What is a Vole, rodents

Scientific classification: Voles belong to the family Muridae. The field mouse is classified as Microtus pennsylvanicus, the northern red-backed mouse as Clethrionomys rutilus, and the water vole as Arvicola terrestris.


Vole are small rodents confined mostly to the eastern hemisphere. However, several species occur in the United States. The most common American vole is the field, or meadow, mouse; the northern red-backed mouse is found in Alaska and northern Eurasia. The water vole is found in Europe and Asia. There are approximately 155 species of voles. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice inNorth America, what is a vole. Vole species form the subfamily Arvicolinae with the lemmings and the muskrats.

Different Types of vole

  1. Field Mouse

The field mouse, also called the meadow mouse, is the most common American vole. Voles are small rodents that live mostly in the eastern hemisphere, although several species are found in the United States.

  1. Montane Vole

The montane vole relies on cryptic coloration, or camouflage, as protection from predation. Since the vole forages on the forest floor, what is a vole its brownish body color closely matches the color of dead leaves and twigs. The montane vole also uses its keen senses to detect the approach of predators.


The average life of the smaller vole species is three to six months. These voles rarely live longer than 12 months. Larger species, such as the European water vole, live longer and usually die during their second, or rarely their third, winter. As many as 88% of voles are estimated to die within the first month of life.


Voles thrive on small plants yet, like shrews, they will eat dead animals and, like mice or rats, they can live on almost any nut or fruit. Additionally, voles will target plants more than most other small animals, what is a vole making their presence evident. Voles will readily girdle small trees and ground cover much like a porcupine. This girdling can easily kill young plants and is not healthy for trees or other shrubs.

Voles will often eat succulent root systems and will burrow under plants or ground cover and eat away until the plant is dead. Bulbs in the ground are another favorite target for voles; their excellent burrowing and tunnelling skills give them access to sensitive areas without clear or early warning. The presence of large numbers of voles is often only identifiable after they have destroyed a number of plants. However, like other burrowing rodents, they also play beneficial roles, what is a vole including dispersing nutrients throughout the upper soil layers.