The soil fauna as a food source for moles
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Journal of Zoology
Volume 149, Issue 1, pages 50–54, May 1966
How to Cite
Raw, F. (1966), The soil fauna as a food source for moles. Journal of Zoology, 149: 50–54. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1966.tb02982.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2009
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2009
Moles feed mainly on insects and earthworms and may eat 18 to 36 k (40 to 80 lb) per annum, collected in an area of about 1/25 hectare (1/10 acre). This largely restricts them to deciduous woodland and old grassland on “mull” soils since field populations of soilinsects cannot provide them with enough food but earthworm populations can. Slugs and millipedes may be relatively unpalatable.
Caches of earthworms stored by moles consist almost entirely of Lumbricus terrestris immobilized by removal or multilation of the anterior 3–5 segments. It is still uncertainhow and when the caches are made. Earthworm cocoons are prominent in the diet of moles in pastures but how they are located is not yet known.