Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Thomas J. Maier
    Date: 2005
    Source: Special publication of the international society of shrew biologists. 1: 361-366.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (162.36 KB)

    Description

    Northern short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) have been reported to prey upon relatively large salamanders and anurans. Nevertheless, detailed observations of such behavior are rare, though important in providing insights into shrew foraging strategies, prey capture and handling, and possibly the coevolution of predator-antipredator mechanisms. Natural and staged interactions between multiple B. brevicauda and a fossorial eastern spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii) were observed in western Massachusetts, August-November 2000. Routing the buried toad during laboratory trials via both surface and sub-surface contact (both resulting in the toad's eruption to surface), shrews attacked with varying success; less successfully when attacking the toad's cephalic region, more successfully when seizing the toad's hind limbs and dragging it backwards, thus circumventing numerous anuran antipredator mechanisms. Although B. brevicauda would seem adept at attacking adult S. holbrookii, its role as a common predator of this anuran remains uncertain.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Maier, Thomas J. 2005. Predatory behaviors of Blarina brevicauda toward a fossorial eastern spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii). Special publication of the international society of shrew biologists. 1: 361-366.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/21842