Academic journal article The American Midland Naturalist

The First Record of Cryptosis Parva for the Florida Keys

Academic journal article The American Midland Naturalist

The First Record of Cryptosis Parva for the Florida Keys

Article excerpt

The genus Cryptotis is ubiquitous throughout the eastern United States (Hall, 1981) and although it occurs in peninsular Florida, it has never been recorded from the Florida Keys. Schwartz (1952) hypothesized that insectivores were absent from Key Largo due to salt water creeks isolating the island from peninsular Florida. Weiner (1980) reported seeing a shrew moving on the forest floor during a survey of hardwood hammock fragments in Key Largo, but did not collect a specimen to verify whether the animal was of the genus Cryptotis or Blarina.

In November 1997, while live-trapping small mammals on a 1.8 ha grid in the tropical hardwood hammocks of Key Largo (2512'N, 80o21'W) we captured one Cryptotis parva floridana in a Sherman live trap. The specimen was caught in a mature hardwood hammock; characterized by a sparse understory, a continuous canopy with little light penetration and substantial leaf litter. The dominant tree species (Ross et al. 1992) are Black Ironwood (Krugiodendron ferreum), Mastic (Mastichodendron foetidissium), Jamaica Dogwood (Pisidia piscipua), Pigeon Plum (Coccoloba diversifolia), Poisonwood (Metopium toxiferum) and Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba).

The specimen was identified by R. M. Timm of the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas. The shrew was a 6.6 g adult female that had bred previously, based on visible teats and placental scars, but was not pregnant at the time of capture. …

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