Mole Shrew (Anourosorex squamipes)
HB: 90-95; T: 14-17; HF: 13-16; E: 0.
Adapted for burrowing with minute eyes, short tail and limbs, and a relatively short and pointed snout. The ears are valvular and can be closed at will to prevent anything entering; they are not visible externally. The feet are scaly, with well developed claws; in contrast to with most fossorial mammals, the hind foot is larger than the front. The backs of the feet are dusky, with white digits and claws. The summer coat is grey, with a bluish tinge, while the winter coat has a greenish tinge.. The hairs of the rump form an elevated tuft, almost like a brush and the hairs are usually glistened with a mucilaginous secretion. The skull is more robust than in Crocidura, with a low, strong sagittal ridge and low occipital ridges that project slightly behind forming a continuous crescent. Dentition is usually heavy, with prominent cusps; the first upper ante molar is the largest.
This species is found in Northeastern South Asia,
Central and southern China and Northern Southeast Asia. In South Asia, the
species is now known only from Mizoram in India (Molur et al. 2005). In China,
it has been recorded from Gansu, Shaanxi and Hubei to Yunnan. In Southeast Asia,
it has been recorded from northern Myanmar, Northern Thailand, Northern
Lao PDR and Northern Vietnam.
China; India; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam
There is little information available on the abundance of this
Population Trend: Unknown
Habitat and Ecology:
This is a terrestrial and fossorial species, mainly
associated with montane forests (Molur et al. 2005; Francis 2008; Smith and Xie
2008). In 2006, the Centre for Disease Control reported that this species can
carry a version of the hantavirus which is genetically distinct from rodent
hantavirus and new to science.
There appear to be no major threats to the species as a
In India, it has been recorded from Murlen National Park, and is presumably present in several more protected areas throughout its range. General field surveys, research into the natural history and monitoring of populations are recommended for this species (Molur et al. 2005).