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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2023



Stripe-backed Weasel

Family : Mustelidae
Species : Mustela strigidorsa

Head-body length : up to 32.5 cm
Tail length : up to 20.5 cm
Weight : around 1 kg?

Also known as 'Back-striped Weasel', this rarely seen and elusive small mammal occurs in a range of habitats in northern parts of Southeast Asia and beyond, mainly in hill and montane forest (up to 2500 metres elevation), but also in lowland secondary forest, scrub and occasionally farmland.

It is mainly solitary in habits, and is believed to be mainly diurnal. Its diet is assumed to include a range of small vertebrates and invertebrates, but there appear to be no dietary studies to confirm this.

The species is easily identified by the narrow white stripe which runs along the length of its back, and its rich, chocolate-brown fur. The fur is paler on the throat, and the centre of belly has a yellowish-white stripe. The tail is thick and bushy.

Within Southeast Asia, the Stripe-backed Weasel has long been known from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.

In 2015 it was recorded for the first time in Cambodia, by a trail camera positioned next to a rocky stream in relatively undisturbed evergreen forest at 910 metres elevation in Virachey National Park in the north of the country (McCann & Pawlowski, 2018).

Outside the region it occurs in parts of northern India and southern China.

Fig 1 : This image constitutes the first record of Stripe-backed Weasel in Cambodia. The image was acquired in 2015 by a trail camera located next to a rocky, forest stream at 910 metres in Virachey National Park. The diagnostic pale stripe along the vertebral line is clearly visible. Image courtesy of Greg McCann.

References : M5

McCann, G. & Pawlowski, K. (2018) First record of Stripe-backed Weasel Mustela strigidorsa in Cambodia, IUCN/SSC Small Carnivore Specialist Group, 56.

Links :


HabitatID, Virachey National Park


Fig 1
ゥ  Greg McCann