Slender Mongoose - Galerella sanguinea

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African Civet - Civettictis civetta | Large spotted Genet - Genetta tigrina | Small spotted Genet - Genetta genetta | Selous' Mongoose - Paracynictis selousi | Yellow Mongoose - Cynictis penicillata | Small Grey Mongoose - Galerella pulverulenta | White-tailed Mongoose - Ichneumia albicauda | Water Mongoose - Atilax paludinosus | Large Grey Mongoose - Herpestes ichneumon | Slender Mongoose - Galerella sanguinea | Banded Mongoose - Mungos mungo | Dwarf Mongoose - Helogale parvula | Suricate - Suricata suricatta


Afrikaans Rooimuishond Zulu Chakide 
Tswana Ramotsibodis, Kganwe 
Shangaan Mangovo Shona Hovo

F 2.5 cm
H 3 cm

Distribution Dung
4 cm
Deposited in middens
Contains insect exoskeletons

Unusual features/differences from similar animals

The tip of the nose is light brown whereas the noses of the Yellow and Small mongooses are black. The top lip has a groove down the middle. The Yellow Mongoose has no groove on the lip

Front Paw Hind Paw Tail


Visible Male/Female Differences

Males are bigger than females. Females have 1-3 pairs of nipples on the belly. 

Habitat and Distribution

Survives in woodland, scrub, forest fringes and grassland. Not found in true desert, forest, or the high mountains.


Prefers insects but will also take reptiles, small rodents and birds.  In winter it eats fewer insects and more vertebrates. Will scavenge road kills.


Litters of one or usually two are born October-March after a gestation of 58-62 days. Killed by raptors.

Behavior and Habits

Solitary and active during the day but will come out to catch flying termites. They shelter in burrows which they may dig themseleves. All foraging is on the ground, but climbs well and  will climb a tree if pursued. It moves along pathways. When alarmed it keeps its tail low when running whereas the tail is lifted in the Yellow Mongoose. The Slender Mongoose flicks it upwards as it reaches cover.  Scent marking is done with a secretion from the anal gland as well as cheek rubbing. Urine and dung which are deposited in middens along along pathways mark territories. They live in home ranges of 50-100 ha. When excited they erect the hair on the body and tail, which gives the appearance of a larger size.

Alert and quick in their movements, they normally moves at a quick walk with a smooth action. The tail trails behind in a low curve with the black tip turned up, the nose to the ground and the back slightly arched. When running the body is held flat, with the tail straight out behind.  When disturbed they standing motionless until the sound is located, or rise up on the back legs balancing, with or without the aid of the tail to obtain a better view. 


  •  a loud, sharp "spit" and growing, produced when threatening or warding off attackers
  • snarling. a prelude to attack between rivals
  • "buzzing" used in agonistic encounters
  • "huh-nwe" a distress call.


Dung and Field sign

Dung is up to 3 cm long, 0,5cm thick, often containing insect fragments. Deposited in middens along pathways.

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