"Elliot's Short-tailed Shrew occurs in much of the central Great Plains. Its fur is a nearly uniform brownish-gray, often with brown tips. It hunts for invertebrates - insects, other arthropods, and earthworms - in moist areas with good cover, such as along riverbanks and in ditches. Like other Blarina
, it has venomous saliva, and will eat small mammals, amphibians, and reptiles if it catches them. This species of shrew typically lives for about eight months; very few live through two winters. In her short life, a female usually produces one or two litters. The six or seven young reach adult size and are weaned in about a month. Abdominal musk glands - which apparently taste as bad as they smell - protect this shrew from many potential mammalian predators. The musk glands do not deter owls, however."
Links:Mammal Species of the World
Original description: Elliot, 1899. Field Columbian Museum Publications, Zoological Series, 1:287.