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"SHREW TALK" - Vol. 1, No. 23 - 12 November 1997

SHREW TALK - 12 November 1997 - Vol. 1, No. 23
Number of Recipients: >252
Contents of this Issue
o Research
1. Helminth parasites of shrews
2. Polluted sites and small mammal assemblages / Blarina energy budgets
3. Seeking info on Sorex gaspensis
4. Re: Seeking info on Sorex gaspensis: References
o Introductions
1. Laura McLellan: Phylogeny of Crocidurinae / Kenya
o Miscellaneous
1. Blarina attacking laboratory mouse
2. Philippine shrew chasing house mice
3. Semi-aquatic Insectivores: Symposium
o Shrew-Mateur
1. Yet another shrew in the house
o Shrew Snips
1. Notiosorex crawfordi: Coronado National Memorial
2. Shrew fungus consumption
o What's New on the Shrew (ist's) Site
o Shrew Talk Instructions
1) Helminth parasites of shrews
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 06:10:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Wormdwb@aol.com
My interest is in helminth parasites of shrews. I may in the future post a notice on your site offering to help people identify worms, but right now I have enough on my plate. I am trapping right now in this area for Sorex to collect some tapeworms. Do you have any advice on the best bait for live traps?
I have been in contact with Dr. Vasilij Tkach in Kiev who is the Russian expert on shrew tapeworms. He is interested in obtaining tapeworms from North American shrews. I told him to post a notice on the Shrew Site. It is very difficult to obtain good specimens of shrew tapeworms (or flukes) since shrews decay so quickly. To make things worse, many shrew tapeworms are very tiny and delicate. Most non-helminthologists would miss them completely if they didn't know what to look for.
Vasilij Tkach's e-mail address is vvt@tkach.kiev.ua. He was thinking of posting a message with you so you might encourage him.
I was attempting to trap shrews alive with Sherman traps, but got none alive (so far). I will try again next spring. The shrew intestine breaks down so fast and the tapeworms are so tiny and delicate that there is only a very short window of opportunity to get really good material. That is why it might not be much help to solicit non-helminthologists to collect.
A couple of shrew helminth facts you may be interested in: 1) shrews have a great many hymenolepid tapeworm species found in no other mammals, 2) so far, none of the European species have been found in North America, and vice versa, 3) European shrews have one species of Capillaria (Nematoda) in the stomach, one in the esophagus, and another in the urinary bladder; North American species also have equivalent species in the same sites, but I think the issue of whether all these species are distinct is still in doubt. It needs more study. If you have any of these nematodes, I would be interested in looking at them, especially the bladder form.
For now, I am not interested in ectoparasites, although I am also something of an expert on fleas. I have boxes of flea slides in my basement, at least one box is from shrews, which have some very specific fleas also. I haven't yet published any papers on shrew helminths (Vasilij has several). I wrote one note on water shrew habitat in the 60's- do you have that one (J.Mammal.)? Last month I trapped another water shrew in the same area I first trapped in 1965- time does go by!
I greatly enjoy your Shrew Site- it is one of the best on the Net! Congratulations on all your obviously hard work.
Mike Kinsella 2108 Hilda Ave. Missoula, MT 59801 USA
2) Polluted sites and small mammal assemblages / Blarina energy budgets
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 15:46:48 -0600
From: John_B_French@nbs.gov (John B French)
Subject: Re: Kirkland and shrews
Gordon Kirkland and I are currently working on a project to identify differences between polluted sites and reference sites in the small mammal assemblages present, especially among shrews, and population parameters of the more abundant species. Shrews are of great interest among the small mammals in wooded habitats as they feed highest on the food web and hence are likely to be most exposed to food borne contaminants. In addition, I have a project in the lab to look at whole animal energy budgets in Blarina fed relevant levels of PCBs [which is the principal pollutant at the sites of interest]. We are about to start breeding the Blarina we have managed to catch around the Center... we hope! thanks, John John Brand French, Jr., Ph.D. email: JOHN_B_FRENCH@NBS.GOV Patuxent Wildlife Research Center tel: (301) 497-5702 USGS - Biological Resources Division fax: (301) 497-5744 12011 Beech Forest Rd. Laurel, MD 20708-4041
3) Seeking info on Sorex gaspensis
From: "Thompson, Bev" <bthompso@pluto.uah.ualberta.ca>
Subject: "Gasp" shrews
Date: Mon, 03 Nov 97 13:52:00 M
Hi - I was wondering if you could help me - I've gone through your site looking for information on "gasp"??? shrews - is there such a thing? My son has to do a research project on them and I can't seem to find any information on them - I've educated myself in about a million other types of shrews tho'! If you might have any information on this type of shrew, we would greatly appreciate it.
