Difference Between Mole and Vole

Mole vs Vole

Although mole and vole do sound informally similar, they are different animals of two taxonomic orders. There are many differences exhibited between moles and voles. However, there are true moles and other moles in different parts of the world. Those should be correctly known in order to clear any confusion, as the word mole has been used to refer many animals with similar body structures. Voles, on the other hand, should never be confused with moles, as they are unique from others. This article intends to discuss and compare the characteristics of both moles and voles.


Mole is a mammal of the Order: Talpidae of Order: Soricomorpha under the Infraclass: Eutheria. According to the common reference, moles are animals with cylindrically shaped bodies that live in subterranean habitats, and they belong to many taxonomic groups. However, the true moles belong to the Order: Talpidae and there are many species classified under 12 genera. True moles live in North America, Asia, and Europe while the other moles live in Australia and Africa. They have a cylindrical body, which is covered with velvety fur. Their ears and eyes are tiny or sometimes invisibly small. Their short and powerful limbs have large paws with sharp spade-like claws. All these characteristics could be regarded as adaptations for digging the ground. In addition, they have extra thumbs in each hand. Their ability to tolerate high levels of carbon dioxide is remarkable, and that is due to the presence of a unique haemoglobin protein in their red blood cells. Therefore, they can efficiently use the breathed oxygen when they are underground. Earthworms and other underground invertebrates are food of moles, and their toxic saliva can paralyse their prey species. Moles are agricultural pests in some parts of the world, but some people tend to eat them. However, the taste of moles is said to be deeply unpleasant.


Voles are small mammalians of the Family: Cricetidae of Order: Rodentia and there are more than 155 species. Vole resembles the features and appearance of a mouse. In fact, the North Americans refer these animals as field mice or meadow mice due to their resemblance of mice. The body of a vole is stout with a short and furry tail. The head is rounder compared to most of the other rodents. They are small mammals with body lengths that are varying within 7 – 25 centimetres. Voles live in underground tunnels with many chambers and exits, so that they can overrun the predators out of the holes if necessary. Voles completely depend on a vegetarian diet that is composed of fruits, nuts, and roots (succulent roots). It is interesting to notice that voles are pair bonded, usually, and the male takes part with female in raising the offspring, as well.


What is the difference between Mole and Vole?

• Moles are marsupials while voles are rodents.

• Moles feed on a carnivorous diet that consists of fossorial invertebrates whereas voles are vegetarians with preference to fruits, nuts, and succulent roots.

• Moles are found in the subterranean tunnels more than on the ground whereas voles mostly inhabit the ground and rest or sleep inside the underground tunnels. Therefore, voles are observed more often than moles.

• There are sharp and spade-like claws in moles but not in voles.

• It is a sharp and pointed snout in mole but, not in voles.

• The whole body is cylindrical in moles but not in voles.