US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Journal of Mammalogy, 91(3):566–579, 2010; DOI: 10.1644/09-MAMM-A-346.1.


The broad-clawed shrews (Soricomorpha: Soricidae: Cryptotis) encompass a clade of 5 species—Cryptotis alticolus (Merriam), C. goldmani (Merriam), C. goodwini Jackson, C. griseoventris Jackson, and C. peregrinus (Merriam)—that is known collectively as the Cryptotis goldmani group and is characterized by broadened forefeet, elongated and broadened fore claws, and broadened humeri. These shrews are distributed in highland regions from central Mexico to Honduras. Two broad-clawed shrews, C. goodwini and C. griseoventris, occur in southern Mexico and Guatemala and are presumed sister species whose primary distinguishing feature is the larger size of C. goodwini. In an investigation of variation within and between these 2 species, I studied characteristics of the postcranial skeleton. Statistical analyses of a variety of character suites indicate that the forelimb morphology in this group exhibits less intraspecific variation and greater interspecific variation than cranio-mandibular morphology, although most skull characters support groupings based on forelimb characters. Together, these characters define 4 distinct groups among the specimens examined. C. griseoventris is restricted to the northern highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, and C. goodwini occurs in the southern highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala. Herein, I describe 2 new species of broad-clawed shrews from the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Guatemala.