Belongs to: insectivores

Mole Talpa europea


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Underground tunneler most often recognised by the 'hills' left behind

Habitat: mostly grassland, sometimes deciduous woods

Widespread across most of Europe except Ireland, extreme north and extreme south

Recognition

Velvety grey-black fur, pointed pink snout and massive shovel-like fore-paws; up to 16 cm

Lives mostly underground, digging extensive networks of tunnels in its hunt for food

Feeds on worms and other invertebrates, sometimes storing immobilised prey for later

Lifecycle

Nest of grasses inside a larger mound or 'fortress'

Usually 1 litter per year in summer, of 3 or 4 young

Moves out of low-lying meadows in winter to avoid flooding

  • Main photo

Photo © Leslie Borg