Colombian weasel

species of mammal

The Colombian weasel (Mustela felipei), is rare. It is called the Don Felipe's weasel. It is only known from the departments of Huila and Cauca in Colombia and nearby northern Ecuador.[2][3]

Colombian weasel
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Mustela
M. felipei
Binomial name
Mustela felipei
Izor and de la Torre, 1978
Colombian weasel range

It only lives in riparian habitats at an altitude of 1,100 to 2,700 m (3,600 to 8,900 ft).

There is lots of deforestation in the watery habitats in the northern Andes of Colombia and Ecuador. Fewer than 10 known dead Colombian weasels have been studied.[4] It is could be the rarest carnivore in South America. Obviously, it is a vulnerable species.[3]

It is the second-smallest living carnivore. The upperparts and tail are blackish-brown, while the underparts are orange-buff.[4][5]

The first photo of a living Colombian weasel was taken in 2011 by an amateur naturalist who found one trapped in his parents' house; the weasel later escaped. The image was uploaded to iNaturalist in 2018. It gained widespread attention.[6]



Like all weasels, the Colombian weasel has a long body. Its average length is 22 cm (8.7 in). Its tail is 11.5 cm (4.5 in) long. It weighs between 120 and 150 g (4.2 and 5.3 oz). The Colombian weasel has a dark dorsal color. It also has a light orange color. The bottom of the feet does not have any fur. It has webbed feet that is found on the second, third, and fourth toes.[7]

Like all weasels, the Colombian weasel is a carnivore. It mainly hunts fish, other small aquatic animals, and small mammals.


  1. Emmons, L. & Helgen, K. (2008). "Mustela felipei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is vulnerable
  2. Eisenberg, John F.; Redford, Kent H. (1989). Mammals of the Neotropics, Volume 3: Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-19542-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Group), José González-Maya (IUCN SSC Small Carnivore Specialist; Kristofer Helgen (Division of Mammals, National Museum of Natural History; Emmons, Louise; Arias-Alzate (UNAM), Andres (2016-02-10). "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Mustela felipei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Nowak, Ronald M. (1999). Walker's mammals of the world (Sixth ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9. OCLC 39045218.
  5. Hunter, Luke. (2011). Carnivores of the world. Barrett, Priscilla. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-15228-8. OCLC 724663784.
  6. "Man Takes First-Ever Photo of Living Colombian Weasel After Finding It Standing on His Toilet". Gizmodo. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 2020-09-01.
  7. Chaves, Héctor E. Ramírez; Patterson, Bruce D (2014-08-08). "Mustela felipei (Carnivora: Mustelidae)". Mammalian Species. 906: 11–15. doi:10.1644/906. ISSN 0076-3519. S2CID 86155713.