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Monday Mustelid - Mustela africana Edition

Hard to track this one down - it's a little bit mysterious.

The Amazon Weasel (Mustela africana), despite its scientific name, can be found in South America. Early descriptions of this animal inaccurately stated that its range was in Africa, which led to the confusion about the name. Little is known about this species, but it is believed to be found in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil, which may include the Amazon Basin. They are also known as the tropical weasel.


Amazon Weasels are small, with adults ranging from 9 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) in length, with an additional 4 to 8 inches of tail (10 to 20 cm). They have some webbing between the digits on their paws, which leads researches to believe that they favor forested habitats along the banks of rivers.

It's likely that Amazon Weasels forage for their food, feeding on rodents and other small prey. There are currently two recognized subspecies:

  • Mustela africana africana
  • Mustela africana stolzmanni

There is no available information on the specific reproductive habits of Amazon Weasels, but weasels of comparable size and range will breed during the warmer months and produce a litter after 34 to 37 days.

Amazon Weasels are currently listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN, but it is also considered to be data-deficient due to the lack of general knowledge about the species' specific range, populations, and behavior.


Sources (1, 2, 3, 4) for images used in this post.

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