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Herpestidae - mongooses

Dwarf MongooseThere are 34 species in this family. They are native to Africa and Asia, but they have been introduced all over the world. Mongooses have long bodies; small heads; pointed snouts; short, rounded ears; and long tails. Most species are gray or brown.

Most species in this family eat small mammals, birds, reptiles, eggs, and insects. They strike their prey quickly and are well-known for their ability to kill poisonous snakes without getting bitten.

The species in this family are found in a wide variety of habitats from forests to deserts. Some species live in colonies, other species are more solitary. Some species in this family are semi-aquatic and other species are at home in trees.

The Indian mongoose was introduced in Hawaii in 1883 in an attempt to kill the rats that were eating the sugar cane crops. Unfortunately, the Indian mongoose hunts during the day and the rats come out at night! Today, the Indian mongoose preys on native Hawaiian animals, especially birds.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status, or there is no status data for the species.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

New Hampshire Species

 

 North/Central American Species

None   Indian Mongoose - Herpestes javanicus Least Concern Introduced

Species Around the World

Location Key
Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North/Central America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH Species

Marsh Mongoose - Atilax paludinosus Least Concern Africa
Bushy-tailed Mongoose - Bdeogale crassicauda Least Concern Africa
Jackson's Mongoose - Bdeogale jacksoni Near Threatened Africa
Black-footed Mogoose - Bdeogale nigripes Least Concern Africa
Sokoke Bushy-tailed Mongoose - Bdeogale omnivora Vulnerable Africa
Alexander's Cusimanse - Crossarchus alexandri Least Concern Africa
Ansorge's Cusimanse - Crossarchus ansorgei Africa
Common Cusimanse - Crossarchus obscurus Least Concern Africa
Cameroon Cusimanse - Crossarchus platycephalus Least Concern Africa
Yellow Mongoose - Cynictis penicillata Least Concern Africa
Pousargues' Mongoose - Dologale dybowskii Africa
Somali Dwarf Mongoose - Helogale hirtula Least Concern Africa
Common Dwarf Mongoose - Helogale parvula Least Concern Africa
Short-tailed Mongoose - Herpestes brachyurus Least Concern Asia
Indian Gray Mongoose - Herpestes edwardsii Least Concern Africa Asia
Kaokoveld Slender Mongoose - Herpestes flavescens Least Concern Africa
Indian Brown Mongoose - Herpestes fuscus Vulnerable Asia

 

Egyptian Mongoose - Herpestes ichneumon Least Concern Africa Asia
Indian Mongoose - Herpestes javanicus Least Concern Asia North America
Long-nosed Mongoose - Herpestes naso Least Concern Africa
Somali Slender Mongoose - Herpestes ochraceus Least Concern Africa
Cape Gray Mongoose - Herpestes pulverulentus Least Concern Africa
Slender Mongoose - Herpestes sanguineus Least Concern Africa
Collared Mongoose - Herpestes semitorquatus Asia
Ruddy Mongoose - Herpestes smithii Least Concern Asia
Crab-eating Mongoose - Herpestes urva Least Concern Asia
Stripe-necked Mongoose - Herpestes vitticollis Least Concern Asia
White-tailed Mongoose - Ichneumia albicauda Least Concern Africa Asia
Liberian Mongoose - Liberiictis kuhni Vulnerable Africa
Gambian Mongoose - Mungos gambianus Least Concern Africa
Banded Mongoose - Mungos mungo Least Concern Africa
Selous' Mongoose - Paracynictis selousi Least Concern Africa
Meller's Mongoose - Rhynchogale melleri Least Concern Africa
Meerkat - Suricata suricatta Least Concern Africa

Additional Information

Resource Key
profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Mongoose profile Photos
Mongoose are known to break open bird eggs by throwing them at a solid object.
Source: National Geographic Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Mongoose profile Photos
The mongoose uses its sharp claws to dig burrows.
Source: Enchanted Learning Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Elementary School Teacher Section: No

Banded Mongoose - Mungos mungo Photos Video Least Concern Africa
The banded mongoose is found in Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Banded Mongoose - Mungos mungo Photos Video Least Concern Africa
The banded mongoose is 12 to 16 inches long and has an eight-inch tail.
Source: National Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Common Dwarf Mongoose - Helogale parvula profile Photos Least Concern Africa
The common dwarf mongoose is found in Angola, Botswana, Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Common Dwarf Mongoose - Helogale parvula Photos Video Least Concern Africa
The common dwarf mongoose is the smallest species of mongoose found in Africa.
Source: African Wildlife Foundation Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Common Dwarf Mongoose - Helogale parvula Photos Video Least Concern Africa
Dwarf mongooses live in groups of 12 to 15 individuals.
Source: Oregon Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Egyptian Mongoose - Herpestes ichneumon profile Photos Least Concern Africa Asia
The Egyptian mongoose is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Western Sahara, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Indian Brown Mongoose - Herpestes fuscus Photos Vulnerable Asia
The Indian brown mongoose is found in India, and Sri Lanka.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Indian Gray Mongoose - Herpestes edwardsii profile Photos Video Least Concern Africa Asia
The Indian gray mongoose is found in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius , Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sri Lanka.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Jackson's Mongoose - Bdeogale jacksoni Photos Near Threatened Africa
Jackson's mongoose is found in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Liberian Mongoose - Liberiictis kuhni Photos Vulnerable Africa
The Liberian mongoose is found in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Meerkat - Suricata suricatta profile Photos Video Least Concern Africa
The meerkat is found in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No

Meerkat - Suricata suricatta profile Photos Least Concern Africa
Meerkats usually live in burrows dug by other animals.
Source: San Diego Zoo Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes

Meerkat - Suricata suricatta profile Photos Least Concern Africa
Meerkats are the size of a squirrel.
Source: Enchanted Learning Intended Audience: Students Reading Level: Elementary School Teacher Section: No

White-tailed Mongoose - Ichneumia albicauda profile Photos Video Least Concern Africa Asia
The white-tailed mongoose is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Source: Arkive Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: No