Least Shrew
Photo by Bob Gress


Least Shrew
Cryptotis parva

Total Length: 2.8-3.4 inches
Tail Length: 0.6-0.7 inches
Weight: 0.1-0.2 ounce

  • Comments:   Least shrews are the smallest mammals in Kansas and are grayish-brown in color. They have a long, pointed, flexible snout, jaws with 30 teeth, small, beady eyes, small ears and a short tail. Most shrews are solitary but some least shrew nests have been found occupied by several adults of both sexes. Females bear up to three litters with 4-6 young each from March to November. Their maximum lifespan is 18 months.
  • Distribution:   Least shrews range from South America through the eastern half of the United States. In Kansas, they are found in grasslands, shrublands, woodlands and wetlands.
  • Food:   Least shrews feed primarily on insects, snails and earthworms and consume 60 to 100 percent of their body weight each day.

Other Kansas Insectivores:  EASTERN MOLE

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Mammal's Den
Text: George Potts and Bob Gress
Design: Jim Mason