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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Soricomorpha
Familia: Talpidae
Subfamilia: Scalopinae - Talpinae - Uropsilinae


Talpidae G. Fischer, 1817

Vernacular Names
日本語: モグラ科
Українська: Кроти


* Talpidae on Mammal species of the World.
* Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder

The family Talpidae includes the moles, shrew moles, desmans, and other intermediate forms of small insectivorous mammals of the order Soricomorpha. Moles are, to varying degrees, subterranean animals, whilst desmans are aquatic. Talpids are found across the northern hemisphere, in Asia, Europe, and North America, although there are none in Ireland or anywhere in the Americas south of northern Mexico.

The first talpids evolved from shrew-like animals in the late Eocene of Europe. The most primitive living talpids are believed to be the shrew-like moles, with other species having evolved further into either subterranean or aquatic lifestyles.[2].


Talpids are small, dark-furred animals with cylindrical bodies and hairless, tubular snouts. They range in size from the tiny shrew-moles of North America, as small as 2.4 cm in length and weighing under 12 grams, to the Russian Desman, with a body length of 18–22 cm, and a weight of about 550 grams. The fur varies between species but is always dense and short; desmans have a waterproof undercoat and oily guard hairs, while the subterranean moles have short, velvety fur lacking any guard hairs. The forelimbs of moles are highly adapted for digging, with powerful claws, and the hands turned permanently outwards to aid in shovelling dirt away from and the front of the body. By contrast, desmans have webbed paws with a fringe of stiff fur to aid in swimming. Moles generally have short tails, but those of desmans are elongated and flattened[3].

All species have small eyes and poor eyesight, but only a few are truly blind[3]. The external ears are very small or absent[4]. Talpids rely primarily on their sense of touch, and have vibrissae on their faces, legs, and tails. The flexible snout is particularly sensitive. Desmans are able to close both their nostrils and ears while diving. Unusually, the penis of talpids points backwards, and they have no scrotum[3].

Females have six or eight teats. Both sexes have claws on all five fingers and on all five toes. The hand has an additional bone called the os falciforme. In burrowing moles, the clavicle and the humeral head are connected. The tibia and the fibula are partially fused in all talpids. The pubis does not connect the two halves of the pelvic girdle. The skull is long, narrow, and rather flattened[4].

Talpids are generally insectivorous. Moles eat earthworms, insect larvae, and occasionally slugs, while desmans eat aquatic invertebrates such as shrimps, insect larvae, and snails. Talpids have relatively unspecialized teeth, with the dental formula:



Desmans and shrew-moles are primarily nocturnal, but moles are active day and night, usually travelling above ground only under cover of darkness. Most moles dig permanent burrows, and subsist largely on prey that fall into them. The shrew-moles dig burrows to access deep sleeping chambers, but forage for food on the forest floor by night. Desmans dig burrows in riverbanks for shelter and forage in the water of rivers and lakes. The Star-nosed mole is able to make a living much as other moles do, but are also very capable aquatic creatures, where they are able to smell underwater by using their unique proboscus to hold out a bubble of air into the water.

Talpids appear to be generally quite anti-social animals, and although only a very few species, such as the Star-nosed Mole, share burrows, talpids engage in much territorial behavior, including extraordinarily fast battles.[3]


The family is divided into 3 subfamilies, 17 genera and 44 species.

o Subfamily Uropsilinae - Asian shrew-like moles ("Chinese Shrew-moles")
+ Genus Uropsilus - four species in China, Butan, and Myanmar
# Anderson's Shrew Mole, Uropsilus andersoni
# Gracile Shrew Mole, Uropsilus gracilis
# Inquisitive Shrew Mole, Uropsilus investigator
# Chinese Shrew Mole, Uropsilus soricipes
o Subfamily Scalopinae - "New World moles"
+ Tribe Condylurini - Star-nosed Mole (North America)
# Genus Condylura - Star-nosed Mole
* Star-nosed Mole, Condylura cristata
+ Tribe Scalopini - "New World moles"
# Genus Parascalops - Hairy-tailed Mole (Northeastern North America)
* Hairy-tailed Mole, Parascalops breweri
# Genus Scalopus - Eastern Mole (North America)
* Eastern Mole (Common Mole), Scalopus aquaticus
# Genus Scapanulus - Gansu Mole (China)
* Gansu Mole, Scapanulus oweni
# Genus Scapanus - Western North American moles (four species)
* Broad-footed Mole, Scapanus latimanus
* Coast Mole, Scapanus orarius
* Townsend's Mole, Scapanus townsendii
o Subfamily Talpinae - Old World moles, desmans, and shrew-moles.
+ Tribe Talpini - Old World moles
# Genus Euroscaptor - six Asian species
* Greater Chinese Mole, Euroscaptor grandis
* Kloss's Mole, Euroscaptor klossi
* Long-nosed Mole, Euroscaptor longirostris
* Himalayan Mole, Euroscaptor micrura
* Japanese Mountain Mole, Euroscaptor mizura
* Small-toothed Mole, Euroscaptor parvidens
# Genus Mogera - nine species from Japan, Korea, and Eastern China
* Echigo Mole, Mogera etigo
* Insular Mole, Mogera insularis
* Kano Mole, Mogera kanoana
* Kobe Mole, Mogera kobeae
* Small Japanese Mole, Mogera imaizumii
* Large Mole, Mogera robusta
* Sado Mole, Mogera tokudae
* Japanese Mole, Mogera wogura
* Senkaku Mole, Mogera uchidai
# Genus Parascaptor - White-tailed Mole, southern Asia
* White-tailed Mole, Parascaptor leucura
# Genus Scaptochirus - Short-faced Mole, China
* Short-faced Mole, Scaptochirus moschatus
# Genus Talpa - nine species, Europe and western Asia
* Altai Mole, Talpa altaica
* Blind Mole, Talpa caeca
* Caucasian Mole, Talpa caucasica
* European Mole, Talpa europaea
* Père David's Mole, Talpa davidiana
* Levant Mole, Talpa levantis
* Spanish Mole, Talpa occidentalis
* Roman Mole, Talpa romana
* Balkan Mole, Talpa stankovici
+ Tribe Scaptonychini - Long-tailed Mole
# Genus Scaptonyx - Long-tailed Mole (China and Myanmar)
* Long-tailed Mole, Scaptonyx fusicaudus
+ Tribe Desmanini - desmans
# Genus Desmana
* Russian Desman, Desmana moschata
# Genus Galemys
* Pyrenean Desman, Galemys pyrenaicus
+ Tribe Urotrichini - Japanese shrew-moles
# Genus Dymecodon
* True's Shrew Mole, Dymecodon pilirostris
# Genus Urotrichus
* Japanese Shrew Mole, Urotrichus talpoides
+ Tribe Neurotrichini - New World shrew-moles
# Genus Neurotrichus - Shrew-mole (aka. "American Shrew Mole" Pacific northwest USA, southwest British Columbia.)
* Shrew-mole, Neurotrichus gibbsii


1. ^ Hutterer, Rainer (16 November 2005). Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). pp. 300-311. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.
2. ^ Savage, RJG, & Long, MR (1986). Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. pp. 53. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X.
3. ^ a b c d Gorman, Martyn (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 766–769. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.
4. ^ a b Grzimek, Bernhard. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Volume 10: Mammals I. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1975. Print.

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