Common Dwarf Mongoose [Helogale parvula]
The Dwarf Mongoose is the smallest member of the Mongoose family. Both males and females weigh 350 – 400 gr. and are just 2560 mm in length. The tail of the Mongoose is the same length of the body. They have a reddish-brown coat that is the main colour of the Mongoose’s body.
Dwarf Mongoose diets consist of larvae, grasshoppers, termites and beetles. When the occasion arises, the Dwarf Mongoose will also eat small vertebrates. Usually foraging in troops that also help out with spotting predators.
Dwarf Mongoose have a gestation period of 63 days and an alpha female can have up to 3 litters a year. The Breeding period of Dwarf Mongoose are set within the raining season. An interesting behavior in breeding within packs, is only the Alpha pair is allowed to breed while the rest rear and raise the young. No other members are allowed to bred or else banishment or worse may happen.
Dwarf Mongoose are daytime animals that are very territorial. Dwarf Mongoose are group foragers, with groups reaching 20 members. members will spend the nights in abandoned termite mounts that are within their territory.
Dwarf Mongoose prefer dry woodland areas of the savannah. The Northern and Northwestern Provinces, North KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga are the farthest South the spread of mongoose go. They are much more common in the Northern Countries of Africa. It is very likely to spot a Dwarf Mongoose while on a Kruger Tour.
The Dwarf Mongoose has 5 toes on its fore feet, with the first toe being smaller than the rest and lies behind the proximal pads. There are also 5 toes on the hind feet where only the first claw will show. The Dwarf Mongoose is well adapted for digging, which is indicative by the front claws being longer than the rear claws.