Wildlife North America . com
North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Ermine (Mustela erminea)




Ermine | Mustela erminea photo
Vallone Piantonetto - Italy

Photograph by Fabio Bretto. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

ERMINE FACTS

Description
The Ermine is a kind of weasel with long slender body, short legs, long neck with triangular head. It has black eyes and rounded ears. In summer, the fur is brown above and creamy white underneath. In winter the fur is white with a black tip at the end of the tail. Ermine can climb trees and swim.

Size
Body length: 17cm - 33cm. Tail length 4cm - 12cm. Males are much larger than females. Weight: males 67g -116g; females 25g - 80g.

Environment
woodlands, marshes, open areas next to forests. They use tree hollows, logs, rock crevices and rodent burrows for dens.

Food
Mainly small mammals such as rabbits and small rodents. Also eats birds, eggs, frogs, fish, and insects

Breeding
Three to eighteen young (average four to nine) are born April or May after an gestation period of about 280 days. Young are blind and helpless at birth and covered with white hair. Average life span of an Ermine is 1 to 2 years

Range
north temperate regions of Europe, Asia and in North America from the Arctic Ocean and down into the northern United States.

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Mustela
Species:erminea
Common Name:Ermine


Relatives in same Genus
  Long-tailed Weasel (M. frenata)
  Black-footed Ferret (M. nigripes)
  Least Weasel (M. nivalis)
  American Mink (M. vison)