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Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon - by Robert A. Sterndale F.R.G.S., F.Z.S. (1884)

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Genus Talpa

122. TALPA MICRURA. The Short-tailed Mole (Jerdon's No. 67)

HABITAT.—The Eastern Himalayan range.

NATIVE NAMES.—Pariam, Lepcha; Biyu-kantyen, Bhotia (Jerdon).

DESCRIPTION.—Velvety black, with a greyish sheen in certain lights; snout nude; eyes apparently wanting. Jerdon says there is no perforation of the integument over the eyes, but this I doubt, and think that by examination with a lens an opening would be discovered, as in the case of the Apennine mole, which M. Savi considered to be quite blind. I hope to have an opportunity of testing this shortly. The feet are fleshy white, also the tail, which, as its specific name implies, is very small. "There are three small upper premolars between the quasi-canine tooth and the large scissor-toothed premolar, which is much developed."

SIZE.—Length, 4¾ to 5 inches; head alone, 1¾; palm with claws, 7/8 inch; tail, 3/16 of an inch or less.

Jerdon says: "This mole is not uncommon at Darjeeling, and many of the roads and pathways in the station are intersected by its runs, which often proceed from the base of some mighty oak-tree to that of another. If these runs are broken down or holes made in them they are generally repaired during the night. The moles do not appear to form mole-hills as in Europe." Jerdon's specimens were dead ones picked up, as the Lepchas do not know how to trap them.

123. TALPA MACRURA. The Long-tailed Mole (Jerdon's No. 68)


DESCRIPTION.—Deep slaty blue, with a whitish or hoary gloss, iridescent when wet; the tail covered with soft hair.

SIZE.—Head and body, 4 inches; tail, 1¼ inch; head alone, 1-1/8 inch; palm, ¾ inch.

124. TALPA LEUCURA (Blyth). The White-tailed Mole

HABITAT.—Sylhet, Burmah (Tenasserim).

DESCRIPTION.—Similar to micrura, but with a short tail covered with white hairs, and it has one premolar less.

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