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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

African Striped Weasel

The African Striped Weasel (Poecilogale albinucha), is the only member in the genus Poecilogale. It is a small black and white weasel native to sub-Saharan Africa. 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.

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 19.6 inches in length on average, including its tail 2.3 to 7.8 inches. 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.

African Striped Weasel