Key identification features
A large mongoose with short legs and a short tail with a bushy base. Itís body is very dark brown and it has almost black back and legs. It has a large head and thick neck, a slightly blunt upturned muzzle and very small ears and eyes. HB 45-64 cm. Wt 2-5 kg.
Habitat and social behaviour
It occurs in swamp, marshes or other wet areas in savannah and forest. It is usually a nocturnal animal but is sometimes also active during the day. It is a territorial animal that forages singly or in pairs with young.
The Bushy tailed mongoose, the Mellers mongoose and the Marsh mongoose are all medium to large brownish coloured mongooses that can be difficult to distinguish in the field.
The Mellers mongoose has reverse growing hairs on both sides of the throat. 5 toes (but the fifth toe is vestigial) and 40 teeth. It is found predominantly in Miombo woodland and is generally a lighter brown than the Marsh mongoose.
The bushy tailed mongoose has more prominent ears and black legs and a much bushier tail. 4 short sturdy toes and 40 teeth.
The Egyptian mongoose has a longer tail with a black tassel and a slender head.