Tri-coloured: dark brown on the back, pale brown at the sides and whitish underneath. Dense velvety fur, with long pointed snout, tiny eyes and small ears. 5-8cm in body length, tail length 2.4-4.4cm. Tail length 50% of head and body length.
Throughout mainland UK. (Maps are based on expert advice, as of 2007. Some species ranges may have changed in the time since. We are currently in the process of updating them.)
Feeds on wide variety of common invertebrates, particularly earthworms, slugs, snails, beetles, spiders, woodlice and insect larvae.
Pygmy Shrew (Sorex minutus)
Coat paler and two-tone, rather than common shrew’s tri-coloured coat. If you get a closer look: proportionately longer tail, much hairier than the common shrew tail. More domed head than common shrew.
Water Shrew (Neomys Fodiens)
Much larger species than common shrew. Black fur on top with contrasting pale (often white) underside. Often has small white patches on ears. If you get a closer look: prominent keel of stiff, silvery hairs on underside of tail, not present in common shrew.