Japanese Weasel

I’ve seen weasels (itachi) many times on my walks and when driving my car, but this was my first chance to get some photos. I was walking along a road in the countryside near my home and luckily saw the weasel before it saw/heard me. I slowly moved my camera into position and managed to get some fairly decent shots before the weasel understood that I was not in fact a strange new species of tree, and made its escape.

Mustela itatsiMustela itatsiMustela itatsiMustela itatsi

Family: Mustelidae (badgers, otters, weasels, and relatives)
Subfamily: Mustelinae (martens, weasels, wolverines, and relatives)
Genus: Mustela (ermines, ferrets, minks, and weasels)

Mustela itatsi
Japanese weasel = nihon-itachi

Location: Road through orchards near Munakata Common (map)

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2 Responses to Japanese Weasel

  1. Bazza says:

    Great photos. Are you English? I’ve seen itachi many times, but are there other species which are similar?

  2. Jimmy says:

    Great shots! I’m assuming that Japanese Weasels, like most mustelids, have pretty awful eyesight and navigate mostly by nose and whisker. If you were downwind and didn’t move too much, he probably didn’t see you at all. He also looks like he’s squinting in this bright sunlight. My ferret seems unable to handle bright light (he cowers under my feet if I take him to the park during the day) so you were in a lucky position I think.

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