The African striped weasel (Poecilogale albinucha), the lone member of genus Poecilogale, 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 centimeters in length on average, including its tail 6of 20 centimeters.
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.
(From Wikipedia.org, August 25 2010)
– – –
The animal’s body is sleek and long, and has very short legs (Kingdon 1977). The head and body measure 250-360mm, and the tail is 130-230mm. Males may weigh 283-380 grams, and females may weigh 230-290 grams (Nowak 1997). Individuals from western Uganda have been found to be slightly larger than those from areas further east and south. The legs and underside of the animal are covered in black fur. The top of the head is white, continuing in a thick stripe down the back where there are both black and white longitudinal stripes, and the tail is totally white. In captive individuals, the white stripe color may vary from light yellow to deep buff. It looks very similar to, and is often confused with, the zorilla (/Ictonyx striatus/), and it is argued that it may be a mimic (Kingdon 1977). Females have two pairs of mammae (Nowak 1997).
(From Animal Diversity Web via EOL, August 25 2010)
– – –