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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
2000: The decline and local extinction of a population of water voles, Arvicola terrestris, in southern England.
TAXA NMI % VLD MI P CH Arvicola sapidus 11.5 4 Arvicola terrestris 6.3 34.8 1.6 Microtus arvalis 9.4 8.7 24.7 4.8 Microtus agrestis 5.2 2.5 28.6 3.2 Microtus arvalis-agrestis 22.1 Microtus oeconomus 6.5 3.9 Chionomys nivalis 20.8 7.2 14.3 Piiomys lenki 1.1 Microtus (Iberomys) cabrerae 2.1 2.6 9.6 Microtus (Terricola) 6.4 duodecimcostatus Microtus (Terricola) 17.7 5.8 lusitanicus Apodemus sylvaticus 10.4 1.4 12 Eiiomys quercinus 2.1 1.3 3.2 Glis glis 4.2 Crocidura russula 1.6 Sorex araneus-coronatus Sorex minutus 2.1 Sorex sp.
Population dynamics of the Fossorial Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris scherman): a land use perspective.
1976: Le terrier de la forme fouisseuse du campagnol terrestre, Arvicola terrestris scherman Shaw (Mammalia, Rodentia).
Contributions to the karyology and morphology of Arvicola terrestris (Lin., 1758) (Mammalia: Rodentia) in Central Anatolia.
1999: Water vole (Arvicola terrestris) density as risk factor for human alveolar echinicoccosis.--American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 61: 559-565.
Perhaps its scientific name, Arvicola terrestris,better reflects its true habit,given that it is predominantly a creature of the land.
The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether Microtus richardsoni has a complex pattern on the anterior of m1 similar to that of Arvicola terrestris or whether the anterior of the tooth resembles that of other species of Microtus.
1998: Effects of population stress on the frequency of white-spotted water voles (Arvicola terrestris L.).
A total of 2208 trap nights resulted in 381 captures (overall CPUE = 17%), revealing 286 individuals of seven different species: 74 yellow necked mice (Apodemus flavicollis), 66 field voles (Microtus agrestis), 52 striped field mice (Apodemus agrarius), 47 bank voles (Myodes glareolus), 44 common shrews (Sorex araneus), 2 harvest mice (Micromys minutus), and 1 water vole (Arvicola terrestris).
multilocularis was highly prevalent in this plot, and prevalences in European water voles (Arvicola terrestris) ranged from 9% to 21% during several years (1997-2000) (11,13).
Arvicola terrestris, Microtus arvalis) are present in Lithuania (5), but to date they have not been investigated systematically.