According to the current taxonomy, the Myosoricinae are a subfamily of shrews. As such, they form one of three main types of shrews, the other two being the red-toothed shrews and the white-toothed shrews. They are the only one of the three to be found exclusively south of the Sahara Desert, and accordingly they have been described in English as the African shrews, but also many white-toothed shrews are in Africa and accordingly this term is more generally used for shrews from Africa in general.[1] (Another vernacular term is African white-toothed shrews, though this perpetuates the same confusion.) The subfamily has three genera and 20 species:

According to Furió et al.(2007)[2] the group should have the status of tribe, as a relict of the primitive subfamily Crocidosoricinae.[3]


  1. ^ Quérouil et al., 2001, Mol. Phyl. Evol. 20(2):185-195
  2. ^ Furió, M.; Santos-Cubedo, A.; Minwer-Barakat, R.; Agustí, J. 2007. Evolutionary history of the African soricid Myosorex (Insectivora, Mammalia) out of Africa. J. Vert. Paleont. 27(4):1018-1032.
  3. ^ Reumer, 1987
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