Banded Mongoose (Mungos mungo) males are only heavier than females during the immature stages. In adulthood both sexes are similar in size and mass, weighing about 1.5 kg. This Mongoose is characterised by triangular shaped, pointed faces and flat broad ears. They have long bushy tails and a long coarse coat. Colouration is greyish-brown with an unmistakable series of light and dark vertical bands across the back and flanks. Under parts are lighter with elegant dark legs.
Invertebrates constitute the major portion of the diet, particularly beetles and termites. Will occasionally also take larger prey such as rodents and snakes. Refuge dumps are often scavenged for edible titbits. Banded Mongoose also feed on eggs of ground nesting birds and reptiles. They clasp the eggs with their front paws and throw them behind them to try and break them.
The Banded Mongoose litters average 2.6 young per female. Within a pack, litters are produced in synchrony after a gestation period of eight to nine weeks. Collective nursing of offspring takes place. Breeding is normally restricted to the rainy season, and during her life time a female average 1.4 litters per year.
The Banded Mongoose lives in permanent and cohesive packs of between 6-40 individuals, consisting of on average 15 adults with their offspring. Group sizes in this species is largest for all carnivores. Both males and females transfers to new packs, and in this manner population gene flow is accomplished.
Where they are found:
The distribution of this highly gregarious small carnivore in South Africa, is limited to eastern woodland savannas, ranging from the KwaZulu-Natal coastal area northwards into woodlands of Mpumalanga, Northern and North Western provinces and Mocambique. There is a distributional hiatus between the above and populations further north westerly in Botswana and Namibia.
1, 0 - 1, 4 kg
1, 0 - 1, 4 kg
No of Young
2 - 8
2 - 8 young are born in midsummer and are blind and partly-haired. The eyes open after about 10 days.
5 toes on the fore-feet; the first toe may show in the spoor when the animal is moving slowly but may not show when it is trotting or running. 5 toes on the hind-feet, but only the claw of the first toe shows in the spoor, well behind the other 4 toes.
Banded Mongoose are known to stand up to Lions when they are confronted and threatened. Personal observations have shown mongoose jumping up and attacking the faces of Lions that have had them surrounded.