Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Eastern or Common Mole

Of the 7 species in North America, this is the only one normally found in the southern portion of Wisconsin. It’s Latin name is Scalopus aquaticus.The species name of aquaticus is a mistaken identity; the mole was drowned in a well so was presumed to be a water-dweller. Mole can dig just below the surface or much deeper; this one digs just below, making ridges on the landscape. Their fur is velvety soft so movement forward and backward is unimpeded with friction. They have keen hearing even though their ears are covered with fur to keep the dirt out but it’s their snouts that have the most important sense. They use the whiskers to pick up vibrations and scent for finding the earthworms and larva of many types of invertebrates that they eat.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History has some nice pictures and info!