Fun Small Indian Mongoose Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 20, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
To know more about this mongoose, read these Small Indian Mongoose facts.

The Small Indian mongoose, Herpestes auropunctatus is a member of the Herpestidae family and is considered to be native to northern South-Asia and Iraq, and the Malay peninsula while they have been introduced as a biocontrol agent in many islands in Japan, the Caribbean, and Hawaii, Pacific island and many European areas in sugarcane plantations or sugar cane fields to control pests and rodents.

These were considered to be subspecies of another member of the family Herpestidae, the Javan mongoose, but later after analysis, both the members were considered different.

These can be found in diverse habitats like grasslands, secondary dense forests, orchards, and crop fields.

The Small Indian mongoose, Herpestes auropunctatus, has a long and thin body with an elongated head and a pointed muzzle or snout and the ears are short.

The head of the male is slightly broader than the female. The fur is brownish in color and the underside of the body is paler.

The tail is muscular at the base. The food habits of these animals differ according to location, habitat, and availability.

They generally feed on amphibians and reptiles, and some also eat insects like grasshoppers.

These are considered to be invasive alien species that have negative effects on native biodiversity.

Known predators of these species are hawks and other raptors. This mongoose is quite uncommon as pets and some mongooses are even considered to be carriers of diseases like rabies and the Human leptospira bacterium.

It is quite fascinating to know about this species so read on for the Small Indian mongoose description and more. If you are interested, you can also read about gophers and badgers too.

Small Indian Mongoose Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Small Indian Mongoose?

It is a species of mongoose.

What class of animal does a Small Indian Mongoose belong to?

These animals belong to the class of Mammalia.

How many Small Indian Mongooses are there in the world?

There has been no specific number of this mongoose invasive species recorded.

Where does a Small Indian Mongoose live?

It can be found in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. This species was also later introduced in some European countries and islands in the Caribbean Sea, Indian Ocean, and the Pacific islands.  

What is a Small Indian Mongoose's habitat?

This animal prefers dry areas and habitats. These are known to inhabit grasslands and forests and sometimes in a rain forest, riverine thickets, orchards, and crop fields.

Who do Small Indian Mongooses live with?

While some species tend to live in groups or pairs, these mongooses are known to live alone.

How long does a Small Indian Mongoose live?

The life expectancy of this mongoose is known to be three to four years.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction of this mongoose is sexual and placental. There is no particular breeding season and breeding takes place two to three times a year. There exist breeding peaks. Most of the time two litters of three youngs are given birth by a female.

The gestation period lasts about 42-50 days. Weaning happens for about five weeks. The mongoose reaches sexual maturity at around 10 months of age.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this animal is Least Concern.

Small Indian Mongoose Fun Facts

What do Small Indian Mongooses look like?

These mongooses are long and slender. The head is slightly elongated with short ears and short hair and this animal has a pointed snout or muzzle. The tail is muscular at the base.

The feet have five toes with long and sharp fangs or fingernails. Both males and females have extensive anal pads. The fur is pale to dark brown in color with golden spots.

The underside of the body is paler in color. The eyes of this animal are brown or amber and the young ones have blue-green colored eyes. Sexual dimorphism occurs in this species and males tend to have a wider or a broad head and larger bodies.

How cute are they?

Some people consider this mongoose cute because of its body and size.

How do they communicate?

Not much information is available about the communication of these mongooses but they are known to use tactile and chemical methods and produce 12 varying vocalizations.

How big is a Small Indian Mongoose?

The length of this animal is around 11.02 in (280 mm) and its height ranges from 20-26.4 in (509-671 mm) and is comparatively smaller in size than other mammals.

How fast can a Small Indian Mongoose run?

The exact speed of this mongoose is unknown but they are known to run fast.

How much does a Small Indian Mongoose weigh?

The mongoose weighs around 0.95-1.43 lb (0.434-0.65 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of this species.

What would you call a baby Small Indian Mongoose?

There is no particular name for a baby of this mongoose and the babies are called pups most of the time and they are also referred to as young or offspring in general.

What do they eat?

The Herpestes auropunctatus are carnivores and generally feed on mammals, birds, invertebrates, vertebrate populations, herpetofauna, and plant materials. The food and diet of this mongoose species sometimes vary according to the location, habitat, or availability.

They can also eat whatever is easily found, other than the target species, for instance, these mongooses feed on insects in Pakistan and fruits in some other parts.

Are they dangerous?

Many consider the Small Indian mongoose invasive species. They are thought to be a danger to other animals like reptiles, amphibians, and other mammal species but there is not much information available about this species being dangerous or harmful to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

It is quite uncommon to see these mongooses as pets. These species are protected and are not allowed to be exploited or keep as pets in India. Not much information is available about these mongooses as pets in other countries.

Did you know...

While the plural of mongoose is mongooses, some people use mongeese, as the plural of goose is geese which is known to be correct and thus, some people find it strange to use mongooses.

There exists about 30 species of mongoose around the world.

The description of this mongoose is considered to be very similar to that of weasels.

There have been body warming behaviors recorded but not much information is available about the process.

Certain species of the mongoose can be semi-aquatic as they inhabit a variety of habitats and have adapted to swim and hunt fish, crabs, and other aquatic animals.

Humans introduced mongoose species in other habitats and locations in order to control pests or rodents and rats but it led to negative effects and these animals turning into invasive species compendium.  

This species of mongoose was introduced to the Caribbean in West Indies in 1872 in Jamaica from India, to control black rats (Rattus rattus) and brown rats found in sugar cane plantations.

This was introduced to Hawaii after it was recorded in the sugar industry and the sugarcane fields in the 20th century that mongooses were effective in controlling rats and only the islands Lana'i or Kaua'i are considered to be free of this species.

This species was introduced in Japan on Okinawa Island in 1910 and the island of Amami Oshima in 1979 to control the population of some poisonous snakes.

It has also been introduced on the northeast coast of South America and the Croatian peninsula.

Why is the Small Indian Mongoose harmful?

This is one of the world's worst invasive species. This mongoose is a carnivore and tends to thrive in human molded or altered habitats. The prey of this animal includes other native animals and this has led to a decline in the native biodiversity and extinction of many species of reptiles, and birds.

How did the Small Indian Mongoose get its name?

The Herpestes auropunctatus was considered a subspecies of the Javan mongoose or the Herpestes javanicus. The later genetic analysis of tissues and hair of both species revealed that these are two different species, so it was given a different name.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including mongooses, or the naked mole-rat.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our small indian mongoose coloring pages.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

Diya Patel picture

Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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