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Monday Mustelid - Martes flavigula Edition

So endeth the Monday Mustelid series! I started writing about mustelids in December 2014, and today I present to you the last one on the list! Don’t worry, a new series will begin next week. I’ll post a complete series round-up later.

The Yellow-throated Marten (Martes flavigula) is the largest “Old World” species of marten, and can be found in eastern and southeastern Asia, with a very narrow distribution along the Himalayas extending into central Asia. Researchers currently believe that the Yellow-throated Marten may be the oldest type of marten, having probably emerged during the Pleiocene Epoch.


Adult male Yellow-throated Martens can reach up to 28 inches (72 cm) in body length, with females slightly smaller at 24 inches (62 cm). The larger males can weigh up to 12.6 pounds (5.7 kg). The tails of adult Yellow-throated Martens can be up to two-thirds of their body length, but aren’t quite as busy as the tails of other marten species. Yellow-throated Martens get their name from their striking coat color, which is golden or amber-colored around their necks, extending down the body and fading into dark brown. Their faces are also dark brown, and they usually have white patches on their cheeks.

The diet of the Yellow-throated Marten is diverse. They are omnivorous, which means that they feed on both vegetation and other animals. They are considered to be an important seed disperser for the types of plants which produce the food it eats. It also hunts small mammals like rodents, hares, reptiles, and birds and their eggs. They are known to target small ungulates like muntjac fawns and musk deer. Where their range overlaps that of tigers, they may trail the big cats and scavenge on the remains of the tigers’ kills. They hunt during the day, and usually in pairs or groups of three or four.


There are two mating seasons for Yellow-throated Martens during the year: one in early spring and one in late summer/early autumn. Males fight each other for access to females during this time, as Yellow-throated Martens do not have permanent home ranges. Female Yellow-throated Martens give birth to a litter of about three kits.


Due to the overall healthy population of the Yellow-throated Marten, it is considered to be a species of least concern by the IUCN. There are currently nine recognized subspecies:

  • Martes flavigula flavigula (Himalayas and India)
  • Martes flavigula borealis (Amur and Korea)
  • Martes flavigula chrysospila (Taiwan)
  • Martes flavigula hainana (Hainan Island)
  • Martes flavigula henrici (Sumatra)
  • Martes flavigula indochinensis (Thailand and Vietnam)
  • Martes flavigula peninsularis (Malay Peninsula)
  • Martes flavigula robinsoni (Java)
  • Martes flavigula saba (Bornea)

Source for all images used in this post.

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