What Do Moles Eat?

what do moles eat?
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What Do Moles Eat? Moles have a wide distribution around the globe except in South America, and Antarctica. These small mammals spend most of their time underground.

Moles dig the ground to find their food which mostly constitutes of earthworms. They also eat a wide array of small invertebrates and at times, nuts.

What Do Moles Eat?

Type of Mole Diet
Star-nosed Mole Earthworms, other worms, leeches, and aquatic insects.
European Mole Earthworms and other small invertebrates.
Hairy-tailed Mole Earthworms and insects
Caucasian Mole Earthworms, caterpillars, and millipedes.
Blind Mole Earthworms
Eastern Mole Earthworms, centipedes, ants, and beetles’ larvae.

Moles Diet By Types

Moles are a diverse group of animals. Biologists have discovered about 39 species so far. These species are categorized into 17 genera.

We will sample out examples of extant moles species which can be found in wide distribution in various parts of the world.

What Do Star-nosed Moles Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Soricomorpha Talpidae Condylura Condylura cristata

what do star-nosed moles eat?Star-nosed mole feeds on earthworms, other worms, leeches, and aquatic insects.

  • This mole species is considered as one of the globe’s weirdest looking creatures thanks to the presence of 22 ringed rays on its nostrils.
  • The star-nosed mole is the world’s fastest eater!
  • This mammal inhabits a wide array of regions especially those spotting moist soils. These areas can be marshes, swamps, bogs, areas bordering lakes, ponds, streams, taiga, forests, and riparian lands.

What Do European Moles Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Soricomorpha Talpidae Talpa Talpa europaea

what do European moles eat?European mole mainly consumes earthworms and other small invertebrates found in the soil.

  • This mole species is also referred to as the common mole or the northern mole.
  • As the name suggests, the European mole is found in temperate Europe.
  • This mammal mostly inhabits areas with deep soils.
  • They favor such deep soils because they are suitable for tunneling.

What Do Hairy-tailed Moles Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Soricomorpha Talpidae Parascalops Parascalops breweri

what do hairy-tailed moles eat?Hairy-tailed moles’ food mainly constitutes of earthworms and insects.

  • The hairy-tailed moles can be differentiated from the other moles by particular physical features including their hairy tails.
  • They are commonly found in habitats with light and well-drained soils. Such habitats can be forests, mountains, suburban areas, and agricultural lands.

What Do Caucasian Moles Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Soricomorpha Talpidae Talpa Talpa caucasica

what do caucasian moles eat?The Caucasian mole mainly consumes earthworms. It also feeds on caterpillars and millipedes.

  • The Caucasian mole is an extant species native to Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and Russia.
  • This mammal mainly inhabits humid substrates, especially wet meadows, and deciduous forests.

What Do Blind Moles Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Soricomorpha Talpidae Talpa Talpa caeca

what do blind moles eat?Blind mole primarily feeds on soil invertebrates, especially the earthworms as well.

  • The blind moles are genuinely blind due to their tiny eyes are covered with a layer of skin. The blind mole is otherwise known as the Mediterranean mole.
  • The blind mole is endemic to the European region.
  • It is commonly found in habitats with deep soils with the examples of pastures located in mountainous areas, meadows, and deciduous woodlands.

What Do Eastern Moles Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Soricomorpha Talpidae Scalopus Scalopus aquaticus

what do Eastern moles eat?Eastern ‘moles diet includes earthworms, centipedes, ants, and larvae (beetles).

  • The Eastern mole inhabits meadows, fields, open woodland areas, and pastures.
  • It can be found frequenting sand and loam soils that are moist.

How Do Moles Hunt?

how do moles hunt?

Hunting, for moles, often requires digging and excavating the ground. These actions are necessary for them to ambush and capture their ground-dwelling prey.

  • In the case of moles that feed on aquatic organisms like the star-nosed mole, this animal’s specialized nose allows it to hunt underwater.
  • The star-nosed mole’s extraordinary nose, which is also ultra-sensitive, enables it to sniff out its prey located underwater by breathing out a bubble of air in the water and breathing it back in.

When Do Moles Eat?

Moles tend to be active during quiet times, especially when there is tranquility next to their burrows.

  • Further, wildlife researchers have discovered that moles are more active very early in the morning or just before dusk.
  • As such, these small organisms will tend to eat during these periods.

How Often Do Moles Eat?

Moles can eat about 100% of their weight per day.

  • Their high appetite and the need to eat as often can be explained by the fact that they require enough energy to dig tunnels to hunt for their food.

What Eats Moles?

what eats moles?

Moles are predated upon by a vast range of organisms that includes but not limited to skunks, weasels, foxes, snakes, hawks, owls, and domesticated cats and dogs.

Where Do Moles fit in the Animal Food Chain?

Moles are essential to the animal food chain because they act as both predators and prey.

  • They feed on worms, insect larvae, as well as other small invertebrates, impacting the communities of these organisms. In so doing, they prevent the overpopulation of these animals.
  • In their role as prey, it is worth to note they are a desirable source of protein to organisms like foxes, weasels, and snakes.

The presence of moles confirms the existence of a healthy ecosystem.

Cite this article as: "What Do Moles Eat?," in Bio Explorer, April 16, 2021, https://www.bioexplorer.net/what-do-moles-eat.html/.

Key References

  • “Facts About Moles”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.livescience.com/52297-moles.html.
  • “Star-nosed Mole | Adirondack Ecological Center | SUNY ESF | College of Environmental Science and Forestry”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.esf.edu/aec/adks/mammals/starnosed_mole.htm.
  • “Inside the Bizarre Life of the Star-Nosed Mole, World's Fastest Eater”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/star-nosed-mole-touch-pain-senses/.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41481/22320754.
  • “ADW: Talpa europaea: INFORMATION”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Talpa_europaea/.
  • “Hairy-Tailed Mole – Parascalops breweri” – ODNR Divison of Wildlife. Accessed July 02, 2019. http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/species-and-habitats/species-guide-index/mammals/hairy-tailed-mole.
  • “ADW: Parascalops breweri: INFORMATION”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Parascalops_breweri/.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41480/22321383.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/41479/2953438.
  • “Controlling the Eastern Mole” – University of Arkansas System. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.uaex.edu/publications/pdf/FSA-9095.pdf.
  • “ADW: Scalopus aquaticus: INFORMATION”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Scalopus_aquaticus/.
  • “BBC One – Life, Hunters and Hunted, Star-nosed moles”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00574bk.
  • “Fifteen Facts About Moles – Pest Control Products”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.pest-control-products.net/907/moles/fifteen-facts-about-moles/.
  • “gordonramsaysubmissions | Flickr”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.
  • “File:European mole animal.jpg – Wikimedia Commons”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:European_mole_animal.jpg.
  • “Tony Faiola | Flickr”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyfaiola/.
  • “File:Talpa caucasica imported from iNaturalist 27 May 2019.jpg – Wikimedia Commons”. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Talpa_caucasica_imported_from_iNaturalist_27_May_2019.jpg.

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