Shrew and vole ID


Last summer I spent some time in the Alps (Arolla in Valais) and I caught some mammals that I find rather hard to ID.

This shrew was caught in a trap that I put up in a grassy patch bordering a shed and a grass field at the edge of the town (approximately 2000m altitude). The photos are quite crappy, but based on coloration and the hair on the hind foot I think it may be Neomys anomalus (Miller’s water shrew) – any thoughts? The tail seems a bit long for the water shrew and there was no water nearby, so maybe it’s Sorex antionorii – although the coloration doesn’t seem to fit for that one and I can’t find information on hairiness of the foot for that species. Does anyone have any thoughts?


This second one is probably even harder to ID with the photo I managed to take. I caught this one by hand. It looked like a juvenile. It was caught at about 2300m altitude, above the timber line on a mossy/grassy patch. I’m thinking Microtus arvalis (common vole) based on range and habitat, but maybe it’s Microtus agrestis (field vole) or even another species?


Thanks a lot!


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4 Comments on “Shrew and vole ID”

  1. Hello. We (a team of micro-mammals’ specialists) have examined your pictures in relation with the place where the mammals were caught. The shrew is very probably Neomys anomalus. The vole could be either M. arvalis (6 pads under hind feet) or M. multiplex (only 5 pads under hind feet).

  2. SLahaye Says:

    Thank you very much for your opinion!

  3. Yes, that’s right. On the picture, the tail looks too short for multiplex (exemples on my web site ). But regarding the poor quality of the picture (sorry), It’s impossible to eliminate this specie.

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