Illustration from Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia/Corbis
Ermine (Short-Tailed Weasel)
Mustela erminea invicta
Subspecies of Weasel
August 20, 1805, Lemhi River, Lemhi County, Idaho.
Elongated body. Dark brown above; white below. Tail brown with black tip. Legs short; feet white. In northern part of range in winter, fur entirely white except for black tail tip. Male almost twice as large as female.
Open woodland, brushy areas, grasslands, wetlands, and farmland.
Most of Canada south to northern California, western Colorado, and northern New Mexico in West; to northern Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Maryland in East.
The short-tailed weasel, active day or night, may be fairly common at times but is seldom seen. This carnivore kills all that is available and stores the excess.