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Mustela frenata

Common Name: Long-tailed Weasel
Mustela frenata
Mustela frenata

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Mustela
Species: Mustela frenata

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Long-tailed weasels are between 8 - 10 1/2" long and brown in color. Their white-yellow belly and black tipped tail make them quick to distinguish from larger mustelids. In the winter their coat turns white. Their tails are longer than the short-tailed weasel, that also has a white winter coat.

Habitat & Range

Long-tailed weasels live near water. They can be found throughout most of the contiguous United States, except the Southwest. They are found in Southwestern Canada, and Mexico.


These weasels eat a wide variety of prey including small mammals, birds, and even amphibians. They can swim and climb trees to hunt prey. Long-tailed weasels are solitary and communicate by scent and vocalizations.

Life Cycle

Long-tailed weasels breed in mid to late summer and young are born in the spring. Litters typically are between 5-8 individuals and young leave their mother before winter.

Featured image by Katie LaSalle-Lowery.


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