Lesser white-toothed shrew


The toothed shrew ( Crocidura suaveolens ) is a mammal of the family of shrews. They colonized large parts of the Palaearctic.


The shrew is the smallest of the three species occurring in Europe, the white toothed shrews ( genus Crocidura ). The head-body length is 50 to 75, rarely up to 80 mm, tail length 25 to 40 mm and weight of 4.0 to 7.5 grams. The top is brown -gray, the sides and the bottom are gray and occasionally tinged with yellowish. The coloring of the lower and upper side is not sharply distinct from each other.


The huge range of the shrew includes large parts of the Palaearctic. It ranges in west-east direction from Portugal and Brittany into eastern Siberia and north-south direction in the western part of the area of Mecklenburg- Vorpommern to the southern tip of Italy, in the north of Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula and in the East southward to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and North China. The earlier questions on this type populations in southeastern Siberia, in eastern China, Korea and Taiwan are today considered as a separate species ( Crocidura shantungensis ).

In southwestern Europe the north of Portugal, Northern Spain and southwestern France colonized. To the east, followed by a large distribution gap, which extends from central France over the west of Italy and Switzerland, and the Benelux countries to Central and Eastern Germany. The northwestern limit of distribution in Europe passes through Germany roughly along a line Stuttgart, Lower Franconia, Thuringia and Neuruppin in the central state of Brandenburg to Pasewalk in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. This northern distribution limit continues in western Poland, where you turn to the east but south again, so that the way in northeastern Poland is missing.


The shrew inhabits forest-free, extensively used and warm open habitats such as fallow, field and roadsides, siltation vegetation, gardens, screes and dry-stone walls from the plains to about 700 meters. The species often lives - and to the north of its range almost exclusively - in and near human settlements. From September, the animals increasingly move into buildings to overwinter.

Way of life

The diet consists mainly of insects and their larvae, harvestmen, spiders and snails. The propagation takes place from April to October. The casts include 2 to 8, usually 4-5 boy. The newly born young mice weigh 0.4 to 0.6 grams. The eyes open at the age of nine days; the suckling period is about three weeks. In their excursions the young mice form from the age of eight days by hard biting at the tail of the animal, the front typical of many eyelash shrews caravans.

Inventory and risk

The shrew is "endangered" in Germany because of its close ties to extensively managed, open habitats and the vulnerability of these habitats through intensification of use in the Red List as (Category 3) out. On the western border of the distribution it is apparently also displaced by the advancing eastward shrew. On the other hand, a significant area expansion to the north and west took place, at least in East Germany since 1955. The world stock shall, according to IUCN as uncritical ( least concern ).