From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


(Science: zoology) Any one of numerous species of micelike rodents belonging to Arvicola and allied genera of the subfamily Arvicolinae. They have a thick head, short ears, and a short hairy tail.

The water vole, or water rat, of Europe (Arvicola amphibius) is a common large aquatic species. The short-tailed field vole (A. Agrestis) of northern and Central Europe, and asia, the southern field vole (A. Arvalis), and the siberian root vole (A. Oeconomus), are important European species. The common species of the Eastern united states (A. Riparius) (called also meadow mouse) and the prairie mouse (A. Austerus) are abundant, and often injurious to vegetation. Other species are found in canada.