Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Soricomorpha > Soricidae > Cryptotis > Cryptotis parva

Cryptotis parva (North American Least Shrew; least shrew; bee shrew; small short-tailed shrew; little short-tailed shrew)

Synonyms: Sorex parvus (homotypic)
Language: Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The North American least shrew (Cryptotis parva) is one of the smallest mammals, growing to be only up to 3 inches long. The North American least shrew has a long pointed snout and a tail never more than twice the length of its hind foot. It has a dense fur coat that is either grayish-brown or reddish-brown with a white belly. Its fur becomes lighter in the summer and darker in the winter. Although similar in appearance to several species of rodents, all shrews are members of the order Soricomorpha and should not be mistaken for a member of the Rodentia order. The North American least shrew's eyes are small and its ears are completely concealed within its short fur, giving it very poor eyesight and hearing.
View Wikipedia Record: Cryptotis parva


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 9.89
EDGE Score: 2.39


Adult Weight [1]  5 grams
Birth Weight [2]  .3 grams
Diet [3]  Carnivore
Forages - Ground [4]  100 %
Female Maturity [1]  40 days
Male Maturity [1]  43 days
Gestation [1]  21 days
Litter Size [1]  5
Litters / Year [1]  2.5
Maximum Longevity [1]  4 years
Nocturnal [3]  Yes
Snout to Vent Length [5]  2.756 inches (7 cm)
Weaning [1]  19 days


Protected Areas


Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands Mexico, United States No
Mesoamerica Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama No

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap




Range Map

External References

NatureServe Explorer


Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Cryptotis parva, John O. Whitaker, Jr., MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 43, pp. 1-8 (1974)
3Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
6Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
7Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
8Diet of the Timber Rattlesnake, Crotalus horridus, Rulon W. Clark, Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 494-499, 2002
9Resources of a Snake Community in Prairie-Woodland Habitat of Northeastern Kansas, Henry S. Fitch, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Research Report 13: 83-98 (1982)
10International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 Wildfinder Database
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0