Surname: Mouse weasel
Other names: Zwergwiesel, Hermännchen
Latin name: Mustela nivalis
size: 18 - 25cm
mass: 50 - 200g
Older: 2 - 5 years
Appearance: brown-red coat, belly side with white fur
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Mouse, lemming, rabbits, birds, small amphibians
distribution: North America, Eurasia, North Africa
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: day and night active
natural enemies: Fox, owl, ermine, marten
sexual maturity: between the fourth and sixth month of life
mating season: potentially possible all year round
gestation: 35 - 38 days
litter size: 4 - 10 kittens
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the mouse weasel
- The mouse weasel or Mustela nivalis describes a predator counted among the martens, which is also known under the name Zwergwiesel.
- It is closely related to the ermine and is considered one of the smallest predators at all.
- The mouse weasel is native to North America, much of Europe and Asia, as well as North Africa and New Zealand.
- It inhabits different habitats and can be found on meadows, agricultural land and in open landscapes such as heaths and tundra as well as on forest edges with dense hedges and bushes.
- The mouse weasel reaches a body length of a maximum of 25 centimeters and depending on the distribution area a weight of fifty to two hundred grams.
- Like the marten and the ermine, the mouse weasel has a slender and elongated body with very short legs.
- On the long neck sits a small and round head with pointed muzzle and flat ears.
- The length and color of the coat change with the seasons. In winter, the mouse weasel has a much longer coat that appears white or in light shades.
- In summer, the coat is usually tan and about one centimeter long.
- The mouse weasel lives as a loner and is day or nocturnal depending on the distribution area.
- As a predator, the mouse weasel mainly captures small rodents such as voles, field mice and lemmings. Occasionally he is also the victim of small birds, rabbits, amphibians, insects and reptiles.
- The prey is killed with a targeted bite in the neck immediately.
- Mouse weasels need daily food due to their high metabolism.
- Only in the mating season males and females meet.
- The females usually give birth to four to ten young, twice a season, after a gestation period of about 35 days, and are nursed for twenty days.
- After four months at the latest, the young leave the care of their mother.
- The life expectancy of the mouse weasel is only about three or four years, as many animals fall owls, birds of prey, foxes and martens to the victim.