Slender Mongoose

© Nigel Dennis

Name

Slender Mongoose [Galerella sanguinea], also known as the Black-tipped Mongoose or the Black-tailed Mongoose.

Appearance

The slender mongoose has a characteristic black-tipped tail and their coat colours can vary from the regions they inhabit across South Africa. Their coat colours vary from light to dark-red brown, while their underparts are a lighter shade. In colder climates, the slender mongoose can also have a melanistic coat. The females attain a mass of 575 grams and are smaller than males at 715 grams.

Diet

In South Africa, the slender mongoose mainly feeds on small rodents in the bushveld. Their diet also consists of reptiles, invertebrates and sometimes birds.

Breeding

Births tend to peak during the rainy season in South Africa, although the slender mongoose will breed all year round. The gestation period lasts between eight to nine weeks and females birth around one or two litters per annum. Litters comprise of, between one and three young.

Behaviour

The slender mongoose is solitary in nature but can be found in collective territorial groups comprising of up to four males, which may encompass several female ranges. Members of these coalitions can consist of related and unrelated males. In South Africa, the female slender mongoose does not share territories in the wild. The offspring always leave the group to establish their own territory.

Habitat

The slender mongoose can be found in habitats consisting of open woodland savannah and heavily wooded environments found in South Africa. They live in dens created from deserted termite mounds, or in rock crevices or hollow tree trunks.

Where they are found

The slender mongoose can be mainly found in the Central and North-Eastern regions of South Africa. They also found within Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and up into East and West Africa.