The Small Asian mongoose lives in South Asia and Southeast Asia and shares the same geographical area as the Indian gray mongoose for much of its range. It is easily distinguished from the other, as it is much smaller. It has a slender body with an elongated head and pointed snout. Their feet have five toes and long claws. The male has a wider head and is bigger.
This species inhabits most of mainland Asia in the south, from Iraq to China, and also the island of Java. This mongoose has also been released on dozens of Pacific and Caribbean islands (including Saint Lucia, Puerto Rico and Jamaica), as well as several in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean and mainland Venezuela. These animals live in dry forest and scrublands, and, on Pacific Islands, in rainforests. They are able to live among fairly well-populated human areas.
Small Asian mongooses are totally diurnal. In captivity, the adults participate in many play activities and games of curiosity. Captive animals of both genders have been observed carrying out mutual grooming, but in the wild this has only been between a mother and her offspring. Considered a solitary species, males sometimes form social groups and share burrows, during the breeding season, at least. These animals engage in behavior for either body warming or body cooling. Warming happens in the early morning by exposing the underparts to the sun as much as possible. In hot sun they usually stop being active before panting. If it is too hot they look for shade and lie on their stomachs on a cool surface, sometimes scratching away a warm surface in the soil before lying down.
Very little is known about the reproductive behavior of small Asian mongooses. These animals breed during the summer, and gestation lasts approximately 49 days. 1 to 5 babies are born. Males become mature at about 122 days old and females at about 301 days old.
There are currently no known major threats to this species. However, their numbers are likely to be restrained in Vietnam and Lao PDR by very heavy hunting in areas populated by people, but, despite that, they are still sometimes seen in the suburbs of large towns. People in the agricultural areas of Thailand also hunt them.
No estimate of population size is available for this species, but it is evidently large across its range. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List with unknown population trend.
Being insectivorous, these animals may affect insect populations in their range.