STRIPE-NECKED MONGOOSE/Behaviour, Distribution, Habitat, Size, Weight, IUCN stetus



DESCRIPTION: A stocky mongoose with an iron–grey head and varying reddish tints to its body, the Stripe-necked is the largest mongoose in Asia. The tip of the nose, the bare skin around the eye and ears are rufous, and it always has a black stripe, thinly bordered with white, from ear to shoulder on both sides of the neck. The base pelage of the rest of the body is dark grizzled grey. The specimens of northern Karnataka do not have any red on the body (H.v. inornatus) while those in the southern parts of its range have an orangish red tint on the rear part of the body (H.v. vitticollis). This reddish colouration increases southwards and, for e.g., in the Anamalais, it is almost a reddish creature with a grey head, and dark legs, tip of tail and neck stripe. The legs are short and brownish black with five digits, and the tail is three-fifths of the head and body length, with a black tip that, like the Ruddy Mongoose, it carries with the tip pointing upwards.

BEHAVIOUR: It is a largely diurnal mongoose that feeds on animals as small as a crab and as large as a mouse deer.

DISTRIBUTION: Through the Western Ghats, H.v. inornatus from northern Kanara up to Coorg; H.v. vitticollis from southern western Ghats, including Coorg, Anamalais and Kerala.

HABITAT: Deciduous forests and evergreen forests, plantations and scrub, favouring swampy areas or those close to watercourses. Prefers hilly country and has been recorded up to 2,200 m.

 Size: 25–41 cm

IUCN  Status: Least Concern


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