Giant shrew

Sorex mirabilis

TAXONOMY

Sorex mirabilis Ognev, 1937, Russia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES French: Musaraigne géante.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 2.9-3.8 in (7.4-9.7 cm); tail 2.5-2.8 in (6.3-7.2 cm); weight 0.4-0.5 oz (11-14.2 g). The largest of the Eurasian shrews of the genus Sorex.

DISTRIBUTION

The range is restricted to eastern Asia in the Ussuri Region (Russia), northeastern China, and North Korea.

HABITAT

Humid environments in lowland and montane forests.

BEHAVIOR

Nothing is known.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

The most important food items are earthworms; also feeds on centipedes, beetles, and insect larvae.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The species reproduces regularly once a year; exceptionally there may be two litters annually under favorable conditions. May be promiscuous.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Restricted endemic range. Not listed by the IUCN, but included in the Conservation Action Plan for the Eurasian Insectivores (IUCN/SSC) and in the Red Data Book of the former Soviet Union.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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