Natural Histories

photograph of a Sunda Pangolin

Eastern Mole (Common Mole)

Scalopus aquaticus


The eastern mole is about 110-170 mm in length with a short, round, hairless tail of about 18-36 mm. Size varies by location, larger individuals occur in the northeast while smaller individuals live in the southwest. They have thick, velvety fur that can be silver, black or copper-colored. Their very large naked feet are webbed between the toes to make shovels for digging. Eastern moles can dig up to 4.5 meters in one hour. The eastern mole does not have external eyes or ears.


Found throughout North America, the eastern mole prefers the moist, sandy and loamy soils of meadows, fields and open woodlands. They spend 99% of their time in underground tunnels. The home range of this species is about 1.09 hectares. Home ranges often overlap and several individuals will use the same tunnels, thus they are not entirely solitary.

Feeding Behavior and Diet

Eastern moles must consume large amounts of food daily because they have high energy demands. The diet of this species consists mostly of eating earthworms, but also consuming insects and vegetation. In captivity they will eat mice and small birds. They detect their prey with an acute sense of smell and touch.


44 days after mating, females give birth to a litter of three to five young. Litters are born from late February through early June, producing only one litter per year. Young are born without fur and they stay in a plant lined nest for four weeks and reach adult size after three months. Sexual maturity is reached after the first year.

Months and Times of Activity

The peak activity for the eastern mole occurs between 4am-8am and 4pm-11pm.

Special Features, Stories, Relationships

  • Eastern Moles are good swimmers.


Gorog, A. 1999. "Scalopus aquaticus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed November 04, 2014 at