Indian brown mongoose

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Indian brown mongoose
Brown mongoose DM DSCN8100.jpg
Indian brown mongoose in the southern Western Ghats
Scientific classification edit
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Herpestidae
Genus: Herpestes
H. fuscus
Binomial name
Herpestes fuscus
Indian Brown Mongoose area.png
Indian brown mongoose range

The Indian brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) is a mongoose species native to the Western Ghats in India and the western coast in Sri Lanka. It is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.[1]


The Indian brown mongoose appears large compared to the other mongoose species in southern Western Ghats. This species has a dark brown body and its legs are noticeably in black colour. The tail length is two-thirds of its body length and more furry than that of the small Indian mongoose. A pointed tail and fur beneath the hindleg help to distinguish this species from others.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

In South India, the Indian brown mongoose lives at an elevation range of 700–1,300 m (2,300–4,300 ft) from Virajpet in south Coorg and Ooty in the Nilgiri Hills, Tiger Shola in the Palni Hills, High Wavy Mountains in Madurai, Kalakad-Mundanthurai in Agasthyamalai Hills, Valparai plateau in the Anamalai Hills, and Peeramedu in Kerala.[1]

In the 1970s, it has been introduced to Fiji, where it lives in sympatry with the Javan mongoose.[3]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

The Indian brown mongoose is nocturnal in nature, prefers to live in isolation, and maintains its habitats in dense forests. When ready to breed, Indian brown mongooses burrow in densely-packed rocks and give birth to two to three young. The brown mongoose is carnivorous, feeding primarily on small rodents, reptiles and at times also on birds.[3]


Herpestes fuscus was the scientific name proposed by George Robert Waterhouse in 1838 for a greyish brown mongoose skin that had been purchased in Madras.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Mudappa, D.; Jathanna, D. (2015). "Herpestes fuscus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T41612A45207051.
  2. ^ Menon, V. (2014). Indian Mammals: A Field Guide. UK: Hachette. ISBN 9789350097618.
  3. ^ a b Veron, G.; Patou, M.L.; Simberloff, D.; McLenachan, P.A. & Morley, C.G. (2010). "The Indian brown mongoose, yet another invader in Fiji". Biological Invasions. 12: 1947–1951. doi:10.1007/s10530-009-9616-z.
  4. ^ Waterhouse, G.R. (1838). "On two new species of Mammalia, from the Society's collection, belonging to the genera Gerbillus and Herpestes". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. VI: 55–56.

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