Home > Animals > Mammals > Zorilla


(Ictonyx striatus)


Category: Mammals



For those of you reading this in North America, the zorilla (Ictonyx striatus), or striped polecat, may look like a skunk. But this striped, African weasel is a distinct species. With sharp teth and claws and a small stomach, the zorilla hunts effectively – and often. This predator is a little over 2' long, under 6" tall, and a terror to nearby rodents, snakes, birds, insects, or virtually any creature it can catch and eat. And if the zorilla comes across a larger, more dangerous animal, it has a way of dealing with those threats as well: a powerful anal spray that can cause irritation, burning, even temporary blindness in an opponent. This hungry and not-to-be-trifled with weasel can be found in virtually all dry climates throughout central to southern Africa.

Zorilla Related Links:



Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Mammalia
Order - Carnivora
Family - Mustelidae
Genus - Ictonyx
Species - I. striatus

Did you know?
Interesting Animal Facts

The Opossum Ain’t Playing

Many people associate playing dead with the opossum - that’s where the term “playing opossum” comes from, after all. But something you might not know is that when an opossum feigns death, it really goes all out! Not content with merely closing its eyes and laying down, the opossum begins drooling profusely as if ill or even rabid, releases a putrid, greenish fluid from its anal glands that makes it smell like a decaying corpse, and after losing consciousness may even mimic rigor mortis! This is quite the elaborate routine, but it isn’t conscious: when an opossum plays dead, it has actually gone into shock due to stress.

Learn more >>


NAIA - National Animal Interest Alliance Discover Animals is a web-based educational resource offered by the NAIA
To learn more about the NAIA or about other NAIA programs, visit us at www.NAIAOnline.org
if you would like to help, join or support the NAIA or any of its programs please click here >>