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

Belongs within: Soricinae.

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
| i. s.: C. avius Allen 1923 [=C. avia]C57
| C. celatus Goodwin 1956G69
| C. fossorG69
| C. frontalisG69
| C. surinamensis (Gmelin 1788) (see below for synonymy)C57
|--C. goodwiniFS15
|--C. hondurensisFS15
|--C. meridensis (Thomas 1898)FS15, C57 [=Blarina meridensisC57, C. thomasi meridensisC57]
|--C. magnaFS15
|--+--C. endersiFS15
| `--C. gracilisFS15
|--+--C. montivaga (Anthony 1921)FS15, C57 [=Blarina montivagaC57]
| `--C. squamipes (Allen 1912)FS15, C57 [=Blarina (Cryptotis) squamipesC57]
|--+--C. micrura (Tomes 1862)FS15, G69 (see below for synonymy)
| `--+--C. parva (Say in James 1823)FS15, B75 [=Sorex parvusB75; incl. *C. cinereusC57]
| `--C. orophilaFS15
|--+--C. thomasi (Merriam 1897)FS15, C57 [=Blarina thomasiC57]
| `--+--C. equatoris (Thomas 1912)FS15, C57 [=Blarina equatorisC57, C. thomasi equatorisC57; incl. B. osgoodi Stone 1916C57]
| `--C. medellinia Thomas 1921FS15, C57 [=C. thomasi medelliniusC57]
|--+--C. mayensisFS15
| |--C. mera Goldman 1912FS15, C57
| |--C. merriamiFS15
| `--C. nigrescensFS15
|--+--C. griseoventrisFS15
| `--+--+--C. alticolaFS15
| | `--C. tamensisFS15
| `--+--C. goldmaniFS15
| `--C. peruviensisFS15
`--+--C. mexicanaFS15
| |--C. m. mexicanaG69
| `--C. m. machetesG69
|--C. nelsoniFS15
|--C. peregrinaFS15 [=C. mexicana peregrinaG69]
|--C. phillipsiiFS15
`--+--C. obscuraFS15
`--+--C. brachyonyxFS15
`--C. colombianaFS15

Cryptotis micrura (Tomes 1862)FS15, G69 [=Sorex micrurus non Galemys micrurus Pomel 1848 (not preoc. if in dif. gen.)G69, Blarina tropicalis Merriam 1895G69, 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 Zoológicas 4 (1): 1–307.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[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.

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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