The Narrow-Striped Mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) is a small mammal.
The Narrow-Striped Mongoose has rough light-grey fur with light-brown patches on its underbelly and feet, a dark-grey crown, and very narrow brown stripes on its back. There are small white patches on the sides of its eyes. It has a pointy nose, small ears, and a long furry tail. Its eyes are small and dark. It has long, strong claws that dig through the soil. Their claws do not retract, so they are always visible.
It measures 30-45 centimetres (12-17 inches) with a 15-30 centimetre (6-12 inch) long tail.
The Narrow-Striped Mongoose is native to the western and south-western sides of the island of Madagascar near the continent of Africa. It prefers dry deciduous forests.
It is diurnal, active during the day. It is insectivorous, eating insects, such as beetles, termites, ants, and grasshoppers. However, it also eats bird eggs and some small animals, such as mice, lizards, and snakes.
It lives underground in burrows, called dens, in open grasslands near water.
The Narrow-Striped Mongoose lives in a group, headed by dominant females. All of the adult females help to care for and rear the babies. This is called allomothering. The female makes a nest in a tree or brush. Females are pregnant for about 60-70 days, before giving birth to 2-4 babies, called pups.
The pups stay in their dens for about four weeks before venturing outside. He pups are independent after about three months.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM