Shermans Short Tailed Shrew: Blarina carolinensis shermani
Genus/Species: Blarina carolinensis
Subspecies: Blarina carolinensis shermani
Common Name: Sherman’s short tailed shrew
Federal Status: Not listed
FL Status: State Species of Special Concern
FNAI Ranks: G5T1/S1 (Globally: Demonstrably Secure, Sub sp. Critically Imperiled/ State: Critically Imperiled)
IUCN Status: Not ranked
The Sherman’s short tailed shrew is slightly larger than other species of shrew in Florida. It can reach a length of four inches (10 centimeters), including the tail, and a weight up to 0.4 ounces (11.3 grams). This species has grayish-black fur, small eyes, and small ears (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).
The diet of Sherman’s short tailed shrew primarily consists of ants, beetle larvae, and butterflies.
Two breeding seasons annually have been observed between March and November, with litter sizes ranging between two and six (see summaries in Genoways and Choate 1998; McCay 2001; Moore 1946). They typically do not breed in the season they are born and the average age of sexual maturity is nine months (Whitaker and Hamilton 1998).
Habitat and Distribution
Sherman’s short tailed shrews inhabit dense, herbaceous habitats and moist forests, including mixed wetland forests, mixed hardwood-pine forests, ditches, and disturbed/transitional habitat. The Sherman’s short-tailed shrew occurs in Collier and Lee counties (M. Tucker pers comm. 2011).
The main threat the Sherman’s short tailed shrew faces is the degradation and destruction of its habitat from agriculture and urbanization (Layne 1992). Development can cause loss of woody debris and the drying of soil which can cause an adverse effect to the Sherman’s short tailed shrew (Davis et al. 2010; Layne 1992). Other threats include the increase of feral cats in their habitat, as feral cats will prey on shrews (Layne 1992).
Conservation and Management
The Sherman’s short tailed shrew is protected as a State Species of Special Concern by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.
-Biological Status Review (BSR)
-Supplemental Information for the BSR
Other Informative Links
Encyclopedia of Life
Florida Natural Areas Inventory
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
The American Society of Mammalogists
University of Florida
Printable version of this page
Florida Natural Areas Inventory. 2001. Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Blarina_carolinensis_shermani.PDF
Davis, J.C., S.B. Castleberry, and J.C. Kilgo. 2010. Influence of coarse woody debris on the soricid community in southeastern Coastal Plain pine stands. Journal of Mammalogy 91(4):993-999.
Genoways, H.H. and J.R. Choate. 1998. Natural history of the southern short-tailed shrew, Blarina carolinensis. Occasional Papers the Museum of Southwestern Biology 8:1-43.
Layne, J.N. 1992. Sherman’s short-tailed shrew Blarina carolinensis shermani. Pages 328-334 in S.R. Humphrey (ed.), Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol. I. Mammals. University Press of Florida. Gainesville, Florida.
McCay, T.S. 2001. Blarina carolinensis. Mammalian Species 673:1-7.
Moore, J.C. 1946. Mammals from Welaka, Putnam County, Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 27:49 59.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. (n.d.). Blarina carolinensis. Retrieved March 23, 2011, from North American Mammals: http://www.mnh.si.edu/mna/image_info.cfm?species_id=26
Whitaker, J.O. and W.J. Hamilton, Jr. 1998. Blarina brevicauda in Mammals of the Eastern United States. Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York, USA. 583pp.
Image Credit FWC