Fast Facts About Dwarf Mongoose

Helogale Parvula

©Shem Compion
Size
400 mm overall (body 200 mm, tail 140 - 180 mm)

Weight
300 g

Lifespan
6 years

Habitat
Dry, open woodland with adequate hiding places i.e. termite mounds

Gestation
63 days

Number of young
2 - 4 (ave 3)

Food
Carnivores – termites, snails, locusts, beetles, centipedes, scorpions, reptiles and eggs

Predators
Birds of prey, small carnivores, snakes

Small, Fast and Bouncy

©Nigel Dennis
Dwarf mongoose are the smallest carnivores found in the Lowveld. They are also often the most numerous carnivore found in the bush due to their gregarious nature. They live together in cooperative groups of about twelve individuals but these groups may sometimes expand to include up to 30 members.

Dwarf mongoose have excellent senses and prey is detected by smell and sound. Their vision is adapted for spotting aerial predators via horizontally elongated pupils that allow for an enlarged visual field.

Dwarf mongoose are very agile and athletic. Typical locomotion involves a bounding run with bounces that may take the mongoose up to 90 cm off the ground. They change direction easily even at full speed and are adept climbers, their slender bodies easily fitting through small spaces.

By Megan Emmett