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MAMMALS » SMALL
Eastern Mole

Eastern Mole
Scalopus aquaticus

The Eastern Mole, which is the common mole found in yards, occurs state-wide.

Description
: A small, stout, streamlined mammal with concealed ears, tiny eyes, and a fleshy, movable snout. The velvety fur is grayish-brown above and silvery-gray beneath. The broad front feet are enlarged, have large claws, and point outward to aid in digging underground tunnels. They have a short tail, which is scantily furred.
Length: 5.5 - 8.0 inches
Tail: 0.8 - 1.5 inches
Weight: 1.0 - 5.0 ounces

Similar Species:


Habitat
: Occurs in a variety of habitats including forests, fields, pastures, gardens, lawns, and other areas with loose, well-drained soils.

Diet:
Earthworms and grubs are a principle food; also centipedes, beetles, ants, and other invertebrates. Some plant foods are eaten as well.

Breeding information:
The Eastern Mole, like other moles, has a single litter annually. Mating begins in late winter or early spring followed by a pregnancy of 4-6 weeks. In the spring, a litter of 2-5 (average 4) young is born in the underground nest chamber, which is lined with roots, leaves, or grass. Newborn moles are blind and nearly hairless. Young are weaned after a month of rapid growth.

Status in Tennessee:
No conservation concerns as this is a common species.

Fun Facts
:
  • In well drained, loose soil, Eastern Moles can tunnel up to 18 feet per hour.
  • Occasionally albino moles may have their white fur colored bright orange or cinnamon yellow by the secretion of their scent glands, which is a rank, musky odor.

Best places to see in Tennessee: Well-drained yards and pastures.

For more information:

Sources:
Schwartz, C.W. and E.R. Schwartz. 2001. The Wild Mammals of Missouri, 2nd Edition. University of Missouri Press and Missouri Department of Conservation, Columbia, MO.