White-tailed Mongoose - Ichneumia albicauda

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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 Witstertmuishond
Zulu Gqalashu Tswana Leselamothaba
Shangaan Tlolota Shona Jerenyenje

F 4 cm
H 5 cm

Distribution Dung
6 cm
Deposited in middens 
near burrows
Contains insect exoskeletons
 and rodent hair

Unusual features/differences from similar animals

Legs are long and black as opposed to the Large grey mongoose which has short legs. The Selous' Mongoose has dark brown legs. The tail is mostly white and bushy. A crest of long hair runs along the back to the tail which can be erected when the animal is alarmed. The upper lip is grooved like the Selous' Mongoose.

Visible Male/Female Differences

Males are bigger than females. Females have three nipples on the belly.

Habitat and Distribution

Savanna woodland in the wetter northeast of Southern Africa. They need dense bush to hide in.


Prefers insects; also takes a range of other invertebrates and small vertebrates. Will take carrion.


Blind and almost furless pups are born in litters of 1-3 in September-January after a gestation of 60 days.  Young are independent at nine months.

Behavior and Habits

Usually solitary, or mothers with young are seen. Active only at night. They shelters during the day in holes, tree trunks or termite mounds. They modifies and extend existing holes. Food is detected mainly by smell.  When foraging, they walk fast,  head held low, rump high and tail trailing. Uncovers beetles from dung and picks insects off vegetation.

They depend on their stink glands for defense as it cannot outrun most carnivores.


7 Different vocalizations.

Dung and Field sign

Dung 6 cm long. Deposited in middens near burrows. Contains insect exoskeletons and rodent hair.

Safari Media Africa/C.A. Mitchell 2000-2012

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