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Striped Polecat

Striped Polecat Range Map (Africa)
Striped Polecat Range Map (Africa)

Latin Name Ictonyx striatus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location Africa
Colour Black & White
Length 28 - 38 cms (11 - 15 inches)
Tail 20 - 30 cms (8 - 12 inches)
Weight 1.5 Kgs (3.25 lbs)
Life Expectancy

Up to 13 Yrs (in Captivity)

Main Characteristics

Striped Polecats have a body length between 28 and 38 cms (11 - 15 inches), a tail length between 20 and 30 cms (8 - 12 inches) and they weigh approximately 1.5 kgs (3.25 lbs).

They are black in colour and they have four white stripes that fan out from their head along their sides and back to the base of their tail. Their fluffy tail is grey in colour and if they feel threatened they hiss and scream and emit a fowl smelling fluid from their anal glands.


Striped Polecats can be found on the savannahs and open country in Africa. They are solitary and nocturnal.


Striped Polecats feed on rodents, birds, snakes, frogs, lizards, insects and eggs.


Little is known about reproduction in Striped Polecats. They produce litters of 1 - 4 young after a 5 - 6 week gestation period.


Larger carnivores, domestic dogs and birds of prey are predators of Striped Polecats.


Subspecies of the Striped Polecat are:

Ictonyx striatus albescens
Ictonyx striatus arenarius
Ictonyx striatus elgonis
Ictonyx striatus erythreae
Ictonyx striatus ghansiensis
Ictonyx striatus giganteus
Ictonyx striatus intermedius
Ictonyx striatus kalaharicus
Ictonyx striatus lancasteri
Ictonyx striatus limpopoensis
Ictonyx striatus maximus
Ictonyx striatus obscuratus
Ictonyx striatus orangiae
Ictonyx striatus ovamboensis
Ictonyx striatus pretoriae
Ictonyx striatus senegalensis
Ictonyx striatus shoae
Ictonyx striatus shortridgei
Ictonyx striatus striatus

Interesting Facts

Striped Polecats are also known as:
African Polecat

Similar Animals

Marbled Polecat
Steppe Polecat
European Polecat
Saharan Striped Polecat


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