Indian small Mongoose

The mongoose is a small, agile mammal native to India and Southeast Asia. It belongs to the family Herpestidae and is closely related to other carnivorous mammals such as weasels, ferrets, and otters. The mongoose is known for its slender body, sharp claws, and thick fur, which can be gray, brown, or black depending on the species. They are excellent hunters and are able to take down prey much larger than themselves. In India, the mongoose is considered a symbol of courage and is often depicted in art and folklore. However, they can also be a nuisance as they are known to raid poultry farms and steal eggs. Despite this, they are an important part of the ecosystem and are highly valued for their ability to control pests such as rats and snakes.

Indian small Mongoose

Sl NoCharacteristicsInformation
1Common NameIndian Small Mongoose
2Scientific NameHerpestes javanicus auropunctatus
3Length20-30 cm
4ColorBrown to gray with a lighter underbelly
5Height / girthN/A
6Tail length15-20 cm
7Height till shoulder10-15 cm
8Average weight0.3-0.5 kg
9Food habitsOmnivorous, feeds on insects, small mammals, reptiles, birds, and fruits
10HabitatFound in a variety of habitats including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas
11Interesting factsThe Indian Small Mongoose is known for its quick reflexes and ability to take on venomous snakes, which it will kill by delivering a bite to the back of the neck. They are also known for their unusual breeding behavior, which involves females giving birth to litters of 2-4 young twice a year, rather than once a year like most mammals. Additionally, they have a unique gland in their anal region that secretes a pungent scent used for communication and marking their territory.


The Indian small mongoose, also known as the common mongoose or the grey mongoose, is a species of small carnivorous mammal found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Indian small mongooses have sleek, greyish-brown fur that is paler on the underside. They also have a long bushy tail with a black or brown tip. Males are typically larger than females, with males weighing between 0.5 to 1 kg and females weighing between 0.3 to 0.6 kg. They measure about 36 to 45 cm in length, with their tail accounting for an additional 30 to 45 cm. Indian small mongooses have sharp claws and long, pointed snouts that help them dig burrows and hunt prey. They also have keen eyesight and excellent hearing, which helps them detect predators and prey. Indian small mongooses are known for their agility and speed, as well as their ability to climb trees and swim. They are also solitary animals and territorial, marking their territory with scent glands located on their anal region.

Food Habits

Indian small mongooses are opportunistic hunters and feed on a variety of prey. Their diet includes insects, small mammals such as rats and mice, reptiles such as lizards and snakes, as well as birds and their eggs. They are also known to consume fruits, seeds, and other plant material, especially during the non-breeding season.


Indian small mongoose is an adaptable species that can survive in a wide range of habitats. They are generally found in areas with high prey density, and are able to thrive in both natural and human-modified environments. 

The Indian small mongoose is known to inhabit a variety of different habitats, ranging from dense forests to open grasslands and scrublands. They are also commonly found in agricultural areas, where they prey on rodents and other small pests that can damage crops.

In forests, Indian small mongooses are often found near streams or other sources of water, where they hunt for prey such as fish, frogs, and other aquatic animals.

This species is primarily found in North, West, and Northeast India.

Vulnerable Species

Indian small mongooses are not currently listed as a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, they do face threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as hunting and trapping for their fur or as pests.

The population size of Indian small mongooses in India is difficult to estimate due to their widespread distribution and adaptability to different habitats. However, they are considered to be relatively common and are not considered to be at immediate risk of extinction.

It is important to note that Indian small mongooses can have negative impacts on native wildlife and ecosystems in areas where they have been introduced outside of their native range. In some cases, they have been known to prey on native birds and small mammals, leading to declines in their populations.

Protected Areas 

Manas National Park in Assam, is popular for its biodiversity and is home to several mammal species, including Indian small mongooses.

Nameri National Park also located in Assam is known for its dense forests and is home to several mammal species, including tigers, leopards, and Indian small mongooses.

Bandhavgarh National Park, located in Madhya Pradesh, has dense forests and a high density of tigers. It is also home to several other mammal species, including Indian small mongooses.

Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in Rajasthan, and is known for its dry deciduous forests and is home to several mammal species, including leopards, hyenas, and Indian small mongooses.

These are found in almost all North states of India. They can be seen in many areas in villages, near ponds and patches of green. They are strong and can live in a lot of different habitats. 


In conclusion, the mongoose is an indispensable carnivorous mammal that plays a vital role in regulating the population of pests and rodents in diverse ecosystems. Their remarkable adaptations, such as their imperviousness to venom and lightning-fast reflexes, render them highly efficient hunters of snakes and other perilous prey. Nevertheless, mongoose populations face an imminent threat from habitat destruction, hunting, and the aggressive spread of invasive species. Therefore, concerted conservation efforts are indispensable to safeguard and preserve these invaluable members of our ecosystems. The significance of the mongoose cannot be overstated, as they contribute to the equilibrium and well-being of varied ecosystems, and their preservation is crucial for maintaining the biodiversity of our planet.

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