Japanese weasel

The Japanese weasel (Mustela itatsi) is a carnivorous mammal belonging to the genus Mustela in the family Mustelidae. It is native to Japan where it occurs on the islands of Honshū, Kyūshū and Shikoku.[2] It has been introduced to Hokkaidō and the Ryukyu Islands to control rodents and has also been introduced to Sakhalin island in Russia.[3][4]

It is often classified as a subspecies of the Siberian weasel (M. sibirica). The two species are very similar in appearance but differ in the ratio of tail length to head and body length.[2] There are also genetic differences which suggest that the two diverged around 1.6-1.7 million years ago.[2] Their ranges now overlap in western Japan where the Siberian weasel has been introduced.[2]

Adult males of the Japanese weasel can reach 35 cm (14 in) in body length with a tail length of up to 17 cm (6.7 in).[3] Females are smaller. The fur is orange-brown with darker markings on the head. The species typically occurs in mountainous or forested areas near water.[3] Its diet includes mice, frogs, reptiles, insects and crayfish.[3][5]

Japanese weasel
Mustela itatsi on tree
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Subfamily:
Genus:
Species:
M. itatsi
Binomial name
Mustela itatsi
Temminck, 1844
Japanese Weasel area
Japanese weasel range
(blue - native, red - introduced)

References

  1. ^ Abramov, A. & Wozencraft, C. (2008). "Mustela itatsi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ a b c d Masuda, Ryuichi & Michihiro C. Yoshida (1994) "Nucleotide sequence variation in Cytochrome b genes in three species of weasels Mustela itatsi, Mustela sibirica and Mustela nivalis, detected by improved PCR product-direct sequencing technique", Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan, 19 (1): 33-43.
  3. ^ a b c d Kodansha (1993) Japan: an illustrated encyclopedia, Kodansha, Tokyo.
  4. ^ Wilson, Don E. & DeeAnn M. Reeder (eds.) (2005) Mustela itatsi, Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press.
  5. ^ Sekiguchi Keishi, Ogura Go, Sasaki Takeshi, Nagayama Yasuhiko, Tsuha Kojun, Kawashima Yoshitsugu (2002) "Food habits of introduced Japanese weasels (Mustela itatsi) and impacts on native species on Zamami Island Archived 2012-02-17 at the Wayback Machine", Mammalian Science, 85:153-160. [Abstract]

External links

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Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)

Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)

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The Mustelidae (; from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, mink, and wolverines, among others. Mustelids are diverse and the largest family in the order Carnivora, suborder Caniformia. Mustelidae comprises about 56-60 species across eight subfamilies.

Mustelinae

Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).

Nyctereutes

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Paradoxurus

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the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

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Only the Caspian seal is endangered.

Rhacophorus viridis

Rhacophorus viridis (Okinawan tree frog) is a species of frog in the family Rhacophoridae. It is endemic to Ryukyu Islands, Japan. It is known from Amamioshima, Kakeromajima, Ukejima, Yoronjima and Tokunoshima islands of the Amami Group, and Okinawajima, Iheyajima and Kumejima islands of the Okinawa Group.Two subspecies are distinguished: Okinawa green tree frog (Rhacophorus viridis viridis) of the Okinawa Group and Amami green tree frog (Rhacophorus viridis amamiensis) of the Amami Group.Rhacophorus viridis is no longer present on Yoronjima island. Its disappearance from the island some time after 1958 is attributed to habitat change (conversion of paddy fields to drier habitats) and an introduced predator, Japanese weasel (Mustela itatsi). This is the first island-level extinction of a native amphibian in the Ryukyu Archipelago during modern times.Rhacophorus viridis is a moderate-sized rhacophorid frog (snout-vent length 65–84 mm (2.6–3.3 in)). It is a common species in forests close to paddy fields and wetlands. It breeds in wetlands and paddy fields by larval development.

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Weasel

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Zalophus

Zalophus is a genus of the family Otariidae (sea lions and fur seals) of order Carnivora. It includes these species, of which one became recently extinct:

Z. californianus: California sea lion

Z. japonicus: Japanese sea lion †

Z. wollebaeki: Galápagos sea lion

Extant Carnivora species

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