The Stripe-necked Mongoose

24. September 2014

The Stripe-necked Mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis) lives in Southern India and is common in Sri Lanka, being scarce in the north of the island.

With a body length of about 45 cm it is one of the largest mongooses in Asia.

If it is spotted, it is easily identifiable by its outward appearance: The name reveals that it has a black stripe at the side of its neck; the short legs and the bushy tail are black as well. The rest of the body has a rusty brown to a greyish colour. With their pink-coloured noses they look cuddly and harmless, but they don’t only feed on small animals like frogs or mice, they would even hunt down mouse deer and hare.

Herpestes vitticollis prefers living in tree zones. Most commonly it is seen in dry zone scrub forest, but can also be found in rain forest. It prefers areas close to freshwater sources where it is equally likely to be seen in a pair as well as a solitary individual. Mainly it is to be spotted during daytime, being diurnal. A litter of the Strip-necked Mongoose ranges from two to three newborns that would hunt together with their parents until being independent.

Recently in Yala or team watched this omnivorous couple having a small conflict when digging for food. Luckily nothing seriously happened to the two squabblers who gave a good photo opportunity to the photographers.