Mongooses of Indonesia

I’ve already discussed one mongoose species that inhabits some of the islands of the malay archipelago, namely the small indian or small asian mongoose. But there are three species that live exclusively here – Hose’s mongoose (Herpestes hosei), the collared mongoose (Herpestes semitorquatus), and the short-tailed mongoose (Herpestes brachyurus).

However, these mongooses are very little known. In fact the only photos of any of them which appears to exist on the internet are these two, which show a mutant short-tailed mongoose. You might think it has supernormal powers of healing, but that’s wolverine, who is a mustelid, not a herpestid – i.e. a dog-type, rather than a cat-type (this is explained a little more here).

No, the mutation here is just the colour – though not technically an albino, this zoo-dwelling specimen is white.  Normally, short-tailed mongooses are a very dark brown, while collared and Hose’s mongooses are sort of reddish-russet-brown. That, of course, is if the Hose’s mongoose exists, which, since it is known only from a single specimen, it may not do.

The key point to take away is that this white mongoose is cute and someone should make a lolcat out of it (I say lolcat advisedly, since mongooses are virtually cats anyway).

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