The Banded mongoose is a long, slim carnivore, widespread throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa. It has distinctive dark bands running horizontally across its back, going from the base of its neck to the start of its tail. These bands enable the banded mongoose to be distinguished from the Common dwarf mongoose, which is smaller, occupies similar habitats to the Banded mongoose and has a social structure that is similar. Banded mongooses have a wiry coat that ranges in color from gray to gray-brown, while the tip of their tapered tail is black or a darker brown.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An insectivore is a carnivorous plant or animal that eats insects. An alternative term is entomophage, which also refers to the human practice of e...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
A pack hunter or social predator is a predatory animal that hunts its prey by working together with other members of its species. Normally animals ...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
The Banded mongoose lives in sub-Saharan Africa as far north as Somalia and Sudan. Although it does occur in Gambia and Senegal, it is generally considered as rare in West Africa. It occupies a variety of habitats, including brush-land and grassland, but prefers wooded areas. It is not found in drier areas, such as semi-desert and desert habitats.
The Banded mongoose is gregarious and diurnal, living in packs with 10 to 20 members. Packs usually remain together in a group in the same area, but forage individually. They may hunt together to kill larger prey, such as sand snakes. Their home range can measure 0.8 to 4 sq km, and they prefer to use an old termite mound as a den. A pack’s social organization seems to be matriarchal. Packs care for their young and also look after invalids and elderly, for example, by warning them about danger, grooming them, and giving them access to food. These animals are somewhat nomadic and will not inhabit one particular sheltering area or den for long, usually no more than several days or weeks. At a preferred location they may remain a little longer, and often will return to a favorite shelter site or den to re-use it repeatedly.
Banded mongooses are polygynous. Several dominant males will typically mate with and guard the receptive females. These females have been observed, nonetheless, to escape their 'guards' and mate with subordinate males. This means they might also exhibit a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system, in which both males and females have multiple mates. Gestation is typically for two months and most females give birth to their pups on the same night. The litter sizes range from two to six, with pups being cared for by the group and permitted to suckle from any female that is lactating. During the first 4 weeks, pups are kept underground and are looked after by 1 - 3 adults. At 4 weeks old the pups are let out to go off on foraging trips, with each one accompanied by an 'escort' which helps them find food and protects them from danger. At the age of 3 months the young become nutritionally independent. Females reach maturity at about 9 to 10 months old, and males as soon as 4 months old.
There are no particular threats facing Banded mongooses at present.
The Banded mongoose has a wide distribution range, is generally common in suitable habitat, but no overall population estimate is available. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) and its numbers today remain stable.
Being insectivorous, these animals may affect insect populations in their range.