Thanx Bev _______________________________________________________________________
4) Re: Seeking info on Sorex gaspensis: References
From: W. Haberl - shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at
Dear Bev,
A few references on this species from 'The Shrew Bibliography'. I hope this helps and will maybe encourage others to give you more information... You can also look up the species in 'Mammal Species of the World (D.E. Wilson & D.M.A. Reeder, eds.)' (or follow the link to Smithsonian from my site).
Best wishes, Werner
Sorex gaspensis Anthony and Goodwin, 1924
Below are the references I could find:
  • 156 Anthony, H.E., G.G. Goodwin 1924 A new species of shrew from the Gaspe penninsula. Amer. Mus. Nov. 109: 1-2.
  • 886 Corbet, G.B., J.E. Hill 1991 A world list of mammalian species. 3rd ed. British Museum (Natural History), Natural History Museum Publ. and London and Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, Ney York. Shrews: 272 species:
  • 961 Dalton, M., B.A. Sabo 1980 A preliminary report on the natural history of the Gaspé shrew. The Atlantic Center for the Environment, Ipwich, MA, 29 pp (cited in Van Zyll de Jong, C. G., 1983, Handbook of Canadian mammals. National Museums of Canada 1: 1-210)
  • 1536 French, T.W. (Blarina brevicauda, Sorex fumeus, S. gaspensis, S. hoyi, S. palustris). Unpublished data (cited in Innes, 1994).
  • 1542 French, T.W., G.L. Kirkland 1983 Taxonomy of the Gaspe shrew, Sorex gaspensis, and the rock shrew, Sorex dispar. Can. Field Nat. 97 (1): 75-78.
  • 2775 Kirkland, G.L. Jr. 1981 Sorex dispar and Sorex gaspensis. Mammalian Species 155: 1-4.
  • 2782 Kirkland, G.L. Jr., H.M. van Deusen 1979 The shrews of the Sorex dispar group: Sorex dispar Batchelder and Sorex gaspensis Anthony and Goodwin. American Museum Novitates 2675:1-21.
  • 4708 Saunders, W.E. 1932 Notes on the mammals of Ontario. Transactions of the Royal Canadian Institute 18: 271-309.
  • 4860 Scott, F.W. 1987 First record of the long-tailed shrew, Sorex dispar, new record, for Nova Scotia. Can. Field Nat. 101 (3): 404-407.
  • 4861 Scott, F.W., C.G. Van Zyll de Jong 1989 (1990) New Nova Scotia (Canada) records of the long-tailed shrew, Sorex dispar, new record with comments on the taxonomic status of Sorex dispar and Sorex gaspensis. Naturaliste Canadien (Quebec) 116(3): 145-154. English; French summ.
  • ***********************************************************************
    1) Laura McLellan: Phylogeny of Crocidurinae / Kenya
    Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 15:23:47 -0600
    From: Laura McLellan <mclellan@ultra.internetland.net>
    Subject: shrew photos & shrew talk
    I am a mammalogist studying the phylogeny and evolution of crocidurine shrews. I did my post-doctoral work at the US NMNH studying the collection in 1990, and I have spent five of the past seven summers in Kenya collecting shrews for my research.
    1) Blarina attacking laboratory mouse
    From: W. Haberl - shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at
    Prof. Tom Tomasi recently sent me a video showing Blarina brevicauda attacking and eating lab mice in confinement. (Thank you!). I only mention this because it is related to another account of an observation I received from C. M. Angeles from the Philippines, who describes a shrew chasing house mice (see below: Philippine shrew chasing house mice).
