US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Journal of Mammalogy, 84(3):832–839, 2003.


The Colombian small-eared shrew, Cryptotis colombiana Woodman and Timm, was described from the Colombian Andes in 1993. Its original allocation to the C. nigrescens group recently was questioned based on several cranial characters the species appeared to share with some members of the C. thomasi group. We review characteristics of the C. nigrescens and C. thomasi groups, and we describe the humerus of C. colombiana and the humerus and manus of C. medellinia. The morphology of the humerus joins the suite of characters that supports the hypotheses that C. colombiana is not a member of the C. thomasi group and that all remaining South American species form a cohesive, definable set that is probably monophyletic.