Today we look at two very similar mongooses, the stripe-necked mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis) and the crab-eating mongoose (Herpestes urva). These two closely-related species are both quite large (around 3 feet long) with short legs and a short tail. They both also have a stripe on their necks, although the stripe-necked mongoose has a black stripe, while the crab-eating has a white one.
They also qualify as somewhat badass for killing and eating deer. Now that’s not quite true. They kill and eat ‘mouse deer‘, deer-like creatures which are themselves only around 3 feet long. So that’s not hugely impressive. I retract the badass comment.
The crab-eating mongoose, as one might imagine, is the most aquatic species, swimming confidently and often eating, um, crabs. It inhabits various wet and foresty areas across all of south-east Asia, northern India, southern China, and western Indonesia. The stripe-necked mongoose, on the other hand, is confined to Sri Lanka and the southern tip of India.
We are nearing the end of this year’s Mongoose Month. Over the next two days we will round off with ruddy long-nosed mongooses.