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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)




Long-tailed Weasel | Mustela frenata photo
Long-tailed Weasel photographed in Idaho.

Photograph by Amy Leist. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

LONG-TAILED WEASEL FACTS

Description
Long-tail weasels have a long slender body, short legs and a small, narrow head with long whiskers. The fur is cinnamon brown above and yellowish-white underneath. In northern populations the coat is white in winter and brown in the summer. In southern populations the fur is brown all year. The tail is long and bushy and about half the body length.

Size
Males are larger than females. Body length: males 33cm - 42cm; females 28cm - 35cm. Tail length: males 13cm - 29cm; females 11cm - 24cm.

Environment
fields, woodlands, also suburban areas. They nest in holes such as disused burrows, hollow logs or amongst rocks.

Food
Mainly small mammals such as rodents. Also eats birds, reptiles, fruit, berries

Breeding
Four to eight young (average five) are born in late April - early May after a gestation period of about 280 days. At birth young weasels weigh about 3g, and are helpless with pink skin and white fur. The young are weaned after 36 days. By 10 weeks old they can hunt on their own.

Range
The Long-tailed weasel has a large range including most of North America, from southern Canada through United States to Central America and northern South America

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Mustelidae
Genus:Mustela
Species:frenata
Common Name:Long-tailed Weasel


Relatives in same Genus
  Ermine (M. erminea)
  Black-footed Ferret (M. nigripes)
  Least Weasel (M. nivalis)
  American Mink (M. vison)