Cryptotis aroensus, Quiroga- Carmona & Molinari, 2012

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson, 2018, Soricidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 8 Insectivores, Sloths and Colugos, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 332-551 : 437

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Cryptotis aroensus


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Aroa Small-eared Shrew

Cryplotis aroensus

French: Musaraigne d’Aroa / German: Aroa-Kleinohrspitzmaus / Spanish: Musarana de orejas pequenas de Aroa

Other common names: Sierra de Aroa Shrew

Taxonomy. Cryptotis aroensis Quiroga- Carmona & Molinari, 2012 ,

“ Las Cumaraguas Sector , Sierra de Aroa , Municipio Cocorote , Estado Yaracuy, Venezuela (10°22°02-6”N, 68°49°20-4’'W), elevation 1730 m.” GoogleMaps

Cryptotis aroensis has not been included in any phylogenetic studies but is morphologically in the C. thomas: group. Morphometric data indicated that C. aroensis is sis- ter to C. venezuelensis. Monotypic.

Distribution. Highlands of Sierra de Aroa (NW Venezuela). View Figure Descriptive notes. Head—body 77-81 mm, tail 34-40 mm, hindfoot 13-15 mm; weight 10-12 g. The Aroa Small-eared Shrew is large. Pelage is long, luxurious, and grayish brown, being lighter and duller ventrally. Forefeet are somewhat enlarged and robust, with long pointed claws. Tail is relatively long (46% of head-body length), unicolored brownish, and covered with short hairs. Eyes are diminutive, and ears are small and barely visible under fur. Fourth unicuspid is labially placed and visible in lateral view of skull; M? is complex and nearly as wide as M?; and bicuspulate lower incisors each have poorly developed and almost imperceptible anterior cusp, separated from posterior cusp by shallow anterior notch. Teeth are reddish, and there are four unicuspids.

Habitat. High tropical wet montane cloud forest at elevations of ¢.1730 m.

Food and Feeding. A captive Aroa Small-eared Shrew consumed many invertebrates and two small geckos (Gonatodes falconensis and Thecadactylus rapicauda), but it did not have a preference for any particular prey. Individuals forage by sniffing substrate and air repeatedly, while moving about leaflitter on the ground’s surface. Prey is initially attacked with a bite, but if prey is not immobilized, chasing ensues, resulting in the individual violently biting the prey item. Prey is consumed head first, by tearing and chewing, but does not involve use of forelimbs, which is common in other species of shrew. Prey was consumed in 3-5 minutes, depending on its size.

Breeding. No information.

Activity patterns. Based on observations of a captive individual, Aroa Small-eared Shrews seem to have a terrestrial lifestyle and epigeal foraging habits and are active often and rest every three hours by hiding haphazardly underleaflitter.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. No information.

Status and Conservation. Not assessed on The IUCN Red List. The Aroa Small-eared Shrew was only recently described and is currently only known from a few specimens and limited ecological studies. Its distribution is limited and remote, and habitat destruction and global warming might be major threats in the near future, especially because large areas of the Sierra de Aroa have been deforested for cattle grazing and agriculture below elevations of 1500 m.

Bibliography. Garcia, Delgado-Jaramillo & Machado (2014), Garcia, Machado et al. (2017), Quiroga-Carmona & Molinari (2012).














Cryptotis aroensus

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson 2018

Cryptotis aroensis

Quiroga- Carmona & Molinari 2012