Patagonian Weasel

Patagonian Weasel

The Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) is classified as a small mustelid and is the only member of the genus Lyncodon.

Its geographic range is the sections of Chile and the Pampas of western Argentina.

Table of Contents

Scientific classification

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyMustelidae
GenusLyncodon
SpeciesL. patagonicus

Characteristics

The Patagonian weasel has a Head-to-body length of 12 to 14 inches (300 to 350 mm), with a tail that is 2.4 to 3.5 inches (60 to 90 mm) long.

It has whitish fur with dark brown and black tones mixed in. It has short legs, small ears, and a bushy tail. The Patagonian weasel has a dental formula of 3/3, 1/1, 2/2, 1/1= 28.

There is not much information about this animal in the wild but is reportedly used by local ranchers as a working pet to destroy rodents.

Reproduction

The mating system of the Patagonian weasel remains unknown. However, it is known that most mutelids interact only during the mating season.

Males’ territories usually overlap with those of several females. They also monitor their reproductive state by using chemical cues.

Reproductive behaviour and parental care in Patagonian weasels are unknown. Similar to all mammals, the female nurses her young.

Mustelids generally produce altricial young, which resides in a burrow or den until they are able to walk and their eyes are open.

The lifespan of the Patagonian weasel is unknown as there is little to no information about this species.

Behaviour

Patagonian weasels have been seen to enter burrows of Microcavia and Ctenomys in pursuits of prey. The defensive behaviour of the Patagonian weasel is expressed when cornered. Its neck pelage erects to show its hostility.

It has been seen to be active both at dusk and at dawn.

Diet

Information regarding the food diet of the Patagonian weasel is very little, but the fact that this species has well-formed carnassials and reduced molars indicates that it is carnivorous.

Habitat and geographic range

There is little to no information regarding the habitat of the Patagonian weasel, but the little information gotten from this species indicates that they are found in Pampas habitats that have light-coloured substrates excluding deserts.

Patagonian weasels have a wide distribution within the Neotropical region. It ranges from western and southern parts of Argentina into Chile.

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