Long-tailed Shrew

Sorex dispar
Chuck Fergus

The long-tailed shrew inhabits the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to North Carolina. It occurs throughout Pennsylvania, except in the extreme southeast and west. Sorex dispar likes cool, damp forests, deciduous or mixed. It is also called the rock shrew, since its preferred habitat is rock-slides, where it lives in natural tunnels among the jumbled boulders. In Pennsylvania, the species prefers mountain slopes.

Long-tailed shrews are dark gray with slightly paler underparts in summer. and an overall slate gray in winter. Total length, 3.9 to 5.3 inches: tail. 2 to 2.3 inches: weight. 0.14 to 0.21 ounces. Foods include small invertebrates and plant materials. Little is known of the life history of this shy species, but it is probably similar to those of the masked shrew and smoky shrew, which often share the same habitat.


Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Attn: Mammal Atlas Coordinator
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management