    As to my knowledge there exists no published account of the musk shrew attacking rodents and even with Blarina I had always had the impression that its reported ability to control rodent populations was to a great extent referring to nest predation. However, at seeing Tomasi's film, I was amazed at what speed Blarina followed the mouse. After biting it numerous times it dragged the mouse into its 'burrow' or nest and began to devour it.
    I have read the reports of Blarina field mouse predation etc., but have never seen her in action. This really is a nice film footage and the contents definately make up for the poor quality. Seeing this, one would surely get a feeling of the possible impact of Blarina on natural field mouse populations (not only eating nestlings as I assumed). It is evidence that shrews can solve 'backyard problems' (see recent inquiry in ShrewTalk).
    2) Philippine shrew chasing house mice
    Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 23:11:03 +0800
    From: "caesar m. angeles" <purple@mozcom.com>
    Subject: philippine shrew
    i am from los banos in the philippines (southeast asia). i saw a shrew inside our house chasing mice. do shrews eat mice?
    first of all, i noticed it was a shrew as its tail was not very long, its snout was pointed and it did not move as fast as mice. it is very dark gray or black in color. i saw a mouse running and the shrew was following it. i usually see it at night as i sleep late. it stays out of sight like the mice so i only get a fleeting sight of it.it is about 3 to 4 inches long. i thought it was chasing mice to eat. i saw the shrew chasing a mouse about three times. the first time i saw the shrew was two weeks ago only. i am not thinking of exterminating it if it helps to get rid of mice. since the weather is warm here we have lots of ventilation. that is how the shrew probably got inside the house. we also have lots of mosquitos that is why even if there are cobwebs inside our house we don't usually clean it all up as it helps trap mosquitos. if you can advise me about the habitat of shrews and how to bait or catch them, i can probably take care of one and give you more feedback. if you are interested in more technical information please try http://www.uplb.edu.ph/ regards.
    caesar m. angeles
    3) Semi-aquatic Insecticores: Symposium
    From: "Carlos Romão" <carlos.romao@mail.telepac.pt>
    .To: <shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at>
    Subject: SEMI-AQUATIC INSECTIVORES Date: Wed, 5 Nov 1997 19:04:40 -0000
    Dear colleague,
    We are writting to you to see if you are interested in participating in a symposium on the BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF SEMI-AQUATIC INSECTIVORES that will be part of the Euro-American Mammal Congress to be held in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in July 1998. The description of the symposium is:
    A number of species of lipotyphlan insectivores have become specialised for a semi-aquatic lifestyle, including many different shrews (Soricidae), desmans and the star-nosed mole (Talpidae), and otter shrews and the aquatic tenrec (Tenrecidae). These semi-aquatic insectivores seem to be very sensitive to habitat disturbances and changes in water quality, and as a result many species are presently considered to be threatened or endangered. Also, because of their sensitivity to environmental degradation, semi-aquatic insectivores may be important as flagship species for the conservation of aquatic and riparian habitats. This symposium will address the basic biology of these semi-aquatic insectivores, including their evolution, ecology, behavior, and general natural history. An underlying theme will be conservation, including the conservation status of individual species, and conservation measures that can be used to protect these unusual animals and their habitats.
    If you are interested in participating in this symposium you should do two things: 1. Send one of us your proposal for an oral presentation or a poster (our names and adresses are below). The proposal should have an English title and a short provisional abstract. We are exploring ways in which contributions can be made in absentia: these might include video recordings (10-15 minutes) and posters. Please let us know if you cannot attend the congress, but might be interested in participating in the symposium in absentia.
    2. Contact the Local Committee of the EAMC to indicate your interest in the meetings. This can be reached at: galemys@pinar1.csic.es
    Euro-American Mammal Congress Laboratorio de Parasitologia Facultad de Farmacia Universidad de Santiago de Compostela 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
    Fax (34) 81 593316
    The Local Committee encourages the use of e-mail whenever feasible.
