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Animals & Habitats
Damaraland Mole Rat
Scientific Name
Fukomys damarensis
Southwest and Central Africa
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Queen

Damaraland mole rats have an advanced family structure. Similar to bees and ants, the mole rat colony has a single breeding female called a queen. This queen is supported by workers with specific roles in the colony.

Colony Roles

In addition to the queen, the colony roles include: the alpha male (monogamous breeding pair within the society), the soldiers who defend the colony territory, and the workers who sculpt and clean the subterranean tunnels and resting areas and gather food.

Eusocial: A family structure with fully-integrated members of multiple generations who cooperate in caring for young and contributing to colony labor.


Communication can be particularly aggressive within the mole rat colony. This species exhibits distinct vocalizations, including growling, high-pitched squeaking and grunting when confronting one another to assert dominance. Larger individuals may employ tail-biting as a means to encourage work production from more subordinate individuals. This species has diminished eyesight, so they rely heavily on vibrissae along the body to detect their surroundings.