Pygmy Shrew - Sorex minutus


    The Pygmy Shrew is tiny; in fact it is the smallest native British shrew. It has a pointed snout and greyish-brown fur that becomes paler on the underside. Compared to other species of British shrews, it has a relatively longer, hairier tail. The head is rather domed compared with the Common Shrew and it has red tipped teeth.

    Identification difficulty

    Very broad range of terrestrial habitats, wherever there is adequate ground cover.

    When to see it

    All year round - They do not hibernate, as they are too small to store the fat.

    Life History

    Active by day and night, with rest periods between bouts of activity, they consume about 125% of their own body weight in food each day in order to stay alive. Births occur between April and August, peaking in June. Two litters are usually produced each year, each consisting of between 4 and 7 young. The young overwinter as immatures, reaching sexual maturity the following year.

    UK Status

    This is a widespread and fairly abundant species throughout the British mainland.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map