water vole

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Related to Arvicola terrestris: Sorex araneus, Microtus agrestis

water vole

a large amphibious vole, Arvicola terrestris, of Eurasian river banks: family Cricetidae

Water Vole


also water rat (Arvicola terrestris), a mammal of the family Cricetidae of the order Rodentia. Its body measures up to 24 cm long and its tail, up to 15 cm. It is distributed everywhere in Europe and in northern Asia and parts of Southwest Asia. In the USSR it is found from the western borders to the Lena River and Lake Baikal in the east.

Most frequently the water vole is found along the banks of stagnant or slowly flowing bodies of water. It swims well and leads a semiaquatic mode of existence. Especially numerous in the floodlands along large rivers, the water vole lives in burrows dug in the river banks. In the summer it often builds a nest over the water in piles of dried reeds. The animal feeds on plants; besides wild plants it eats cabbage, potatoes, and root crops. In the winter it sometimes stores rhizomes, root crops, and tubers. Breeding from April to September, it has two or three litters per year, each containing from two to eight young. The number of water voles varies from year to year. High flooding, the drying up of bodies of water, epizootic diseases, and unfavorable weather cause their destruction. The water vole is harmful to field crops and in forestry and gardening. It is the main source of tularemic epizootics. The hides of water voles make second-rate fur.


Vodianaia krysa i bor’ba s nei v Zapadnoi Sibiri. Novosibirsk, 1959. [Collection of articles.]
Panteleev, P. A. Populiatsionnaia ekologiia vodianoi polevki i mery bor’by. Moscow, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
1993: Etude de l'impact de la forme fouisseuse du Campagnol terrestre, Arvicola terrestris scherman (Shaw), sur la vegetation d'une prairie.
1977: Fossorial forms of the water vole, Arvicola terrestris (L.
P 1975: Hibernal reproduction in Arvicola terrestris scherman Shaw (Mammalia, Rodentia).
2012: Vole pests in apple orchards: use of presence signs to estimate the abundance of Arvicola terrestris cantabriae and Microtus lusitanicus.
1981: Le campagnol terrestre, Arvicola terrestris (L.
2007: Responses of Arvicola terrestris scherman populations to agricultural practices, and to Talpa europaea abundance in eastern France.
Sexual structure of the water vole population Arvicola terrestris (Rodentia: Cricetidae) in Western Siberia.
There is a very shallow furrow on the labial eminence of each of three of the four teeth, but no other furrows, multiple or elaborate coronal tubercles, or valleys off of the eminences, as are present on the anterior loop of the m1 of Arvicola terrestris.
ochrogaster has two eminences weakly joined at their bases, but there was no lake between eminences on any anterior m1, as are in Arvicola terrestris.
The unworn m1 of Arvicola terrestris has a complex cap of T5 in addition to the complex cap of the anterior loop.
xanthognathus more than it does that of Arvicola terrestris (Jannett, 1992), and the marking behavior reported for both M.
Prevalence of Echinococcus multilocularis in Arvicola terrestris and Microtus arvalis captured in spring 1993 and 1998 No.