The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Golden Moles

Afrikaans name: Gouemols

Golden Mole

Golden Mole

Photo © Steven Herbert

Family: Chrysochloridae

Interesting facts about golden moles

There are 21 species of Golden Moles and most are endemic to Southern Africa. There are about 15 species found in South Africa.

The fur of Golden Moles is not always a golden colour. They vary in colour from tawny brown to black. It is the sheen on their fur that is sometimes golden.

They do not have visible eyes or ears! Their eyes are covred over by skin and do not serve any purpose. The ears are just small holes. Their body shape is totally designed around their underground world where they are powerful diggers. Their short legs with strong claws to assist them with digging.

Depending on the species Golden Moles are between 8 and 20 cm in length. They eat a variety of prey including earthworms, snails and insects.

Breeding occurs at any time during the year. The female gives birth to up to 3 young. She cares for them in a nest that is part of her network of burrows.

References and further reading

Southern Africas Threatened Wildlife - Author: John Ledger - Published: 1990 - Page: 24

Suburban Wildlife in KZN - Author: Dr. Jason Londt - Published: 2009 - Page: 118

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 16

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 419


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