Scientific Publications from the Virginia Museum of Natural History
by Cody W. Thompson and Justin D. Hoffman
published 14 December 2009
The karyotype of the northern short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) has been studied extensively across its range, revealing polymorphisms as a result of Robertsonian fissions/fusions. However, no karyological data have been reported at the type locality due to disagreement on its location. This information is vital given the proximity of a contact zone with the Elliot’s short-tailed shrew (B. hylophaga). Recent evidence has indicated that the type locality of B. brevicauda is situated at the western edge of this species’ distribution in eastern Nebraska. Therefore, it is now possible to establish a karyotype of specimens found at this location. Specimens were collected in 2006 at the type locality and field karyotyped. Chromosome morphology was consistent with previous reports. Two specimens collected from the type locality had a diploid number of 50 and a fundamental number of 48. Further investigation may reveal additional karyotypes at this location.