Mole vs. Mole Cricket

Two subterranean and rarely seen creatures have appeared on the surface lately, one just tumbling around in the yard on a warm evening, and one in a big tub of rain water.  New creatures are always exciting, but let’s see which one wins the Appealing Animal Award.

Mole Mole Cricket  point goes to:
Latin name Scalopus aquaticus Scapteriscus borelli  tie
 habitat  subterranean  subterranean  tie
diet mostly earthworms  references can’t agree on whether they are herbivorous or carnivorous  tie
 native?  yes  no, introduced  Mole
 eyes  hardly visible  large and noticeable  Mole Cricket
 claws  suited for digging, but practically human looking  suited for digging, but typically bug-like  Mole
 special features  ability to withstand extra carbon dioxide in system  none that we know of Mole
 surface  smooth and velvety  crunchy and shield-like  Mole
 exhibit 1

-see below

Eastern Mole

Eastern Mole

Southern Mole Cricket

Southern Mole Cricket

 exhibit 2

-see below

 

appearance a surprise?  well, above-ground, yes, but evidence of existence seen often yes, never even suspected there was such a creature!  Mole Cricket
 cultural references  Mole in The Wind in the Willows.

also, Whack-a-Mole games in arcades

 none  Mole
 damage caused? minor ridges in ground, but we don’t live on a golf course, so no problem  none apparent  Mole Cricket
irony? Latin name has “aquaticus” but…  this individual was the one found swimming.  Mole Cricket

Hmmm, this is going to be a tough one.  Let’s look at the nominees again, in close-up.

Eastern Mole

Eastern Mole

Scapteriscus borelli

Scapteriscus borelli

And the Award goes to…. Mole!  (Did you doubt?  Look at that velvety coat!)

As always, no creatures were harmed during the filming of these pictures, and all creatures were released back into the wild after a few short moments of photography.