Talazac’s shrew tenrec is the largest of the shrew tenrecs.

  • Average head and body length of 120 mm (range105 – 138 mm) and weight of 41 grams (ranging from 32 – 60 grams) 
  • The head has 
    • a long tapering snout, with long vibrissae
    •  small eyes 
    • small but prominent naked ears
  • The pelage on the upper surface of the head and body is soft, dense and brown in colour, while the underside is paler buffy brown. 
  • Tail has a length of 137 mm (103 – 158 mm) 
    • is scale-covered
    • ranges from 81 - 140% of head and body length
  • Five digits are present on fore and hind limbs
  • Upper surface is covered with short pale brown hair
  • There is no obvious sexual dimorphism in external appearance or size

Diploid number (2n) = 30 (Hsu and Benirschke, 1970).


Because of its large size, Microgale talazaci is unlikely to be confused with any of the smaller shrew tenrecs, with the exception of M. dobsoni (Dobson’s shrew tenrec), which is generally smaller (average head and body length 102 mm, tail length 112 mm and weight 31 grams). The tail of Dobson’s shrew tenrec acts as a fat storage organ and is often swollen, also serving to distinguish the two species.