Talpa (genus)

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Temporal range: Miocene to Recent[2]
Talpa europaea MHNT.jpg
European mole, (Talpa europaea)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
Family: Talpidae
Subfamily: Talpinae
Tribe: Talpini
Genus: Talpa
Linnaeus, 1758

Talpa is a genus in the mole family Talpidae. Among the first taxa in science,[3] Carolus Linnaeus used the Latin word for "moles", talpa, in his Regnum Animale to refer to the commonly known European form of mole. The group has since been expanded to include nine species, found primarily in Europe and western Asia. The common European mole, found throughout most of Europe, is a member of this genus, as are several species restricted to small ranges. One, Père David's mole, is critically endangered. One fossil species, the Tyrrhenian mole is known from the Pleistocene of Corsica and Sardinia. These moles eat worms, insects, and other invertebrates found in the soil.

The females of this genus have rudimentary male features such as Cowper's glands and a two-lobed prostate. A group of scientists suggests that they are true hermaphrodites;[4] however, others state that they are fully functional females.[5]


  1. ^ Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 307–309. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Benito, C.S.; Martinez, N.L. (1977). "El yacimiento de Escobosa de Calatanyazor (Soria) y su aportacion a la bioestratigraphia del Neogeno de la meseta castellana". In M.T. Alberdi and E. Aguirre (eds) Round-table on mastostratigraphy of the W. Mediterranean Neogene Trabajos Sobre Neogeno-Cuaternario. Madrid. 7: 35–40. 
  3. ^ http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/Linnaeus_-_Regnum_Animale_%281735%29.png
  4. ^ Sánchez, A; Bullejos, M; Burgos, M; Hera, C; Stamatopoulos, C; Diaz De la Guardia R; Jiménez, R (1998-12-07). "Females of four mole species of genus Talpa (Insectivora, mammalia) are true hermaphrodites with ovotestes". Molecular Reproduction and Development. 44 (3): 289–294. PMID 8858598. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2795(199607)44:3<289::AID-MRD2>3.0.CO;2-I. 
  5. ^ Beolchini, F; Rebecchi, L; Capanna, E; Bertolani, R (2000-06-01). "Female gonad of moles, genus Talpa (Insectivora, mammalia): ovary or ovotestis?". J Exp Zool. 286 (1): 745–54. PMID 10797327. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(20000601)286:7<745::AID-JEZ9>3.0.CO;2-F.