Common Kusimanse

Common Kusimanse

Long-nosed kusimanse, Common cusimanse, Long-nosed cusimanse, Cusimanse

Crossarchus obscurus
Population size
Life Span
9-10 yrs
0.45-1.4 kg
30-45 cm

The Common kusimanse is a small dwarf mongoose. These animals have a vaguely weasel-shaped body with dark or reddish brown fur. Their fur is thick, with a wiry texture down the back, and fine and soft on the underside. Common kusimanses have a long snout, short legs, a short, relatively stiff tail which tapers to a point, long claws, small ears, small, dark-colored eyes, and an elongated nose.


Common kusimanses are found in the West African countries of Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire. They live in forested areas near water, in farm bush, logged forest and plantations. In Côte d’Ivoire, they can also be found in humid savanna zone, and in gallery forests of the savanna.

Common Kusimanse  habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Common kusimanses are highly social animals which live in a small family group of 10-20 or more individuals, with a strict hierarchical structure. The members of the family group communicate through various vocalizations including whistles, chirps, and growls. They usually use whistles in order to maintain contact in the dense rainforest understory while traveling. Common kusimanses are excellent climbers but tend to be more active on the ground. They are very territorial and will mark the group's territory with anal scent glands, and defend it vehemently against intruders. Thes animals have different threat displays which include various growls and snorts, as well as physical movements such as lunging, back arching, and hair erection. Groups of Common kusimanses are nomadic and do not spend much time in the same area of their territory. As they move from place to place, they find shelter in tree hollows, other animal's burrows, or termite mounds. As these mongooses do not live in permanent den sites, their young are can't keep up with the group for several weeks and must be carried to different foraging spots. So members of the group take turns carrying pups and also help to feed them.

Diet and Nutrition

These omnivorous animals are excellent diggers, which feed on a wide variety of things. Their diet primarily consists of insects, larvae, freshwater crabs, small reptiles, and small rodents. They will also consume various types of fruits and berries in small quantity.

Mating Habits

8 weeks
2-4 pups
3 weeks
pup, mongopoe

Little is know about the mating system in Common kusimanses. Due to their hierarchical social structure, only the primary members of a family group are permitted to breed. Females can have three litters per year and each litter averages 2-4 pups. The gestation period lasts approximately 8 weeks. Babies are born about 13 mm (0.5 in) long with their eyes closed, and a thick undercoat of fur. After about 12 days, they begin to open their eyes and explore their environment. At around 3 weeks the mother weans them, their guard hairs begin to grow in, and they actively forage on their own. They do not grow to adult size until around 6-9 months of age. Reproductive maturity is reached between 9 months of age to a 1 year old.


Population threats

There are no major threats to these animals at present. However, in some regions, Common kusimanses may suffer from hunting.

Population number

According to IUCN, Common kusimanses are widespread throughout their range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.


1. Common Kusimanse on Wikipedia -
2. Common Kusimanse on The IUCN Red List site -

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