The Stoat

AKA the Ermine; Mustelea Erminea

The Stoat

  • The stoat is a species of mustelid, related to wolverines and ferrets
  • Sexual dimorphism is pronounced
  • Males range from 10-14 inches long, weighing 7-17.6 ounces
  • Females range from 6.2-10.6 inches, weighing often less than 6.2 ounces


  • The stoat feeds mostly on rodents and lagomorphs (rabbits and hares)
  • Diet is predominantly mouse-like rodents, such as mice and voles.
  • Stoats will hunt larger prey, like rabbits and pikas when the opportunity arises
  • Stoats will surplus kill (kill more than they can eat) on occasion and store the extra food for later. Stoats avoid over-consumption of food to avoid obesity, as a fat stoat has difficulty hunting underground

The Ermine

When a stoat is all white (the end of the tail can be an acception) it is called an ermine. These animals are the same species.


  • Males become sexually mature at 10-11 months
  • Females are sexually mature at 2-3 weeks, and have usually mated before even being weaned.
  • Stoats are not monogamous, litters often share mixed lineage
  • Gestation approximately 280 days

The Range of the Stoat

Stoat Tracks

Special Adaptations

The stoat is adapted to hunting in burrows, and so has small ears and orifices to prevent dirt entering them.

How to Identify a Stoat

Look for an animal shaped about like a summer sausage with legs and a tail. It will have fur. This is a stoat.


Almost any temperate climate