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long-tailed weasel

Fact File

Scientific Name: Mustela frenata noveboracensis

Classification: Mammalia, Order Carnivora, Family Mustelidae

Identifying Characteristics

This species has a long, slender body, and neck, short legs and a long bushy tail. The fur is dark brown dorsally and white-yellowish ventrally, with a black tail tip. The males are about 10-15% larger than the females. This species mates July or August. There is delayed implantation, with one litter, of 4-9 young are born in April or May in a nest chamber lined with fur, and grass. It is active day and night and does not normally travel long distances. This species is native and may live up to three years in the wild. Fox, bobcat, large hawks, owls, mink, marten, fisher, coyote, wolf and house cats may prey on this species.


This weasel is found throughout Virginia and in most every habitat.

Last updated: August 18, 2023

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.