Information on this one is still a little sketchy, as it was only considered its own species in 1992.

The Egyptian Weasel (Mustela subpalmata) is a small mustelid that can be found exclusively in northern Egypt, and lives right alongside humans in cities, towns and villages. It is closely related to the Least Weasel (which will be covered later in the series), and until relatively recently it was believed to be the same species. Egyptian Weasels have a commensal relationship with humans, which means that it benefits from the existence of human settlements without affecting it.

Egyptian Weasels are small and slender, to the point where they could conceivably fit their bodies through an opening “as small as a keyhole,” which makes them uniquely suited to pursue their prey (rodents like mice and rats) through the nooks and crannies that larger predators are unable to enter. Adult Egyptian Weasels can grow up to 17 inches (43 cm) in body length and weigh approximately 4.6 ounces (130 grams). Males are slightly larger than females.

Although they are mostly nocturnal, it’s not uncommon to spot Egyptian Weasels during the day. As well as hunting pests, they will scavenge the garbage left out by humans. They are extremely territorial and mark their territories with dung and urine. They’re also extremely vocal, and will communicate with yips, cries, and snorts. Males will tolerate single females in their territories for breeding purposes, allowing the females to make nests and bear young. Females can have up to three litters each year, and will give birth to a litter of about four young (although there can be as many as nine!).


Some Egyptians believe that the weasels will steal small shiny objects, like pieces of jewelry. And the co-existence of the weasels and humans is still being investigated - it could be that the Egyptian Weasel has a positive impact on keeping populations of rats and mice under control, which would mean it has a mutualistic relationship with humans instead of a commensal relationship. Egyptian Weasels are considered to be a species of least concern by the IUCN.

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