Dietary overlap in sympatric populations of Pygmy shrews, Sorex hoyi, and Masked shrews, Sorex cinereus, in Michigan

TitleDietary overlap in sympatric populations of Pygmy shrews, Sorex hoyi, and Masked shrews, Sorex cinereus, in Michigan
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1986
AuthorsRyan JM
JournalThe Canadian Field-Naturalist
Volume100
Issue2
Pagination225-228
KeywordsVERTEBRATES
Abstract

Summer (15 May - 20 August) foods of 29 Pygmy Shrews (Sorex hoyi) and 31 Masked Shrews (Sorex cinereus) were examined in a seven bog/peatland habitats in northern lower Michigan. Ants accounted for 45.5% and 50% of the prey items found in the stomach and intestinal tracts of Pygmy and Masked shrews, respectively. Non-formicid Hymenoptera, Arachnida, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera larvae made up the remainder of the diet of both shrew species. Both Pygmy and Masked shrews seemed to prefer prey less than 5 mm in total body length. Data from this study indicate that there is a high degree of dietary overlap between sympatric populations of Pygmy Shrews and Masked Shrews in Michigan.