eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus aquaticus)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Not confirmed.
CHARACTERISTICS: The eastern mole is large, measuring approxi-
mately 6-7 inches in length and can be distinguished by large, wide, almost
hairless forepaws. The tail is short, round, scantily haired, and less than
1/4th their total length. The nose is elongated into a distinct snout. The
eyes are small with no external opening, and external ears are not present.
The fur is dense, silky, colored from black to silver. They have 1 litter per
year, usually in March or April with 2-5 young per litter. The life expect-
ancy of the eastern mole can be as long as six years. The home range of the
males is 1.09 hectares, and the female home range is considerably smaller.
The tunnels are either surface runways approximately 2-3 cm deep (ridges
are used primarily for food collection), or deep permanent passages (10-40
cm deep) used for living quarters. They are active day and night in
burrows, all seasons. During colder weather they may use one nest site for
inactive periods yet communal 'main runs' do exist.
DISTRIBUTION: This species is abundant throughout the eastern half of
state and at lower altitudes in the western portion. They are most
common in grassy fields, meadows, pastures, lawns and forest floors.
They require well drained sandy soils which have a low rock and clay
content. Highly acidic soils are avoided because the necessary food
sources are not available.
FOODS: This species has a voracious appetite, with the daily food
consumption 25-100% of the body weight. It feeds mainly on
earthworms but eats all types of insects and insect larvae as well
as some plant material.
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Sky Meadows Park
Crooked Run Valley