Status. Rare species with a stable habitat.
Distribution. Range covers the European part of Russia, the North Caucasus, the Caspian Sea region. North limit of pygmy almost reaches the 60th parallel.
Number. Accurate inventory data Saratov region no. In the western part of the number is increased by steppe areas in the lowland forests of river valleys Khoper, Bear and Balanda. In the Volga number is slightly lower, but in the floodplain. Bizyukov (right tributary. Eruslan) of its pop-daemost the trap was 1.7% per 100 trap-nights, and steppe habitats Prieruslanskoy steppe — 0.3% per 100 trap-nights (Oparin and others, 2003). In the woods in winter Dyakovo 2004 catch on the edges of forest groves and sandy steppe: the proportion of the catch was 2.8 and 0.3% popadaemost (Tsvetkova et al, 2004). For personal information ML Oparin, in the Saratov region in the winter homes (especially in suburban and residential at this time of year) in the Right Bank and Volga is plentiful.
A brief description. Body length of 47-67 mm (other sources 55-72 mm), tail — 25-36 mm (28-42 mm), weight — 3.6 g (4.2-9.8 g). The fur is highly variable. The back of a very light ash-gray to brownish-gray or reddish-gray. Dark color goes back to a lighter belly, but sometimes the back and belly are colored the same. Teeth 28, their color is white. Structure of teeth differs great individual variability. In the karyotype of 40 chromosomes. External diagnostic features that distinguish this species from other shrews in our region, are long sparse hairs on the tail extending out of the total mass of the adjacent short hair, white teeth and a smooth transition between the color gray-brown fur top of the head and back, and gray-whitish on belly.
Habitats. Way of life in the small pygmy N. Volga insufficiently studied. It is found everywhere from the remaining parts of the steppes in the north area is common in the forests. The fact of living in apartment buildings belozubok person in the neighboring region of Penza, it falls into the trap even on the fourth floor of the town house, met here and in the production of cats. Escapes the reeds on the banks of ponds. The greatest number of shrews reach in the deciduous forests of various types and especially bayrachnye, floodplain and wetland habitats. Less wet, man and closed field habitats populated shrews less. In terrestrial plants, the number of open field habitats shrews insignificant and they appear there only in years of high abundance (Sonin et al, 2005).
Especially biology. Comfortable nest in crevices, burrows abandoned by other people, stacks and stacks, on the ground in the small recesses of the stand. Sometimes self burrows in length up to 3.5 m and a diameter of 1 cm Nora end nest chamber 18-20 cm in width and length. Animals are quite sociable, tolerant of each other. One nest can have several animals, leading an independent life. In the Saratov region shrews mate usually in May, pregnancy lasts about one month, in a litter of 5.10 cubs are born blind, become self-sufficient in 6 weeks. In the homes of shrews, mating and birth are young, apparently, during the year, as the newly born animals is celebrated here in all seasons. In the second half of the summer in the reproduction can enter yearlings. For the season overwintered female can produce up to four litters (each an average of 4-5 pups). Feed consists of small invertebrates, mainly insects. Pygmy — specialized predators, they spend on food in less time than shrews. Vegetable foods eaten rarely and very reluctantly and only in those cases where no animal prey. Mass of food that eats small day white-toothed shrew, is 133% of the weight of her body. The animal is capable of many hours fasting nor consumes water.