What is the formula for finding moles

European mole

The European mole (Talpa europaea) counts within the mole family (Talpidae) to the genusTalpa. In English this is called this mole European pier called.


Appearance, dimensions

The European mole reaches a body length of eleven to sixteen centimeters, a tail length of three to four centimeters and a weight of 75 to 125 grams. Females remain a little smaller and lighter than males, otherwise the sexes show only a slight sex dismorphism. The European mole appears gaunt and, in fact, has little fat on it. The body is elongated and appears cylindrical. The short but dense fur is colored black. Your eyes are very small but fully developed. Eyes and ears are usually hidden in the fur. In the area of ​​the nose there are whiskers with which they orient themselves underground and also track down their food. The nose is without fur. The front feet have been transformed into powerful digging tools in the course of evolution. When digging, the mole turns its forefeet inside out, turning the entire upper arm with it. An articulated connection between the upper arm and the collarbone enables this movement. Both the front and rear legs end in five toes. The dentition is strong and consists of 44 teeth. The dental formula is 3/3, 1/1, 4/4, 3/3. The individual teeth have sharp enamel ridges and pointed cusps.


European mole: view of the upper jaw.

The European mole is well adapted to an underground life in complete darkness. He is constantly in search of food in his small realm and is expanding his gait system. An average corridor system can be 300 to 500 meters in length. The gait systems are used for living, foraging, mating and raising the young. The mole also has certain places in the passage system to defecate. The living kettles are rounded structures that are padded with soft material. Moles live solitary and only find each other during the mating season. The territories of males and females usually overlap. During the mating season, the males in particular are territorial and defend their territory from conspecifics. If two males meet, there is usually a fight. However, a meeting is seldom the case. The most active time extends over the night. During the day, the mole rests in one of the numerous living areas.

The individual corridors are at different distances from the surface. Depending on the season, it uses different depths of its passage system. In winter or during the dry season it retreats into deeper layers of its burrow. In summer, the European mole lives mainly just below the surface of the earth. Here it occasionally comes to the surface of the earth to search for food. The corridor systems are permanent, especially in loamy soil. In very sandy soils, the tunnels have to be renewed or repaired more often. Your own territory is marked with a secretion from olfactory glands. Other moles can perceive this scent from a great distance. This smell forms an invisible barrier that animals rarely break through. Therefore, two same-sex moles rarely meet. On the other hand, this smell is also used by a male to find a female.


The European mole is found throughout temperate Europe. The European mole does not occur in southern Europe and in the far north. In the west the distribution area extends to Great Britain. In the east it extends as far as Russia, in places as far as western Siberia. Moles live mainly underground, where they build extensive structures and tunnel systems. Most of their habitats are on arable land, pasture land, in gardens or similar habitats.


European moles are the staple food for a number of predators and birds of prey. Although they are quite well protected underground, they often come to the surface during the night and fall prey to predators. Young animals in particular are eaten in the first year of life. Older moles are more experienced and much more careful. Most moles are eaten in spring and summer. In addition to domestic cats and dogs, birds of prey such as owls, buzzards, ravens and crows are among the main natural enemies. The main enemy, however, remains humans with their effective poisons and weapons.


popular snack: dewworm (Lumbricus terrestris)

European moles feed on earthworms (Lumbricidae) like the dewworm (Lumbricus terrestris) as well as insects (Insecta), insect larvae and other invertebrates. Earthworms make up the main part of their diet. It is estimated that a mole eats around 25 kilograms of earthworms per year. European moles find prey when digging new tunnels, when searching in existing tunnels or occasionally on the surface of the earth. Which hunting method promises greater success depends on the respective habitat and, in particular, on the nature of the soil. The European mole spends most of its active daytime foraging.


The European mole reaches sexual maturity at around twelve months. The mating season begins in early spring, usually as early as March or April. A litter occurs during the mating season. Moles are inherently territorial. But during the mating season, the males in particular are particularly territorial and defend their territory from competitors. At this time, the size of the area is also significantly larger. In the search for a female, the duct system is expanded over a large area. The activity of the females hardly changes during the mating season. They patiently wait for a male in their den.

The actual pairing takes place underground under construction. This has rarely been observed on the surface during the night. The gestation period of the females extends over a period of 28 to 30 days. Most of the young are born in April. A litter contains between three to seven young animals. Birth takes place in the female's den. In the event of disturbances, it has been observed that a female has carried her offspring to another cave. A mole's den has several caves. An average litter consists of three or four pups. You are still naked and blind when you are born. In the third week of life, the young animals begin to grow their fur. Shortly afterwards, they also open their eyes. Due to the nutritious breast milk, they grow very quickly and are the same size as their mother by the fourth week of life. The young animals are weaned at four weeks and are independent one week later. In the sixth week they left the mother's station. European moles can reproduce by themselves as early as the spring after birth. Life expectancy is four to five years. However, only a small proportion of the moles reach this age. Most die between the ages of one and two.

Role in the ecosystem

The mole has a prominent role in the ecosystem. Through the digging activities, the mole loosens the soil and thus helps to aerate the soil. On the other hand, it eats insect pests to a considerable extent and is itself a food source for predators and various birds of prey.

People and mole

The European mole is seen as a plague, especially in horticulture and agriculture. On the one hand, the roots of plants can be damaged by the digging activities and, on the other hand, the tunnels near the surface of the earth and the characteristic molehills pose a threat to agricultural cattle. The hills can also cause damage to agricultural equipment. It is not uncommon for farmers, gardeners and farmers to fight the mole populations with poison baits or traps. On the other hand, moles also destroy a number of insect pests. This basically makes them useful too. However, mostly the negative effects are mentioned.


See also

  • Main article: Family of the moles (Talpidae)

Literature and sources

  • Ronald M. Nowak: Walker's Mammals of the World: v. 1 & 2. B&T, edition 6, 1999, (engl.) ISBN 0801857899
  • Don E. Wilson & DeeAnn M. Reeder: Mammal Species of the World, a Taxonomic & Geographic Reference. J. Hopkins Uni. Press, 3rd ed., 2005 ISBN 0801882214
  • David Macdonald: The great encyclopedia of mammals. Ullmann / tandem ISBN 3833110066
  • Hans Petzsch: Urania Animal Kingdom, 7 Vols., Mammals. Urania, Stuttgart (1992) ISBN 3332004999
  • Mammals. 700 species in their habitats. Dorling Kindersley, 2004. ISBN 383100580X

Qualified web links

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