Crab-eating mongoose

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Crab-eating mongoose[1]
Herpestes urva Hardwicke.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Herpestidae
Subfamily: Herpestinae
Genus: Herpestes
Species: H. urva
Binomial name
Herpestes urva
Hodgson, 1836
Crab-eating Mongoose area.png
Crab-eating mongoose range
(green - extant, pink - probably extant)

The crab-eating mongoose (Herpestes urva) is a mongoose species ranging from the northeastern Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan.


It is generally grey in color, with a broad white stripe on its neck extending from its cheeks to its chest. Its throat is steel-gray with white ends of its hair, rendering a salt and pepper appearance. Its hind feet possess hairy soles. Its tail is short and homogeneously colored with a fairer tip.

The body length of crab-eating mongoose is 36–52 cm (14–20 in) and body weight 1–2.3 kg (2.2–5.1 lb).[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Crab-eating mongooses are common in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, northern Myanmar and northeastern India. They are rare in Bangladesh.[2] In Nepal, they occur in the lower and central hilly regions.[4]

Ecology and behaviour[edit]

Crab-eating mongooses are usually active in the mornings and evenings, and were observed in groups of up to four individuals. They are supposed to be good swimmers, and hunt along the banks of streams and close to water.[4]

Despite their common name, their diet consists not only of crabs, but also just about anything else they can catch, including fish, snails, frogs, rodents, birds, reptiles, and insects.[citation needed]


Herpestes urva is listed in CITES Appendix III.[2] It is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.[2]


  1. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 569–570. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c d Duckworth, J.W. and Timmins, R. J. (2008). "Herpestes urva". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. 
  3. ^ Sheng, H., ed. (2005). Atlas of Mammals of China (in Chinese). Zhengzhou: Henan Science and Technoledge Press. p. 188. ISBN 7-5349-2936-9. 
  4. ^ a b Van Rompaey, H. (2001). The Crab-eating mongoose, Herpestes urva. Small Carnivore Conservation 25: 12–17.

Further reading[edit]

  • Menon, V. (2003). A field guide to Indian mammals. Penguin India, New Delhi

External links[edit]