The stripe-necked mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis) is a species of mongoose found in southern India to Sri Lanka.
The stripe-necked mongoose is the largest of the Asiatic mongooses. It has a stout body set on short legs. It is easily distinguished by the black stripe that runs laterally on both sides of its neck. The body coloration is a rusty brown to grizzled grey. The relatively short tail is mostly black, with grey at the base. The stripe-necked mongoose feeds on frogs, crabs, mouse deer, hares, rodents, fowl, and reptiles. This mongoose species is more diurnal in habits. They prefer forested areas near a fresh water source. They are often found in swamps and rice fields.
A pair of Stripe-necked Mongoose from Anamalai Hills, Southern Western Ghats, India
There are two subspecies. H. vitticollis vitticollis is from the provinces of Western Ghats, Coorg and Kerala, and has more of a reddish tint to its fur. The other, H. vitticollis inornatus, is found in the Kanara province, and lacks a reddish tint to its fur.
^Choudbury, A., Wozencraft, C., Muddapa, D. & Yonzon, P. (2008). Herpestes vitticollis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 22 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern