Mustela subpalmata

Mustela subpalmata Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833

Common Names

Egyptian Weasel (English), العرسة المصرية (Arabic)

Languages: English



The Egyptian weasel is a small, cylindrical weasel. Head small and triangular. Snout small, broad and pointed. Hair short and dense, chestnut to dark brown in the upperparts and creamy to white in the underparts. Ears small and rounded. Tail long, thin with heavy short hair. Hind limbs longer than forelimbs, each ending in 5 white digits with strong claws.


Status in Egypt

Native, resident.



Nocturnal mammal, spending day in underground holes or crevices. Feeds on small mammals (rodents, hares), birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects (espe­cially red ants and bugs). Territorial and solitary species. Egyptian weasel female gives birth to litters of two to five young once or twice per year after a gestation period of 37 days and reaches sexual maturity after 4-8 months.


Length: 23-30 cm. Weight: 220 gm.

Ecology and Distribution

Distribution in Egypt

Narrow (mainly northern Nile Valley and Delta).


The Egyptian weasel almost completely commensal with man. Found in homes, buildings, agricultural areas and sometimes desert.


I., Helmy., & D. Osborn. (1980).  The Contemporary Land Mammals of Egypt (including Sinai) Field Museum of Natural History, no. 5, Cairo..
M., Basuony., F. Gilbert., & S. Zalat. (2010).  Mammals of Egypt: Atlas, Red Data Listing & Conservation, Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, Cairo..
R., Hoath. (2003).  A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo..