Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Mary Etta Hight

Second Advisor

Dan K. Evans

Third Advisor

Thomas K. Pauley

Fourth Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


The morphological and geographical diversity of Sorex cinereus is evident in West Virginia. In an attempt to identify patterns of morphological variation relative to age, sex, and geographic locality, and to clarify taxonomic status of the West Virginia soricids by defining diagnostic characters applicable to this area, a sample of 288 specimens representing three taxa were analyzed statistically. Standard external measurements were recorded, and a series of 12 cranial and dental characters were measured and recorded for each specimen. Morphological variation due to age was found in S. c. cinereus, but not in the smaller reference samples of S. c. fontinalis and S. I. longirostris. No sexual dimorphism was found in any of the taxa studied. Diagnostic characters found to separate S. I. longirostris from S. c. cinereus were rostral shape and relative sizes of the third unicuspid. Clear defining characters were not found for S. c. fontinalis, although this taxa resembles a smaller version of S. c. cinereus with shorter, broader rostra. These data and analyses did not reveal any presence of S. c. fontinalis additional to two documented specimens from Hampshire County. Although the presence of S. I. longirostris in West Virginia is likely, these analyses were inconclusive.


Sorex – Variation – West Virginia.

Shrews – Variation – West Virginia.

Sorex – Geographical distribution.

Shrews – Geographical distribution.