Hairy-tailed mole

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Hairy-tailed mole[1]
The quadrupeds of North America (Plate LXXIV) (7748318398).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
Family: Talpidae
Genus: Parascalops
True, 1894[3]
P. breweri
Binomial name
Parascalops breweri
(Bachman, 1842)
Hairy-tailed Mole area.png
Hairy-tailed mole range
  • Scalops breweri Bachman, 1842[4]

The hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri), also known as Brewer's mole, is a medium-sized North American mole. It is the only member of the genus Parascalops.[1] The species epithet breweri refers to Thomas Mayo Brewer, an American naturalist.


This animal has dark grey fur with lighter underparts, a pointed nose and a short, hairy tail.[6] It is about 15 centimeters (5.9 in) in length, including a 3-centimeter-long (1.2 in) tail, and weighs about 55 grams (1.9 oz).[6] Its front paws are broad and spade-shaped, specialized for digging.[7] It has 44 teeth. Its eyes are covered by fur and its ears are not external.[7] Its feet and snout are pinkish, but become white in older animals.[6] Several adaptations to living primarily underground can be seen in the hairy-tailed mole. Its pelage is very dense and silky, and its feet are broad, flat, and heavy.[7] Moles rely very little on their eyesight and have very small optic nerves.[8] To accommodate its lack of vision, the hairy-tailed mole has sensitive whiskers and hairs on the tip of its nose and feet to feel its surroundings.[7]


It is found in forested and open areas with dry loose soils in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.[2] Since it is a fossorial mammal, it needs moist but well-drained soil so that it can dig easily.[6] The hairy-tailed mole prefers deciduous and coniferous woods, oldfields, and roadsides.[6][2]


The hairy-tailed mole is cathemeral.[6] Since it lives primarily underground in shallow tunnels it can forage throughout the day and will also forage on the ground's surface at night.[6] The hairy-tailed mole is more active near the surface during warmer summer months and digs deeper underground in the cooler fall and winter months.[6]

This mole spends most of its time underground, foraging in shallow burrows for insects and their larvae and earthworms.[2] It emerges at night to feed. It is active year-round. Predators include owls, foxes and large snakes.[9]

This animal is mainly solitary except during mating in early spring.[9] The female has a litter of 4 to 5 young in a deep burrow.[6][2] This mole may live 3 to 4 years.[9]


Hairy-tailed moles are insectivores and have been shown to starve if vegetable matter is the only food source available.[9] The hairy-tailed mole's diet is mostly grubs, earthworms, beetle larvae, slugs, and ants, particularly when other food sources are not available.[2][9]


  1. ^ a b Hutterer, R. (2005). "Order Soricomorpha". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Cassola, F. (2017) [2016]. "Parascalops breweri (Hairy-tailed Mole)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T41469A115188181. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T41469A22322790.en.{{cite iucn}}: error: |doi= / |page= mismatch (help)
  3. ^ True, Frederick W. (1894). "Diagnoses of New North American Mammals". Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 17 (999): 242. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.999.241.
  4. ^ Bachman, J. (1843). "Observations on the Genus Scalops, (Shrew Moles,) with Descriptions of the Species found in North America". Boston Journal of Natural History. 4 (1): 32–34.
  5. ^ Hallett, James G. (1978). "Parascalops breweri". Mammalian Species (98): 1–4. doi:10.2307/3503954. JSTOR 3503954.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reid, Fiona (2006). A field guide to mammals of North America (The Peterson field guide series) (4th ed.). New York, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 387–388. ISBN 978-0-395-93596-5.
  7. ^ a b c d "North American Mammals: Parascalops breweri : Image Information". Archived from the original on 2018-06-25. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  8. ^ Leitch, Duncan B.; Sarko, Diana K.; Catania, Kenneth C. (2014-09-01). "Brain Mass and Cranial Nerve Size in Shrews and Moles". Scientific Reports. 4: 6241. Bibcode:2014NatSR...4E6241L. doi:10.1038/srep06241. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4150104. PMID 25174995.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Parascalops breweri (hairy-tailed mole)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2016-12-08.