Mauswiesel CC BY-SA 2.0 Keven Law (

Common weasel


The common weasel is the smallest representative of the order of carnivores (Carnivora), although there are considerable differences in size in its large range. The length of the head varies between 11 and 26 cm, the tail between 2 and 8 cm and the weight between 25 and 250 g. The weasels in North America are generally smaller than those in Eurasia. Animals in North America generally remain smaller than those in Eurasia, where they are known as least weasels. Females are also smaller and lighter on average than males. The coat of the least weasel is distinguished from the stoat by the jagged line between the brown upper side and the white underpart, as well as by brown feet and a brown tail (without the black tip).

As with stoats, common weasels can also change their coat to a white winter coat, but this is very rare in Central Europe. There are regional populations, for example in the Nock Mountains in Austria or in Lithuania, which also change to white in winter.


Common weasels inhabit a range of habitats, including grassland and vineyard fallows, forest edges, meadows and pastures. They reach high population densities in summer, especially in agricultural areas. Linear structures such as hedges, untended ditches, old grass strips and field margins are used for locomotion and hunting. Deep forests, deserts and mountains above 3000 m altitude are avoided.

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia ( On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 02 September 2021