Bushy tailed mongoose
Key identification features
A medium sized dark brown or black mongoose with a very prominent bushy, tapered tail. The face and under parts are slightly lighter coloured but its legs are black. It has a blunt muzzle and large round ears. It only has four toes on its feet. HB 40-60 cm. Wt 0.9-1.6 kg.
Habitat and social behaviour
It occurs in coastal forests, thick woodland, and dense savannah. It is a shy, timid and nocturnal animal that lives solitary or in temporarily formed family groups.
The mellers mongoose is a lighter brown colour and has reverse growing hairs on both sides of the throat. 5 toes (but the fifth toe is vestigial) and 40 teeth. It is mainly found in Miombo woodland. The marsh mongoose is larger and has a less bushy tail than the bushy tailed mongoose and is found almost exclusively close to water. It has 5 toes, fingered hands and feet, and 36 teeth.