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Meles anakuma

Meles anakuma (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Carnivora
Subordo: Caniformia
Familia: Mustelidae
Subfamila: Mustelinae
Genus: Meles
Species: Meles anakuma


Meles anakuma Temminck, 1844

Type locality: "Environs of Nagasaki et d’Awa", [Japan].


Meles meles anakuma Temminck, 1844


* Temminck, C. J. 1844. Fauna Japon., Mamm., 30: pl. 6.
* Meles anakuma on Mammal Species of the World.
Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder
* IUCN link: Meles anakuma Temminck, 1844 (Least Concern)
* Meles anakuma Temminck, 1844 Report on ITIS

Vernacular names
English: Japanese Badger


The Japanese badger (Meles anakuma) is a species of carnivoran of the family Mustelidae, the weasels and their kin. It is endemic to Japan, where it is found on Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku[2], and Shodoshima.[1] Japanese badgers are smaller (average length 79 cm in males, 72 cm in females) and less sexually dimorphic than their Asian counterparts.

The absence of badgers from Hokkaido, and the presence of related M. leucurus in Korea, suggest that the ancestral badgers reached Japan from the southwest via Korea.[1] Genetic studies indicate that there are substantial differences between Japanese and Asian badgers, which were formerly considered conspecific, and that the Japanese badgers are genetically more homogenous.[1]


Japanese badgers are nocturnal and hibernate during the coldest months of the year.[1] Beginning at 2 years of age, females mate and give birth to litters of two or three cubs in the spring (March-April). They mate again shortly afterwards, but delay implantation until the following February.[1] Japanese badgers are more solitary than European badgers; they do not aggregate into social clans, and mates do not form pair bonds. During mating season, the range of a male badger overlaps with those of 2 to 3 females.[1]


Japanese badgers are found in a variety of woodland and forest habitats.[1]


Japanese badgers have an omnivorous diet that includes worms, beetles, berries and persimmons.[1]


Although they remain common, their range has shrunk recently.[1] They presently range over about 29 per cent of the country, an area that has shrunk 7 per cent over the last 25 years.[1] Increased land development and agriculture, as well as competition from introduced raccoons are threats. Hunting is legal but has declined sharply since the 1970s.[1]


1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kaneko, Y. & Sasaki, H. (2008) Meles anakuma In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. www.iucnredlist.org Retrieved on 17 August 2009.
2. ^ Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. (2005), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Johns Hopkins University Press, http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?s=y&id=14001276, retrieved 17 August 2009

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Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License