Common Dwarf Mongoose

ANIMAL:
Common Dwarf Mongoose Helogale parvula

Type of Animal:
Mongoose

Habitat:
Woodlands, thickets, savanna, semi-arid areas, forests, mountainous areas, grassland, bushland, brush, scrub

Location(s):
East & southern Africa excluding very dense forests, Kalahari Desert, and cape region of S. Africa.

Appearance:
Very small, speckled brown to reddish animals, pink nose, small ears.

Food/Diet:
Termites, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, grubs, larvae, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, rodents, lizards, snakes including venomous species & python hatchlings, birds, fruits, vegetables, berries, eggs

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos

Lifestyle:
Packs consist of alpha pair (only animals allowed to breed though alpha female may sneak matings w/ subordinate males-alpha female dominant over alpha male), numerous subordinate females, numerous subordinate males, up to 3 litters of pups (2-4 in each litter), 6-12 yearlings, & 6-12 older siblings. Subordinate males are sons of alpha pair & brothers of alpha male, subordinate females daughters of alpha pair & sisters of alpha female.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male
Female
Young-Pup
Group-Pack

Weight:
Adult-8-11.2 oz
Young-4.8 oz

Gestation:
1.5 months

Height:
2.4 in

Body Length:
1.2 ft

Life Span: 
8 years

Tail Length:
6-7.2 in

Main predators are raptors, jackals, domestic/feral dogs, wild dogs, caracals, servals, cheetahs, honey badgers, banded mongoose, slender mongoose, egyptian mongoose, pythons, monitors, & venomous snakes. In case of venomous snakes, mongoose pack fights to death w/ snake. If snake wins then mongoose gets eaten, if mongoose wins then snake gets eaten. Mongoose packs will mob larger mongoose species & venomous snakes.

Packs very territorial-If pack encounters other pack of similar size on territory, deadly battles occur.

Smallest African carnivores.

Pack members alternate sentry duty on keeping watch for predators/ rival packs.

Territories range from 75-150 acres in size.

Territories marked by scent-gland in cheeks & by anal marking. Also scent-mark each other.

One of the most social carnivores.

Sexually mature at 3 months old but often don’t breed until 3 years old.

Kill prey by bite to head.

Most of day spent foraging.

Fun Fact(s):
Have symbiotic relationship w/ hornbills, in which hornbill gives alarm calls to raptors & mongooses then hide. Hornbills also forage w/ packs.

Some people keep mongooses as pets because they kill rodents.

Persecuted as egg thief by farmers.

272 thoughts on “Common Dwarf Mongoose

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