(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Malayan weasel, scientific name Mustela nudipes or Malay weasel is a weasel species native to the Malay Peninsula and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Malayan Weasel profile

Although there may be little information obtainable in regards to the habitat choice of Malayan weasels, they’re presumed to reside in comparable habitats as different weasels. This species has been present in each forested and deforested area close to city areas.

Although the Malay Weasel just isn’t thought of as a species of conservation concern (LC) there may be little or no identification about its ecology, habitat necessities, and behavior. What is thought is that it’s discovered throughout the Sundaic areas of Brunei, Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, and Thailand.

Malayan weasels have a body size of 30 to 36 cm with a tail size of 24 to 26 cm. Fur color ranges from orange-brown to gray-white. The tip of its tail is yellow-white, and the pinnacle is a lot lighter color (typically white) than the remainder of its body. There isn’t any fur across the pads on the soles of the feet.

The Malay Weasel’s putting golden color and pale head and tail units it aside from different species of weasel. This species weighs around 1kg, with an elongated body of 30 to 36cm and tail size of 24 to 26 cm.

Very little is thought about this animal’s feeding habits, however, like different weasel species, it’s assumed that the Malay Weasel is a skillful hunter, able to look down fast-moving prey together with small rodents, lizards, and bugs.

It can also feed on prey corresponding to birds and reptiles. The glossy, elongated body form permits it to descend into the burrows of ground-dwelling prey. The species is thought to be energetic principally in the course of the day.

Malayan Weasel

The Malay Weasel is thought to happen throughout a wide range of habitats, together with main forest, secondary forest, swamp forest, scrub, grassland, and even plantations.

Little is thought in regards to the habitat and ecology of this species, although it’s in all probability just like different weasels in that it’s ground-dwelling and so doubtlessly uncovered to generalized snaring and different types of trapping.

However, the distribution of the latest data in deforested areas, even city sites, points out a high tolerance to human activities.

Little is thought in regards to the habitat and ecology of this species, although it’s in all probability just like different weasels in that it’s ground-dwelling and so doubtlessly uncovered to generalized snaring and different types of trapping. However, the distribution of the latest data in deforested areas, even city sites, points out a high tolerance to human activities.

Geographic Range

Malayan weasels inhabit solely the Sundaic sub-region of Southeast Asia. The historic distribution prolonged by way of Borneo, Sumatra, and the Malaysia-Thailand peninsula.

Today its geographic range extends throughout Brunei, Indonesia (Sumatra and Borneo), Malaysia, and Thailand, ranging north within the Thailand peninsula to 10 degrees north.

Malayan Weasel Description

The Malayan weasel is reddish-brown to grayish-white. Its head is lighter in color than the remainder of the body. The distal half of the tail is pale orange to white. The soles of the feet are bare. It has a body size of 30–36 cm (12–14 in) with a 24–26 cm (9.4–10.2 in) long tail.

Sexual dimorphism in Malayan weasels just isn’t reported however, in different Mustela species, males are sometimes bigger than females. Two subspecies of Mustela nudipes are acknowledged: Mustela nudipes nudipes and Mustela nudipes leucocephalus. (Brongersma and Junge, 1942; Giordano and Brodie, 2012)

Malayan Weasel Distribution and habitat

The Malayan weasel is native to the Malay Peninsula from southern Thailand to peninsula Malaysia, and Sumatra, and Borneo. It is mostly related to tropical lowland forest, however has been recorded in habitats starting from swamp and montane forests to plantations and high elevation montane scrub as much as 1,700 m (5,600 ft).

A greater understanding of habitat preferences would require surveys particularly aimed at the Malayan weasel as a result of it’s hardly ever detected by normal digital camera entice, highway mortality, and visible surveys.

In Sumatra, a person was noticed in June 2008 in rugged terrain at an elevation of two,250 m (7,380 ft) on Gunung Kerinci. In Borneo, it was photographed in the main dipterocarp and logged forest at elevations of 177–1,032 m (581–3,386 ft).


Lifespans of Malayan weasels haven’t been studied. They are thought to reside between Three and 10 years primarily based on similar-sized mustelids.

Ecology and behavior

Malayan weasels are shy members of the Mustelidae family. They are usually solitary, however have been sighted in pairs. They are primarily terrestrial, however have additionally been noticed swimming.

Their motion is quiet and delicate; they favor a silent zig-zagging operating pattern. While foraging, they run on the ground and leap into logs in the hunt for meals.

The Malayan weasel may be very poorly identified, however, assumed to happen at low densities and behave elusively primarily based on low detection charges. It is a ground-living species and its morphology not suited to climbing.

Their diet is unknown however assumed to be just like different small weasels: principally carnivorous, together with small rodents, birds, eggs, and small reptiles.

Most data of the species occurred in the course of the day, however, more analysis is required to find out whether or not Malayan weasels are additionally energetic nocturnally.

The majority of sightings have been of single animals, suggesting a solitary nature as seen in most weasel species of genus Mustela. Not a lot is thought about its breeding habits, however, a litter of 4 has been recorded.

Malayan Weasel


Specific communication patterns of Malayan weasels haven’t been studied. However, types of communication amongst different weasels encompass vocalizations, together with trills, squeals, screeches, or purrs throughout mating seasons or warning indicators.

Weasels use musk glands to mark territories or looking areas. The visual, sound, scent, and tactile communication are used to warn others and to speak before mating.

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Food Habits

Malayan weasels are carnivorous. They hunt and forage for meals by looking out on logs, boulders, burrows, and holes. They eat all kinds of small rodents, together with occasional small birds, lizards, or bugs.


Pythons are the one documented predators of Malayan weasels, though they’re often hunted by people for meals. Malayan weasels use warning calls and screeches to speak and warn one another that predators are close to.


Malayan weasels assist to control populations of small rodents by way of predation.


Mating programs of Malayan weasels haven’t been studied. However, different Mustela species are usually polygynous, with males competing for entry to females.

Specific reproduction and breeding behaviors of Malayan weasels haven’t been studied. However, they produce a litter of 4 every breeding season.

Specific parental care funding patterns of the Malayan weasel haven’t been studied. However, as in different Mustela species, females usually care for his or her younger without male involvement.

Malayan Weasel Conservation

Despite its elusiveness, the Malay Weasel is listed as Least Concern (LC) on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red record, which means that it’s not a species of conservation concern.

However, this new confirmed document of the species on the Kampar Peninsula will add to the data relating to the species distribution, habitat preferences, and finally its long-term safety.

Malayan weasels are listed as a species of least concern based on the IUCN Red List. However, they’re protected in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, and Sabah. Population sizes are slowly reducing, presumably as a consequence of looking and killing by people.

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