African striped weasel
|African striped weasel|
|African striped weasel range|
The African striped weasel (Poecilogale albinucha), the lone member of its genus, is a small, black and white weasel native to sub-Saharan Africa. It looks very much like a striped polecat, but it is much thinner and has shorter hair. It is a sleek, black color with a white tail and four white stripes running down its back. It is 50 cm (20 in) in length on average, including its tail of 20 cm (7.9 in).
The African striped weasel lives in forests, wetlands, and grasslands. It is a nocturnal hunter of small mammals, birds, and reptiles. The weasel kills its prey by whipping its own body and kicking, making use of its thin, lithe, muscular body to stun and tear the prey item. It sometimes stores its prey in its burrow instead of eating it immediately. Like skunks and polecats, the weasel emits a noxious fluid from its anal glands when it feels threatened. The weasel is generally solitary, but individuals have been found sharing burrows. According to African folklore, if one cuts off the nose of a weasel, it will grow back two shades lighter in colour, but it will bring misfortune to your family and lead to a poor harvest. This myth gave birth to expression "A weasel's nose is not to be trifled with."
|Wikispecies has information related to: Poecilogale albinucha|
- P. albinucha at Animal Diversity
- Nowak, Ronald M. (2005). Walker's Carnivores of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 0-8018-8032-7
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