features/differences from similar animals
darker stripes run across the back from just behind the shoulders to the base of the tail
whereas the suricate has wider and less clear stripes. The
tail has darker tip whereas the tail of the suricate
has a dark tip.
Visible Male/Female Differences
Females are slightly
larger than males. Male has prominent scrotum
Habitat and Distribution
Woodland. Seasonally dependent on water.
beetles and their grubs. Also fruit, invertebrates and small vertebrates.
Sometimes eats carrion. Food is detected by smell and sight, and are dug
for. Prey with distasteful secretions is rolled and rubbed in the soil to clean it
Litters of up to eight are born
October January after a gestation of 60 days. Several
females in a pack will breed simultaneosly and females can have two litters per year.
Young takes solid food at 3-4 weeks and
accompanies adults at 5 weeks, are full-grown at 13 months and sexually mature at 10
months. All pack members care for young. Females will suckle each other's
Behavior and Habits
Active during the day and comes out of
the den after sunrise
and return before sunset. They live in packs of 10 or more, typically up to about 30.
They are highly social and packs sleep together and
forage together in loose groups but each mongoose forages for its own food. They keep in contact by a continual high-pitched twitter.
Pack members groom and mark each other with anal secretions.
Alarm calls are chittering sounds which cause pack members to freeze, stand up and
try to locate and identify
the danger. Once done, they slip quietly away. Sudden loud alarms send them
scurrying into nearby
cover. Adults catch prey and give it to juveniles. Small predators such as
jackals are driven off by group attacks. Adults protect young in the group by bunching around them. Scent marking is done with anal gland secretion
While foraging, they maintain contact
with a continuous twitter, which becomes more highly pitched as the group
Dung and Field sign
are up to 5 cm long, 1 - 1,5 cm thick, tapered at the end
containing insect fragments. Deposited in middens near dens. They scratch ground
over their dung.