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Systematic classification and distribution
The species is very common throughout Europe with the exception of Ireland and Iceland. In Italy it is practically present on the whole peninsula, with the exception of the smaller islands.
Ermine (photo www.maakjedagnatuurlijk.be)
Body head length 20-29 cm, tail 8-12 cm, weight 0.125-0.300 kg. Small size, elongated and cylindrical body, short limbs, the male is bigger than the female. Reddish brown back with white belly and tip of the black tail, after the change the color of the hair becomes completely white; this mimetic coloring is very effective in snowy environments.
The natural habitat of the ermine is the high mountain; in Italy it is present only in the Alps. Very lively and extremely aggressive species. Hunts both night and day; usually moves to the ground but is also a skilled climber and swimmer. The favorite home of this small mustelid are the stony grounds, stacks of wood, rodent dens. The epoch of loves falls in June and July; pregnancy lasts about 8-9 months, after this period 4-7 babies are born and are born in a lair prepared by the mother; they are blind for about 6 weeks and are breastfed for 7 weeks. The ermine's trophic mirror includes Birds, Rodents and Moles. Typically kills with a bite to the neck.
Ermine (photo www.oamk.fi/ratoli)