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Stoat

Stoat


Stoat Range Map (N America, Europe & Asia)
Stoat Range Map (N America, Europe & Asia)


A Young Stoat
A Young Stoat
Photographer: James Lindsey
Latin Name Mustela erminea
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location N America, Europe & Asia
Colour Russet Brown
Length 17 - 24 cms (6.5 - 9.5 inches)
Tail 9 - 12 cms (3.5 - 4.75 inches)
Weight 60 - 200 g (2.1 - 7 oz)
Life Expectancy

Up to 10 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

Stoats are one of the most widespread mustelids. They have a body length between 17 and 24 cms (6.5 - 9.5 inches), a tail length between 9 and 12 cms (3.5 - 4.75 inches) and they weigh between 60 and 200 g (2.1 - 7 oz).

They are russet brown in colour with a white underside and their tail has a black tip. During the winter months they turn completely white, apart from the tip of their tail, and it is during this time when they are usually known as Ermine.

Habitat

Stoats are found in a variety of habitats in North America, Europe and Asia.

Diet

Stoats mainly feed on rodents, rabbits and birds.

Breeding

Stoats breed during April and May and after a 280 day period of delayed implantation and a gestation period of 21 - 28 days, a litter of 5 - 12 kits are born.

The youngsters are weaned at 5 weeks and are independent at 12 weeks old. Females are sexually mature by the time they become independent.

Predators

Stoats are preyed upon by birds of prey and larger carnivores such as foxes, martens, and fishers.

Subspecies

The Stoat has many subspecies which include:

Mustela erminea aestiva
Mustela erminea alascensis
Mustela erminea anguinae
Mustela erminea arctica
Mustela erminea augustidens
Mustela erminea bangsi
Mustela erminea celenda
Mustela erminea cigognanii
Mustela erminea erminea
Mustela erminea fallenda
Mustela erminea ferghanae
Mustela erminea gulosa
Mustela erminea haidarum
Mustela erminea initis
Mustela erminea invicta
Mustela erminea kadiacensis
Mustela erminea kaneii
Mustela erminea karaginensis
Mustela erminea lymani
Mustela erminea martinoi
Mustela erminea minima
Mustela erminea mongolica
Mustela erminea muricus
Mustela erminea nippon
Mustela erminea ognevi
Mustela erminea olympica
Mustela erminea polaris
Mustela erminea richardsonii
Mustela erminea ricinae
Mustela erminea salva
Mustela erminea seclusa
Mustela erminea semplei
Mustela erminea stabilis
Mustela erminea streatori
Mustela erminea teberdina
Mustela erminea tobolica


Interesting Facts

Stoats are also known as:
Ermine
Short-Tailed Weasel

Similar Animals

American Mink
European Mink
Black-Footed Ferret
Least Weasel
Long-Tailed Weasel
Siberian Weasel
Tropical Weasel
Mountain Weasel

 


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