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Arvicola terrestris


  • 4 3/4"– 8 3/4" cm in length, with a tail a little shorter than half the length of the body.
  • 60–180 g in weight.
  • Distinguishable from the house mouse and the rat by its compact, plump body shape and its relatively large, wide head and short tail.


  • 3–8 young per litter; 3–6 (field vole: 10–15) litters per year.
  • Gestation period (all species) of about 3 weeks.
  • 8 weeks from birth to sexual maturity.


  • Inhabits cool, damp ground, ditches, edges of streams, embankments, extensively used meadows, grassy areas with young trees; gardens, orchards, vineyards.
  • Eats roots, causes damage by burrowing.
  • Good swimmer and diver; active both day and night.
  • Does not hibernate.

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