Yellow-bellied weasel

species of mammal

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Yellow-bellied weasel
Yellow bellied weasel, Shillong, India.jpg
At Shillong, Meghalaya, India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Mustela
M. kathiah
Binomial name
Mustela kathiah
Hodgson, 1835
Yellow-bellied Weasel area.png
Yellow-bellied weasel range

The yellow-bellied weasel (Mustela kathiah) is a species of weasel that inhabits pine forests in central and eastern Asia.


The species is named for its yellow-colored underbelly; the upperside of the body and the tail are of a dark brown. Body length is 9.8–10.6 inches (25–27 cm). The tail of 4.9–5.9 inches (12–15 cm) is about half as long as the body. Mean weight is about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg).[2]


Two subspecies are recognized: M. k. caporiaccoi (de Beaux, 1935) and M. k. kathiah (Hodgson, 1835).[3]

Distribution and habitat

The yellow-bellied weasel occurs in Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam. It inhabits forested habitats at elevations of 1,000–2,000 m (3,300–6,600 ft), but moves down to lower elevations in winter; in winter it may come down lower than 1,000 m.[1]


Yellow-bellied weasels eat birds, mice, rats, voles, and other small mammals.

Yellow-bellied weasels first build a den in the ground. Breeding occurs annually. Mating occurs in late spring or early summer. Females are pregnant for about ten months. The female gives birth to 3-18 kits in April or May. By the time the kits are eight weeks old, they are ready to go out and hunt on their own.


  1. ^ a b Willcox, D.H.A.; Duckworth, J.W.; Timmins, R.J.; Abramov, A.V.; Choudhury, A.; Chutipong, W.; Chan, B.; Lau, M.; Roberton, S. (2016). "Mustela kathiah". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T41655A45214014. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41655A45214014.en. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Yellow-bellied weasel". Thai National Parks.
  3. ^ "Oldstyle id: 0ccbaf6e2d6d843091eccb5015e7d192". Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.
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