Desert Shrew
Notiosorex crawfordi

distribution map of desert shrew

Study specimen of Desert Shrew

Notosorex crawfordi. A scanned image of a female Desert Shrew specimen in the Mammal Collection of the Centennial Museum's Laboratory for Environmental Biology. Specimen collected 24 Aug 1985 from Mount Riley, Doña Ana Co., NM. UTEP no. M 7296. Total length of the specimen is 84 mm, about 3 and 1/3 inches.


In Texas, Desert Shrews tend to be found in the more arid, western and southern parts, but do not seem to be confined to any particular habitat. Specimens have been collected from cattail marshes, beehives, under piles of cornstalks, near yuccas, from wood rat nests, and from under piles of brush and refuse (Davis and Schmidly, 1994). Some desert shrews have been found in dry alluvial fans or chaparral slopes, in sagebrush, and general arid conditions (Burt and Grossenheider, 1976). From the Trans-Pecos (Jeff Davis and Brewster counties), most of the specimens were collected from desert scrub vegetative areas which suggests that this is the typical habitat for Desert Shrews in the region (Schmidly, 1977). In areas of brush and refuse, they tend to construct their tiny nests of fine grasses and other dried vegetation, sometimes including hair. The nests are often beneath Agave plants or debris (Burt and Grossenheider, 1976). Unlike most other shrews from Texas, it appears that the Desert Shrews do not inhabit underground burrows (Davis and Schmidly, 1994).



Alden, P., B. Cassie, P. Friederici, J. D. W. Kahl, P. Leary; A. Leventer, and W. B. Zomlefer. 1999. National Audubon Society field guide to the southwestern states. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

Burt, W. H., and R. P. Grossenheider. 1976. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin, Boston

Davis, W. B., and D.J. Schmidly. 1994. The mammals of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Press, Austin.

Schmidly, D. J. 1977. The mammals of Trans-Pecos Texas including Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Texas A&M University Press, College Station

Web Resources

§ The Mammals of Texas, Online Edition


A. Ruth Huckaby, Graduate Student, BIOL 5301—Natural History of the Chihuahuan Desert, June, 2006.

Huckaby Update: 23 Jun 2006

Last Update: 21 Jul 2009