US Geological Survey


Document Type


Date of this Version



Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 124(4):249–258. 2011.


A small series of shrews collected in Guatemala and registered in the British Museum between 1843 and 1907 includes parts of type series for three species: Corsira tropicalis Gray (1843), Sorex micrurus Tomes (1862), and Blarina tropicalis Merriam (1895). These three names are now considered equivalent, but my recent review of the specimens comprising the series indicates that they include three distinct species: Cryptotis merriami Choate (1970), Cryptotis oreoryctes Woodman (2011), and Cryptotis tropicalis (Merriam 1895). I review the taxonomic history of these specimens, provide current identifications tied directly to museum register numbers, describe how to distinguish the three species, and provide revised synonymies for these species.