Yellow-bellied weasel

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Yellow-bellied weasel
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Mustela
Species: M. kathiah
Binomial name
Mustela kathiah
Hodgson, 1835
Yellow-bellied weasel range

The yellow-bellied weasel (Mustela kathiah) is a species of weasel. It lives in the pine forests of Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. The yellow-bellied weasel is rated "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List. The yellow-bellied weasel is named for its yellow-colored underbelly. The top of its body and the tail are dark brown. Yellow-bellied weasels have a body length of 9.8-10.6 inches (25–27 cm.) and a tail length of 4.9-5.9 inches (12.5–15 cm.). The tail is about half the length of the body. Yellow-bellied weasels weigh approximately 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg.).

Yellow-bellied weasels eat birds, mice, rats, voles, and other small mammals.

Researchers believe that the reproductive behavior of the yellow-bellied weasel is similar to that of the short-tailed weasel (Mustela erminea). Yellow-bellied weasels first build a den in the ground. Breeding occurs annually. Mating occurs in late spring or early summer. Females are pregnant for about ten months. The female gives birth to 3-18 kits in April or May. By the time the kits are eight weeks old, they are ready to go out and hunt on their own.

There are two subspecies of the yellow-bellied weasel:

Mustela kathiah caporiaccoi
Mustela kathiah kathiah

References

  1. ^ Duckworth, J.W., Timmins, R.J., Roberton, S., Choudhury, A. & Lau, M.W.N. (2008). Mustela kathiah. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern