Hairy-tailed Mole

Parascalops breweri

The hairy-tailed mole, also known as Brewer's mole, is a medium-sized North American mole. It is the only member of the genus Parascalops. It is found in forested and open areas with dry loose soils in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

This animal has dark grey fur with lighter underparts, a pointed nose and a short, hairy tail. 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). Its front paws are broad and spade-shaped, specialized for digging. It has 44 teeth. Its eyes are covered by fur and its ears are not external. Its feet and snout are pinkish, but become white in older animals.

This mole spends most of its time underground, foraging in shallow burrows for insects and their larvae and earthworms. It emerges at night to feed. It is active year round. Predators include owls, foxes and large snakes.  This animal is mainly solitary except during mating in early spring. The female has a litter of 4 to 5 young in a deep underground burrow. This mole may live 4 to 5 years.

The species epithet breweri refers to Thomas Mayo Brewer, an American naturalist.

Diet

The hairy-tailed mole's diet is mostly grubs, earthworms, small rodents, and slugs. Like all moles, the hairy-tailed mole is blind, and normally uses its sense of touch and smell. Sometimes, it might swim in a pond and hunt for fish, leeches, and snails. The hairy-tailed mole has a toxic saliva, similar to that of its cousin, the short-tailed shrew, although not poisonous. These shrews use their saliva to paralyze invertebrates.

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Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Attn: Mammal Atlas Coordinator
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
MammalAtlas@pa.gov
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
717-787-5529