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name for a number of northern species of weaselweasel,
name for certain small, lithe, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae (weasel family). Members of this family are generally characterized by long bodies and necks, short legs, small rounded ears, and medium to long tails.
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 having white coats in winter, and highly prized for their white fur. It most commonly refers to the white phase of Mustela erminea, called short-tailed weasel in North America and stoat in the Old World. The white pelts are made into wraps, coats, and trimmings. The black-tipped tails are used in the United States as ornament, and in Europe they were used with the ermine of royal robes.



(Mustela erminea), a valuable fur-bearing animal of the family Mustelidae. In summer the fur is rusty brown and in winter, snow-white; the tip of the tail is black year-round. The male’s body is about 25 cm long (the female’s is somewhat shorter), and the tail reaches 10 cm.

The ermine is widely distributed in Europe, Asia, and North America; it is found in almost the entire territory of the USSR, from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to approximately the deserts of Middle Asia. The animal lives most often in river valleys, near lakes or reed thickets, but it is also found in forests, coppices, mines, and fields. Sometimes the ermine settles near human dwellings. It is extremely mobile: it swims and climbs trees. Its prey is usually murine rodents and small birds. Sometimes it attacks larger animals, such as the caper-caillie or rabbit.

The ermine mates during the second half of the summer, but the embryo begins to form at the end of the winter; the young are born in the spring. Ermines usually produce five to eight offspring (sometimes more). They are born blind and almost bare; their eyes open within approximately 30 days; by the end of the summer the young reach sexual maturity. In years when there are few rodents, the number of ermines decrease. They are useful in eradicating murine rodents. Ermines are hunted (their fur is used for decoration).


Mlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2, part 1. Edited by V. G. Geptner and N. P. Naumov. Moscow, 1967.


fur which represents nobility. [Heraldry: Halberts, 13]
See: Dignity


winter stoat; said to die if whiteness is soiled. [Art: Hall, 115]


1. the stoat in northern regions, where it has a white winter coat with a black-tipped tail
2. the fur of this animal
3. the dignity or office of a judge, noble, or king
References in periodicals archive ?
The adult moths fly later in summer and all look superficially similar, being white or greyish with many small black dots, hence the ermine name.
The Strange Case of Ermine de Reims is a gem of a book--a valuable resource for historians as well as an informative and engaging study that will be of interest to any reader curious to explore the mysteries of holy women in the medieval European landscape.
Reverse ermine (ermines)--black with white tails all over
In the end, the children learn to identify signs of 10 different species of animals and birds (including Townsend's big-eared bat, the flying squirrel, ermine and coyote) in the Cascades.
50 pounds, is marketed as "lethally gorgeous" with Perry herself parading about in ermine in the opulent promo video, Contactmusic reported.
wear ermine the don't There are not many families who still have collections such as these.
A fair number will be rich donors to the Conservatives - an ermine reward for their largesse.
The 15th century portrait of a woman holding a white ermine, stolen by the Nazis from Poland, has been on display in Germany for the first time since World War II in an exhibition of Renaissance art at Berlin's Bode Museum.
From November 1, 1395, until August 25, 1396, Ermine de Reims, a peasant widow from Northern France, was systematically beaten and tortured by the devil almost every night.
Now we have mentioned ermine, here is a drop of blood.
The apple ermine moth, Yponomeuta malinellus Zeller (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae), is a univoltine defoliator of Malus species in Europe and Asia.
The culprits were spindle ermine caterpillars (Yponomeuta cagnatella).