Common Dwarf Mongoose

Common Dwarf Mongoose Helogale parvula

Type of Animal:

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

East & southern Africa excluding very dense forests, Kalahari Desert, and cape region of S. Africa.

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

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:

Breeding in zoos

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:


Adult-8-11.2 oz
Young-4.8 oz

1.5 months

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.

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