Any one of numerous species of micelike rodents belonging to Arvicola
and allied genera of the subfamily Arvicolinæ
. They have a thick head, short ears, and a short hairy tail. [1913 Webster
" The water vole, or water rat, of Europe (Arvicola amphibius) is a common large aquatic species. The short-tailed field vole (Arvicola agrestis) of Northern and Central Europe, and Asia, the Southern field vole (Arvicola arvalis), and the Siberian root vole (Arvicola œconomus), are important European species. The common species of the Eastern United States (Arvicola riparius) (called also meadow mouse) and the prairie mouse (Arvicola austerus) are abundant, and often injurious to vegetation. Other species are found in Canada."