GREY MONGOOSE/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: The common Indian Grey Mongoose is the famed animal traditionally used in snake and mongoose shows and has been immortalized as Rikki-Tikki-Tavi in Rudyard Kipling’s story. Its tawny grey fur is much more grizzled and coarser than that of other mongooses and individual hairs have 10 alternate dark and light bands. Its small legs are darker than its body, and its tail is as long as its head and body put together. The tip of the tail is never black but pale yellow or white. The amount of ruddiness in the coat varies in different  subspecies, but all animals are more grey than other mongooses. Males are larger than female.

BEHAVIOUR: Known for tackling venomous snakes adeptly; however, the animal is a generalist omnivore. All mongooses have excellent colour vision.

DISTRIBUTION: Throughout India except the high Himalayas. Found up to 2,100 m in the Himalayas. Subspecific distribution needs confirmation, but in literature is as follows: H.e. edwardsii in south–east India, H.e. carnaticus in south–west India, H.e. moerens in eastern, central and north–east India, H.e. pallens in western India, and H.e. montanus in north–west India.

HABITAT: Open scrub, cultivated land, rocky patches, dry forests and forest edges all over India.

 Size: 36–45 cm

IUCN  Status: Least Concern


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