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Taiwan least weasel (Mustela formosanus Lin and Harada 1997) 高山小黃鼠狼

Look at this cute little guy! It is somewhat surprising that this species was not discovered until recently. The Taiwan least weasel has been hiding and living in the remote mountainous areas of Taiwan. Perhaps due to its rare number and alert nature, the Taiwan least weasel eluded capture by the British over a hundred years ago, over eighty years ago by the Japanese, and until 1969 only one specimen had been captured, by researchers from the Graduate Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, for studies on disease vectors. Found on He-Huan Mountain, this specimen was identified as a common weasel, and was placed in storage after it had been stuffed, until it came into the possession of the NMNS in 1995. A series of investigations resulted in its designation as a newly recorded species, adding to the roster of Taiwan's native mammals.

Habitat distributions : Rarely seen in the wild, the current specimen records include regions such as the He-Huan Mountain, Tataka area and the Mei-Feng mountain regions in Nantou County.

Taiwan least weasel is small and petite, its body frame is slender with short limbs, and resembles a miniature weasel. Its colors of the facial and back furs are bright reddish-brown, and colored white from the throat to the abdomen, with a clear separation of colors between the ventral and dorsal sections.
Body length:14.8 -16.6 cm
Tail length:6.3 -6.9 cm
Body weight:31-43 grams
Toe type:5 toes on the fore and hind limbs


Kingdom Animalia
Division Chordata
Subdivision Vertabrata
Class Mammalian
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae
Genus Mustela formosana

*Taiwan endemics


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