Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map


Merriam's shrew, Sorex merriami, is native to much of the interior western United States. Only a few individuals of the species have ever been documented in Utah, but it is assumed that the species occurs in appropriate habitat throughout the state. Merriam's shrews prefer drier areas than do other shrews, and they are often found in arid sagebrush, grassland, and mixed woodland habitats.

Merriam's shrews are invertivores, eating insects, insect larvae (such as caterpillars), worms, and other small invertebrates. The species mates during the spring and summer, and females give birth to litters of about five to seven young. The species is active throughout the year, during both day and night. Merriam's shrews are often found in the runways and burrows of rodent species.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.