Shermans Short Tailed Shrew

Shermans Short Tailed Shrew Distribution Map

Shermans Short Tailed Shrew: Blarina carolinensis shermani

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class:  Mammalia
Order: Insectivora
Family: Soricidae
Genus/Species: Blarina carolinensis
Subspecies: Blarina carolinensis shermani
Common Name: Sherman’s short tailed shrew

Listing Status

Federal Status: Not listed
FL Status: State-designated Threatened
FNAI Ranks: G5T1/S1 (Globally: Demonstrably Secure, Sub sp. Critically Imperiled/ State: Critically Imperiled)
IUCN Status: Not ranked

Physical Description

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).

Life History

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

Shermans Short Tailed Shrew Distribution MapSherman’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-designated Threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.

Biological Status Review (BSR)Adobe PDF
Supplemental Information for the BSRAdobe PDF

Species Action Plan Adobe PDF

Other Informative Links

Encyclopedia of Life
Florida Natural Areas Inventory
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
University of Florida



Printable version of this page Adobe PDF


Florida Natural Areas Inventory.  2001.  Field guide to the rare animals of Florida.  

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:

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

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