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dnaoodb: professional biology database , biology encyclopedia

In biological classification, Subfamily Melinae (badgers) 6 species. Genus Melogale (ferret badgers) 4 species. Genus Meles (Eurasian badger) 1 species. Genus Arctonyx. They are mainly large and sturdy animals with short tails, pointed snouts and keen sense of smell. Badgers have strong claws and have a polyphagic habit. They eat earthworms, tubers, insects and rodents dug underground. There are certain differences in the composition of different types of food.

Scientific classification

Protection level:
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Mammalia



There is only one species of Arctonyx, the pig badger Arctonyx collaris. Distributed in India, Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra; found in East China, South China, Southwest China, North China, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai. The space between the nose pad and the upper lip is exposed, and the snout is long, narrow and round, resembling a pig's nose. The body length is 65-70 cm and the weight is more than 10 kg. They live in caves from plains to mountains with an altitude of more than 3,000 meters. They live in caves or dig holes. They are ferocious in nature and sound like pigs. Poor vision and developed sense of smell. Nocturnal. It has a mixed diet, especially animal foods, including earthworms, frogs, lizards, loaches, eels, mole crickets, longhorned beetles, and rodents. It also eats plant foods, and sometimes steals crops such as rice, wheat, sweet potatoes, and peanuts. Has the habit of hibernating. It goes into estrus around the beginning of spring, with a gestation period of about 3 months, and gives birth in April to May, with 2 to 4 babies per litter. Badger oil treats burns and has certain effects on hemorrhoids and stomach ulcers. Guard hair can be used to make brushes and writing pens.


There is only one species of Meles, the badger (dog badger, Eurasian badger) Meles meles. It is widely distributed in Eurasia and North America in the northern hemisphere, and is distributed throughout my country. The body length is 45-50 cm, the tail length is 11-13 cm, and the weight is 10-12 kg. They live in mountains and fields and usually build caves under mounds or big trees. The tunnels are several to more than 10 meters long. They have weak eyesight, sensitive sense of smell, and are mainly active at night. Omnivorous, feeds on earthworms, insects, frogs, lizards, birds, mice and roots, stems and fruits of plants. It has semi-hibernation phenomenon and is a heterothermic animal. They like to be clean, defecate in caves, and have the habit of drying leaves in their nests to remove fleas. They only breed once a year. They start mating from August to September and give birth in April to May. Each litter gives birth to 3 to 4 piglets, which are sexually mature at 1 to 2 years old.


There are 2 species of Mydaus: Mydaus javanensis (Palawan badger) marchei and Sunda badger (Indonesian badger, Javanese badger). The anal glands can emit yellow smelly liquid up to 1 meter away, which can stun dogs and other animals. The stink badger is distributed in Palawan Island and its nearby islands in the Philippines. It is black in color and 32 to 46 centimeters in length. The tail is 1 to 4 centimeters long and weighs about 2.5 kilograms. The Sunda Badger is distributed in areas such as Borneo, Java and Sumatra. It is large in size and has distinctive white stripes on its back. It is good at digging holes and eats earthworms, worms, insects and other invertebrates.


There are four species of Melogale: Melogale personata, Melogale moschata, Melogale everetti, and Melogale orientalis. Distributed in Indochina and Southeast Asia. There are two species of ferret badger and Burmese ferret badger in my country. There are four subspecies of ferret badger in my country. The named subspecies M.m moschata is distributed in Guizhou and Guangdong; the Taiwanese subspecies M.m subaurantiaca is distributed in Taiwan; the Southeast Asian species M.m ferrogrisea is distributed in Shaanxi, Sichuan, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Fujian and other places; the southern Yunnan subspecies M.m taxilla is distributed in Guangxi, Yunnan and Hainan. The body length is 31-41 cm, the tail length is 15-23 cm, and the weight is 1-1.5 kg. It lives in forests and grass in river valleys and hills. It lives in caves and cracks in rocks and is good at digging holes. Omnivorous, it feeds on earthworms, shrimps, crabs, insects, fish and small rodents, as well as plant roots and fruits. The Burmese ferret badger is distributed in Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Nepal and Yunnan and Guangdong in my country. Its body shape and coat color are similar to the ferret badger, but larger.


The word "badger", originally applied to the European badger (Meles meles), comes from earlier bageard (16th century), presumably referring to the white mark borne like a badge on its forehead. Similarly, a now archaic synonym was bauson 'badger' (1375), a variant of bausond 'striped, piebald', from Old French bausant, baucent 'id.'.

The less common name brock (Old English: brocc), (Scots: brock) is a Celtic loanword (cf. Gaelic broc and Welsh broch, from Proto-Celtic *brokkos) meaning "grey". The Proto-Germanic term was *þahsuz (cf. German Dachs, Dutch das, Norwegian svintoks; Early Modern English dasse), probably from the PIE root *tek'- "to construct," so the badger would have been named after its digging of setts (tunnels); the Germanic term *þahsuz became taxus or taxō, -ōnis in Latin glosses, replacing mēlēs ("marten" or "badger"), and from these words the common Romance terms for the animal evolved (Italian tasso, French taisson—blaireau is now more common—Catalan toixó, Spanish tejón, Portuguese texugo).

A male European badger is a boar, a female is a sow, and a young badger is a cub. However, in North America the young are usually called kits, while the terms male and female are generally used for adults. A collective name suggested for a group of colonial badgers is a cete, but badger colonies are more often called clans. A badger's home is called a sett.