50

San Cristobal Shrew

Central America

50

Sorex stizodon

Endangered

  • Agriculture and deforestation are major threats to the species' habitat.

In 1998 Frost’s arboreal (tree-living) Alligator lizard (Abronia Frosti) was discovered as a new species and added to the growing Abronia genus. Like the rest of its genus, Frosti was difficult to collect data on: the lizard was elusive and their forest habitat meant that Abronia species were often only discovered from a few collected specimens. In the present day, more is now known about Frosti’s morphology and habitat, but the relative size of the population still remains a mystery. The Guatemalan cloud forest is a subtropical high-precipitation and high-humidity environment. Thousands of hardwood Pine and Oak trees cover the mountainside creating a perfect breeding ground for a wide variety of insects and small invertebrates – Frosti’s main source of prey. It is here, hunting in hardwood trees and bromeliads that Frosti specimens have typically been collected.

In terms of morphology, Frosti is by no means as large as its alligator namesake and, instead, the genus was named after its distinctively wide and powerful jaws and thick alligator-like scales running along the head, body and tail. As an arboreal species, Frosti inhabits the pine and oak trees of the area and is perfectly adapted for surviving in the cloud forest, aided by a thick, short prehensile tail and short, sharp claws to provide grip in the trees.