Moles (family Talpidae
), like all insectivores, feed mainly on insects but also eat other small mammals. All insectivores have tiny eyes, small ears, and long, pointed, flexible snouts. Moles have wide front feet. They also have a very high metabolic rate and must eat frequently.
The Star-nosed Mole
, Condylura cristata
, is found in moist soils in Leon and Alachua Counties and in the Okefenokee Swamp. It is brownish black or black with a paler belly. Twenty-two fleshy appendages form a star around the nasal openings. It is 7-8" long with a long (2.5-3.3"), scaly tail.
It is active day and night, foraging in leaf litter and in water for insects, crayfish, minnows, salamanders, snails, and frogs. It swims very well.
It breeds in the spring. About 45 days later, a litter of 3-7 young is born.
Predators are owls, hawks, foxes, raccoons, minks, skunks, cats, dogs, and large fish.
The Eastern Mole
, Scalopus aquaticus
, is found in most terrestrial habitats statewide except the Keys. It is gray brown. Its eyelids are sealed shut. It can only distinguish light and dark. It is 4.5-5.3" long with a .5-1" tail.
It is solitary, active day and night, and lives entirely underground in tunnels. It can dig more than 1.5 feet per minute. It eats insects and earthworms.
It breeds during January or February producing a litter of 2-5 young after a 4-6 week gestation period.
Predators are owls, snakes, skunks, foxes, and cats.
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