Saharan striped polecat

The Saharan striped polecat, also known as the Saharan striped weasel, Libyan striped weasel, and the North African striped weasel (Ictonyx libycus) is a species of mammal in the family Mustelidae.[2] This animal is sometimes characterized as being a part of the genus Poecilictis, and its coloration resembles that of the striped polecat.[3]

Saharan striped polecat
Ictonyx libyca multivittata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Ictonyx
Species:
I. libycus
Binomial name
Ictonyx libycus
Saharan Striped Polecat area
Saharan striped polecat range

Physical characteristics

Saharan striped polecats are about 55–70 cm in length, including their tails, and generally weigh between .5 and .75 kg. It is striped white in a non-uniform fashion and has black feet, legs, ears, and underside. Often a white ring goes around the face and above a black snout. It is sometimes confused with the striped polecat though it is generally smaller and has distinct facial markings.[4]

Distribution

The Saharan stripe polecat is distributed around the northern and southern edges of the Sahara Mauritania, Western Sahara and Morocco in the west along the Mediterranean littoral of North Africa to the Nile Valley in Egypt, while in the south its range is the Sahel east to Sudan and Djibouti.[1][5]

Habitat

The Saharan stripe polecat is found on the margins of deserts especially in mountains, in arid stony terrain and sandy semideserts, rarely seen in woodlands and is prefers steppe like habitat.[6]

Habits

Diet

It eats a diet primarily of eggs, small birds, small mammals, and lizards.[7] Much of its prey is tracked down by scent and dug out of burrows, and although it is normally a slow, deliberate mover it can move quite rapidly and pounce quickly when pursuing prey.[6]

Lifestyle and reproduction

The Saharan striped polecat is nocturnal and solitary. It hides during the day in other animals' burrows or digs its own. It generally gives birth to one to three young in spring.[4]

Defense mechanisms

This creature is known to spray a foul, skunk-like anal emission when threatened.[2] It moves about at night in the open in a quite deliberate way with its tail held vertically.[6] Before releasing the anal emission it will raise its fur in an attempt to warn the potential attacker.[7]

Ictonyx libyca
Saharan striped polecat

Relation with humans

In Tunisia these animals are often caught and exploited because of the tribal belief that they may increase male fertility.[1]

Subspecies

  • Ictonys libycus libycus
  • Ictonys libycus multivittatus
  • Ictonys libycus oralis
  • Ictonys libycus rothschildi[5]

References

  1. ^ a b c Hoffmann, M.; Cuzin, F. & de Smet, K. (2008). "Ictonyx libyca". 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 Newman, Buesching & Wolff (2005). The function of facial masks in midguild carnivores (PDF). Oxford: Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Dept of Zoology. p. 632.
  3. ^ Ball, Marion (1 January 1978). "Reproduction in captive-born zorillas". International Zoo Yearbook. 18 (1): 140–143. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1090.1978.tb00245.x.
  4. ^ a b Hoath, Richard (2009). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt. Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press. pp. 82–84. ISBN 9789774162541.
  5. ^ a b "Saharan Striped Polecat". theanimalfiles.com. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  6. ^ a b c Kingdon, J. (1997). The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-12-408355-4.
  7. ^ a b Hoath, Richard (2009). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt. Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press. p. 83. ISBN 9789774162541.
Catopuma

Catopuma is a genus containing two Asian small wild cat species, the Asian golden cat (C. temminckii) and the bay cat (C. badia).

Both are typically reddish brown in colour, with darker markings on the head.The two species diverged from one another 4.9-5.3 million years ago, long before Borneo separated from the neighboring islands. Their closest living relative is the marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), from which the common ancestor of the genus Catopuma diverged around 9.4 million years ago.

Ferret-badger

Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.

Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)

Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)

Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)

Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)

Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)

Haussa genet

The Haussa genet (Genetta thierryi) is a genet species native to West African savannas. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.Haussa genets have been sighted in Senegal's wooded steppes, in moist woodlands in Guinea-Bissau, and in rainforest in Sierra Leone, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

Ictonychinae

Ictonychinae is a subfamily of the mammal family Mustelidae found mainly in the Neotropics (3 species) and Africa (3 species), with one Eurasian member. It includes the grisons, Patagonian weasel, striped polecats, African striped weasel and marbled polecat, respectively. These genera were formerly included within a paraphyletic definition of the mustelid subfamily Mustelinae.

Most members have a mask-like bar or larger dark marking across their face; the African representatives of the group are striped. A defense mechanism common to the group is use of a chemical spray similar to (but not necessarily as strong as) that of skunks.

Ictonyx

Ictonyx is a genus in the family Mustelidae (weasels). It contains two species :

Saharan striped polecat (Ictonyx libycus)

Striped polecat (Ictonyx striatus)

Long-nosed mongoose

The long-nosed mongoose (Herpestes naso) is a mongoose native to Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mephitis (genus)

The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.

Mustelidae

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.

Nyctereutes

Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.

Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.

Paradoxurinae

The Paradoxurinae are a subfamily of the viverrids that was denominated and first described by John Edward Gray in 1864.Pocock subordinated the oriental genera Paradoxurus, Paguma and Arctictis to this subfamily.

Paradoxurus

Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:

the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.

Polecat

Polecat is a common name for mammals in the order Carnivora and subfamilies Galictinae and Mustelinae. Polecats do not form a single taxonomic rank (i.e., clade); the name is applied to several species with broad similarities (including having a dark mask-like marking across the face) to European polecats, the only species native to the British Isles.

In the United States, the term polecat is sometimes applied to the black-footed ferret, a native member of the Mustelinae, and (loosely) to skunks, which are only distantly related.

Despite the name, polecats, being various caniform mustelids, are more closely related to dogs than cats, which is why they belong to the suborder Caniformia.

In Canada, the term polecat is sometimes applied to electric utility linemen.

Pusa

Pusa is a genus of the earless seals, within the family Phocidae. The three species of this genus were split from the genus Phoca, and some sources still give Phoca as an acceptable synonym for Pusa.

The three species in this genus are found in Arctic and subarctic regions, as well as around the Caspian Sea. This includes these countries and regions: Russia, Scandinavia, Britain, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Due to changing local environmental conditions, the ringed seals found in the Canadian region has varied patterns of growth. The northern Canadian ringed seals grow slowly to a larger size, while the southern seals grow quickly to a smaller size.

Only the Caspian seal is endangered.

Speothos

Speothos is a genus of canid found in Central and South America. The genus includes the living bush dog, Speothos venaticus, and an extinct Pleistocene species, Speothos pacivorus. Unusually, the fossil species was identified and named before the extant species was discovered, with the result that the type species of Speothos is S. pacivorus.

West African oyan

The West African oyan (Poiana leightoni), also known as the West African linsang, is a linsang species native to the Upper Guinean forests in West Africa.

It is one of the least known small carnivores in Africa.

Wildlife of Morocco

The wildlife of Morocco is composed of its flora and fauna. The country has a wide range of terrains and climate types and a correspondingly large diversity of plants and animals. The coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate and vegetation while inland the Atlas Mountains are forested. Further south, the borders of the Sahara Desert are increasingly arid. Large mammals are not particularly abundant in Morocco, but rodents, bats and other small mammals are more plentiful. Four hundred and ninety species of birds have been recorded here.

Extant Carnivora species

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