Unusual features/differences from similar
The tip of the nose is light brown whereas the noses of
the Yellow and
mongooses are black. The top lip has a groove down the middle. The
has no groove on the lip
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
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
Killed by raptors.
Behavior and Habits
Solitary and active during the day but will come out to catch flying termites.
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.