Ruddy 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.

Ruddy mongoose

Sl NoCharacteristicsInformation
1Common NameRuddy Mongoose
2Scientific NameHerpestes smithii
3Length40-50 cm
4ColorRusty-red to dark brown with a lighter underbelly
5Height / girthN/A
6Tail length25-30 cm
7Height till shoulder20-25 cm
8Average weight1-2 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 Ruddy Mongoose is known for its agility and speed, and is able to take on prey much larger than itself, such as venomous snakes. They are also known for their unique vocalisations, which include a series of grunts, growls, and barks. Additionally, they are solitary animals that are mostly active during the day, and they use scent marking to communicate with other individuals.


The ruddy mongoose (Herpestes smithii) is a species of mongoose found in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia.

Both male and female ruddy mongooses have reddish-brown fur, which gives them their name. They have long, slender bodies, short legs, and a pointed snouts. Their ears are small and round, and their tails are bushy and long, almost as long as their bodies. They typically weigh between 1.5 and 2.5 kg, with males being slightly larger than females.

One special characteristic of the ruddy mongoose is its ability to climb trees. They are also good swimmers and can stay underwater for several minutes. Ruddy mongooses are solitary animals and are active during the day. They are mainly carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey, including insects, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and frogs.

Ruddy mongooses have a strong sense of smell and use it to locate prey. They are also known for their territorial behavior and will defend their home range aggressively against intruders. They communicate with each other using a variety of vocalisations, including chirps, growls, and hisses.

Food Habits

Ruddy mongooses are mainly carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey, including insects, small mammals, birds, reptiles, and frogs. In agricultural areas, they also feed on rodents and other small mammals that are considered pests. They have been observed hunting in pairs or groups, particularly when targeting larger prey.


Ruddy mongooses are primarily found in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. They are distributed throughout India, except for the northeastern states, and are also found in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and some parts of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Myanmar, and Cambodia.

In India, ruddy mongooses are found in a variety of habitats, including tropical forests, dry deciduous forests, grasslands, agricultural fields, and even urban areas. They are known to adapt well to human-modified landscapes and can be found in parks, gardens, and other urban areas.

Vulnerable Species

The ruddy mongoose (Herpestes smithii) is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which means that it is not considered to be at significant risk of extinction at a global level.

However, like many other small carnivores, the ruddy mongoose faces several threats in India, including habitat loss and fragmentation due to human activities such as deforestation, agriculture, and urbanization. They are also sometimes hunted for their fur and for pest control, which can reduce their populations in certain areas.

The exact population size of ruddy mongooses in India is not well known, but they are believed to be relatively common in many areas. However, due to their elusive nature and the fact that they are primarily active during the day, they can be difficult to spot and study in the wild.

Although the exact number of Grizzled Giant Squirrels in India is not known, it is estimated that their population has declined by at least 30% over the past three generations, and their future remains uncertain without effective conservation measures.

Protected Areas

Ruddy mongooses can be found in many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across India. 

Located in central India, Bandhavgarh National Park is known for its high density of tigers, but it is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including ruddy mongooses. 

Located in the Aravalli hills, Sariska Tiger Reserve is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts. In addition to tigers, the park is home to leopards, sambar deer, and ruddy mongooses, among other species. 

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is one of the largest and oldest national parks in Maharashtra. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, sloth bears, and ruddy mongooses. 

Periyar National Park is located in the Western Ghats and is known for its diverse flora and fauna. The park is home to elephants, tigers, and ruddy mongooses, among other species. 

Nagarhole National Park is located in the Western Ghats and is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and ruddy mongooses.


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.

image_pdfDownload As PDF

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *