What kind of animal is a stoat? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, and habitat


What kind of animal is a stoat? We will explain its characteristics, ecology, and habitat. Stoats have a characteristic that their appearance changes considerably between summer and spring as their fur grows back. The stoat has a typical weasel morphology. I will explain what kind of characteristics it has.

What is stoat? About basic status

The stoat is a mammal classified in the genus Mustelidae, family Mustelidae, order Felidae (Carnivora). The body length is 13-33cm and the weight is about 150-300g. The scientific name is Mustela erminea, and it is written in kanji as Hakuto.

scientific name(学名)Mustela erminea
classification(分類)Mammalia、Carnivora、 Mustelidae、Mustela
Length(体長)13 – 33cm
Weight(体重)150 –300g

About classification

Stoats are classified into more than 35 subspecies, so there are many types. Here we will introduce subspecies that mainly live in Japan.

Mustela erminea nippon

The Hondo Stoat is a subspecies that inhabits the Tohoku and Kyushu regions of Honshu. The body length is 18-20cm for males and 14-17cm for females. The tail length is approximately 5-7cm for males and 6cm for females. Males weigh about 200g and females about 160g. Basically, they live alone and live in the crevices between rocks. This species is designated as an endangered species.

Mustela erminea orientalis

The Ezo stoat is an animal that can only be seen in Hokkaido. Males are approximately 24cm long and females are approximately 22cm long, and their fur is pure white throughout the year. They do not hibernate and are active throughout the year, and their active hours vary. It is designated as an endangered species due to overfishing.

About habitat

The stoat’s habitat is primarily Europe, North America, and Japan.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

Stoats are extremely agile, and are good at climbing trees and swimming, making them versatile. They live alone and nest in crevices between rocks and tree roots. They molt twice a year, and in the summer their dorsal side is brown and their ventral side is white, but in the winter their entire body tends to be white. The ermine’s hind legs are relatively long, giving it excellent jumping ability.

What is your personality like?

Contrary to their cute appearance, stoats are very aggressive and violent. They are not suitable as pets.

What is the ecology like?

In addition to eating small mammals, stoats also eat insects and other insects. The reproductive form is viviparous. The gestation period is about one month. Lifespan is 4 to 6 years.

Are there any natural enemies?

Stoats are said to be relatively small mammals, so they have many natural enemies. Foxes, dogs, etc. are their natural enemies and are preyed upon. Birds of prey such as eagles and hawks are also a threat.

Is the stoat an endangered species?

Unfortunately, although stoats are stable due to their large number as a whole, many subspecies are designated as endangered species. In Japan, the Hondo Stoat has been designated as a natural monument. The Ezo stoat is also a near-threatened species.

Can ermines be kept as pets?

Unfortunately, they are listed as an endangered species, and considering that ermines are extremely aggressive, they are not suitable for breeding at all. We recommend viewing it at zoos and events.


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