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 so they have been described in English as the African shrews, but also many white-toothed shrews are in Africa and therefore 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:

Myosorex varius.png
Drawing of the forest shrew Myosorex varius
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
Family: Soricidae
Subfamily: Myosoricinae
Kretzoi, 1965


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[full citation needed]