South African DutchShow more South African Dutch, bles blaze + mol mole.
Any of several species of molerat of the Bathyergidae, characterized by white markings on the face and head, especially a. the Cape molerat (see molerat sense 2), Georychus capensis; and b. the sand-mole, Bathyergus suillus. In both senses also called bles-mole. Cf. golden mole.
[1776F. Masson inPhil. Trans. of Royal Soc.LXVI. 305There is another species of the animal, called by the Dutch Bles-moll, which inhabits the hard ground; but seldom exceeds the size of the common European mole.]
1786G. Forstertr. ofA. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H.II. 195The one sort [of mole]..is most common round about the Cape; and from the white spots on its head is called bleesmol, and is the mus Capensis of Messrs. Pennant, Schreber, and Pallas.
1795C.R. Hopsontr. ofC.P. Thunberg’s Trav.I. 263The second, called the Blaze-fronted Mole (Bles Moll, Marmota Capensis), is smaller, and white with brown spots.
1901W.L. SclaterMammals of S. Afr.II. 74Georychus capensis,..Mus capensis..Bathyergus capensis..Georychus capensis...Thunberg..described [it] as Marmota capensis...Vernacular name..Blesmol of Dutch colonists.
1901W.L. SclaterMammals of S. Afr.II. 75The blesmol is found both in the uncultivated, sandy districts and also in cultivated grounds and gardens, where it burrows [in] much the same fashion as the sand-mole, throwing up heaps of earth at intervals.