Brazilian shrew mouse

Blarinomys breviceps

TAXONOMY

Blarinomys breviceps (Winge, 1887), Rio das Velhas, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Tribe Akodontini.

OTHER COMMON NAMES Portuguese: Rato do Mato.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Total length 5.1-6.3 in (129-161 mm), tail length 1.2-2.0 in (30-52 mm), hindfoot length 0.6-0.8 in (16-21 mm), ear length 0.3-0.4 in (8-10 mm). Shrewlike; superficially resembles the North American insectivore genus Blarina, and hence its scientific generic name. Pelage is dark gray. Head is short and conical. Eyes extremely reduced. Claws well developed.

DISTRIBUTION

First known from the Brazilian states of Bahia, Espiritu Santo, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro States; it has also been recovered from owl pellets in the Argentinean province of Misiones.

HABITAT

Montane forest.

BEHAVIOR

Primarily fossorial.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Carnivorous. Stomachs of two specimens contained arthropods of six different orders, mostly insects (90%) but also arachnids.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Little is known. Males with scrotal testes were collected in January and February. Pregnant females were trapped in September, January, and February. Observed number of embryos has been one or three.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Listed as Lower Risk/Near Threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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