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Mammals of the Bay Area

Marsupalia & Insectivora

Virginia Opossum
Didelphis virginiana

Marsupial
Opposable big toe
Fakes death
Prehensile tail
Prefers living near water.
Omnivorous.
Burrows in den dug by other animals, also hollows in trees, rock
piles logs.
Do not hibernate
Up 25 young about the size of a grain of rice.
Gestation 12-13 days.
Young crawl into pouch and attach to 9-17 nipples.
Live in puchfir3 months; 8-9 emerge.
Mature in 6 months- one year.

Virginia Opossum
Didelphis virginiana

American Shrew-mole
Beurotrichus gibbsii

Unlike a mole, has long hairy tail with small forelimbs.


Active above ground.
Can run, unlike moles.
4-5 inches; tail 1 -2 inches
May be blind as skin covers the lens
Live where leaf litter is abundant.
Both invertebrates and vegetation eaten.
Shallow burrow = den.
Mating: March-May
One-six per litter. Tiny young 1/32 once.

Multiple litters per season.

American Shrew-mole
Beurotrichus gibbsii

Ornate Shrew
Sorex ornatus
Upland forested areas, inland marshes, coastal salt
marshes (dark here= salt marsh melanism).
3 3/8-4 inches; tail 11/8-1 inches.
Live 1-1.5 years.
2 molts, 2 litters.
Feeds on insects and other invertebrates.
Voracious feeder.
Grassy nests built ion protected area.
March-April = peak reproduction; gestation 21 days.
5 per litter.
Field ID difficult.

Ornate Shrew
Sorex ornatus

Fog Shrew
Sorex sonomae
Large brown shrew
Cleans face frequently with moistened feed similar to a
cat.
4 1/8-71/8 inches; tail13/8-3 3/8 inches
Also called Sonoma Shrew; uncommon.
Tail same color as the body.
Lacks first upper incisor.
Feed on invertebrates
Little known about reproductive behavior, Litter sizes 2-6
in spring and summer.

Fog Shrew
Sorex sonomae

Trowbridges Shrew
Sorex trowbridgii

Eats, stores and collects seeds (Douglas Fir).


Diurnal and nocturnal. Active for short periods.
Undersides slightly paler than back.
Live less than 1.5 years.
4 - 5 inches; tail : 1 7/8 2 3/8 inches.
Bicolored tail; less hairy with age.
Small, hidden ears.
Feet, white to tan.
Prefer dry ground in Douglas fir but may occupy other territories
normally inhabited by other shrew species in their absence.
Diet primarily invertebrates.
Grassy nest.
3-6 young born spring-early summer; females continually pregnant.

Trowbridges Shrew
Sorex trowbridgii

Vagrant Shrew
Sorex vagrans
Difficult to distinguish from Mountain Shrew, but the
latter is not in our range.
Distinguished by incisor pigment.
Also called Wandering Shrew.
Forests near water.
4 1/8 7 1/8 inches; tail 1 3/8-3 3/8 inches.
Feed on invertebrates, carrion, some vegetation.
Spherical grass nest, similar to other shrews in shrub or
decayed log.
Little known about reproduction: gestation may be < 20
days.
2-6 young.

Vagrant Shrew
Sorex vagrans

Broad-footed Mole
Scapanus latimanus

Only mole in our area.


Soil cannot stick to fur.
Snout and tail both highly sensitive.
Cannot fully pronate palms.
Swims through soil.
5 - 7 inches; tail short: 7/8-1 inches.
Reduced useless eyes.
Forelimbs positioned close to head.
Live in soft soil.
Lives in borrows; special ones made for rearing young and sleeping.
Feeds on invertebrate and some vegetation.
Mating: February- March; Birth in grass-lined burrow in April-May.

Take several weeks to reach full size.

Broad-footed Mole
Scapanus latimanus