water shrew and Mediterranean water shrew have black to black-grey fur, the latter two species are also significantly larger and stronger. The only distantly related native white-toothed shrews, i.e. the bicoloured shrews, European white-toothed shrews and lesser white-toothed shrews, differ from the Eurasian shrew, among other things, in that their auricles are not covered by hair, the tips of their teeth are white instead of dark brown, and there are occasional long, protruding hairs on their tails.


The Eurasian shrew reaches its highest densities in damp forests and wet meadows, but also inhabits almost all other terrestrial habitats, including rock crevices and sand dunes.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldspitzmaus). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 06 August 2021