    Registration charges for the congress are expected to be approximately:
    _______________________________________________________________________ Early payment Late payment (after February 1998) _______________________________________________________________________ Participants from the US, Canada, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Italy, and west thereof . . . . . . . 19,500 pta 22,500 pta
    Participants from all other countries, students, and accompanying persons. . . . . . . . . . . . 10,500 pta 15,000 pta ______________________________________________________________________
    As of October 24, 1997 the exchange rate was 1 US$ = 149.64 pta. Two student honoraria will be available that will cover the airline travel, registration and room and board. DO NOT SEND PAYMENT NOW! Wait for the registration forms. Further information about costs can be obtained by writing to the Local Committee at the address given above.
    Thank you for your interest in this symposium. We hope to see you in Santiago!
    Ana Isabel Queiroz, Instituto da Conservacao da Natureza, Rua Filipe Folque, n 46 - 1150 Lisboa, Portugal. Phone: (351) 1 3523018. Fax: (351) 1 3574771. carlos.romao@mail.telepac.pt
    Howard P. Whidden, Biology Department, Central College, 812 University Avenue, Pella, IA 50219, USA. Phone: (1) 515 6285147. whiddenh@mail.central.edu
    Carlos Romao Instituto da Conservaçao da Natureza Rua Filipe Folque, 46 - 1º P - 1050 LISBOA tel: +351.1.3523018 fax: +351.1.3574771 e-mail: carlos.romao@mail.telepac.pt
    1) Yet another shrew in the house
    Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 19:59:10 -0500 (EST)
    From: CoolBet@aol.com
    Can you tell me the easiest way to extracate one of our furry friends from the house?
    Sincerely, Jim
    1) Notiosorex crawfordi: Coronado National Memorial
    Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 10:32:25 -0700
    From: Cecil Schwalbe <cecils@ag.Arizona.EDU>
    Subject: Re: shrew photos
    I had not forgotten my commitment to send you a slide of Notiosorex crawfordi. I intended to send you a copy of the slide I had loaned to the Smithsonian. They just returned my slide a few weeks ago and I was going to duplicate it for you. We are currently conducting a mammal survey of Coronado National Memorial and I expected to get another Notiosorex to photograph. One was captured on October 8. I will be keeping this shrew alive for awhile for more photos and videos.
    I will keep you updated on status of the video. It may be a while before we do the video. I am pretty busy until the end of the semester and will not have time to collect some interesting prey items such as scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, etc. We want to collect a variety of things, both that Notiosorex will eat and others that it will not. I used to use a sweep net to collect a sample of everything on grass and shrubs and dump everything into the cage at once. It was a good way to learn what they will and will not eat.
    More later, as it happens.
    Thanks for your efforts in creating the Shrew Site.
    2) Shrew fungus consumption
    Date: Fri, 07 Nov 1997 16:19:50 -0600
    From: bijc@fhsu.edu
    Subject: Re: Shrew & Fungus
    I did not personally research the consumption of Endogone by shrews. Rather, I merely mentioned in my publications that Endogone was a known food of Blarina, especially in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. I cited one or more papers detailing this in my (with Sarah George and Hugh Genoways) Mammalian Species account of Blarina brevicauda.
    MY AREA CODE AND FAX NUMBER HAVE CHANGED. PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGES IN YOUR RECORDS. J. R. Choate, Director Sternberg Museum of Natural History Fort Hays State University Hays, KS 67601-4099 USA
    e-mail bijc@fhsu.edu voice 785-628-5664 fax 785-628-4518 http://www.fhsu.edu/biology.htm
    “The Shrew Bibliography” is a collection of more than 6000 references to research on the biology of the Soricidae (Insectivora, Mammalia) and small mammal ecology. More info: http://members.vienna.at/shrew/shrewbib.html
    To announce your new research papers/books, please follow the instructions (separate fields with the character "#"): Author(s)#Year#Title#Journal&Page No.#Abstract#Keywords#Address *I* would appreciate receiving a reprint of your paper and/or a list of your publications to add to the bibliography.
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    Dr. Werner Haberl Editor, SHREW TALK (http://members.vienna.at/shrew/shrewtalk.html) Hamburgerstr. 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria
    Email: shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at URL: http://members.vienna.at/shrew (The Shrew (ist's) Site)
    The Shrew Bibliography (> 6000 references) (available on CD ROM) ==================================================================

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    Dr. Werner Haberl. Address: Hamburgerstrasse 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria.
    E-mail: shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at
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