Unusual features/differences from similar
The tail has long hair and has a white tip. The tail of the Slender
Mongoose has a black tip. The tip of the nose is black but is brown in the Slender
Mongoose. The top lip is not grooved but the lips of slender and
mongooses are grooved.
Visible Male/Female Differences
Females have three pairs of nipples on the belly.
Habitat and Distribution
Open scrub, grassland, Karoo and open woodland. Prefers more open areas than
the Small grey mongoose.
Varies widely and they eat what is available: mainly insects, also other
invertebrates, mice, bats, birds and carrion. They are suspected of raiding poultry.
Termites are the single most important part
of the diet but eats fruit in winter when insects are less abundant.
Food is detected mainly by scent and sound. It and is dug up from the soil or
insects scratched out of leaf litter
Females have two litters of 2-5 pups per year after a gestation of 60-62
days. Young eats solid food at 4-5 weeks and are weaned at 6-8 weeks. Forages independently at 16 -18 weeks. Females mature at 1 year, males
at 9-12 months. Potential lifespan is 15 years.
Behavior and Habits
Each colony has a dominant pair but juveniles outrank all
adults. Males have home ranges of up to 100 ha. All colony members scent mark with anal gland
secretion and cheek gland secretion. Male intruders are
chased away, while females may be tolerated, especially during the mating
season. Snakes and monitor lizards take
youngsters from warrens. Large raptors take adults. Active during the
day, and at night in summer. Shelters in burrows that it digs itself, takes over
from ground squirrels or shares with ground squirrels or suricates. Burrows may
be small, with a single entrance, or form large warrens with up to 66 entrances,
going down 1 5 m. Sunbathes to warm up after emerging from the bur row, siesta in summer. Forages singly, up to 1over
10 km from the warren. Warrens are inhabited by colonies of up to 13, usually 2-3 adults and their young.
Individuals in the colony are bonded by mutual grooming. They run with the tail
held vertically whereas the slender mongoose keeps tail low and
flicks it upwards only as it reaches cover. The
yellow mongoose forages alone, digging in soil for larvae and invertebrates
Parental care ends at 10
short growl signals mild alarm and uncertain danger by a sharp 'tschak'. A
sudden and serious alarm is advertised by a bark.
There are middens outside warrens where all
colony members defecate and urinate first thing in the morning. Dung is
elongated and up to 6 cm long, tapered at one end, and
nearly always contain insect fragments.