T. Europaea, Desm. Mammal, p. 160. Flem. Brit. An. p. 9. Mole, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. i. p. 128. Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. i. p. 515. pi. 117.

Dimensions

Length of the head and body five inches three lines; of the head one inch seven lines; of the tail one inch two lines.

Description

Body thick, oblong, almost cylindrical: snout sharp and slender: eyes extremely small; entirely concealed in the fur: no external ears: feet extremely short; the anterior pair larger, very robust, and inclining sideways: claws strong, as long as the toes themselves. Fur very soft and silky, shining, black or deep ash-colour, according to the direction in which it is viewed, sometimes white, or yellowish white.

Common in England and Scotland, but said to be unknown in Ireland. Habits subterraneous: constructs galleries beneath the surface of the soil, which it throws up at intervals in hillocks. Feeds on worms and insects, but principally on the former. Breeds twice in the year, producing from four to six at each birth.