star-nosed mole

(Condylura cristata parva)


This native subspecies’ most prevalent characteristic is a nose with a ring of 22 fleshy appendages that are used as a sensory device. The tail is as long as the body, and constricted at the base, annulated, and scaled. The total length is from 161-191 mm. Birth occurs between March and August with females producing 1 litter per year of 3-7 young. They are diurnal and nocturnal, gregarious and perhaps colonial. Burrows are found in marshy or riparian areas. They are 3-6 cm in height, and located 3-60 cm below the surface, often with an underwater opening. The nests are located above the high water flooding level, and are composed of dead leaves, straw, and dead grasses. They are limited by the loss of suitable habitat (moist, boggy soil, humus, sandy loam, marshes, swamps, along streams). Predators include: large fish, red-tailed hawk, great horned owls, screech owls, long-eared owls, barn owls, skunks, weasels, and cats.


This subspecies is found in the southern 3/4 of the state. This species prefers a swampy terrain, with soils that are wet or swampy. They are common in areas of deep loam near streams, or in cattail swamp.


This species feeds almost entirely on aquatic annelids and insects. They secure much food on the stream bottom.