The ring-tailed vontsira, locally still known as the ring-tailed mongoose (Galidia elegans ) is a euplerid in the subfamily Galidiinae, a carnivoran native to Madagascar.
Ring-tailed mongooses have a long and slender body. Their head is rounded with a pointed snout. The body is dark red in color and the feet are black. As the name implies, their bushy tail is covered with black and red rings and is similar to the Red panda.
Ring-tailed mongooses are native to Madagascar. They live in humid lowland and montane forest, and dry deciduous forest in the west of their range.
Ring-tailed mongooses are very agile; they are very good climbers and adapt swimmers. They are quite playful and are active during the day. These animals are social and usually found in pairs with up to three offspring. During the night they usually sleep in tree cavities or in burrows which they dig. Scent marking is an important form of communication between Ring-tailed mongooses. Only males have anal sacs which they rub on branches, tree trunks, and rocks.
Ring-tailed mongooses are carnivores. Their diet consists mostly of small mammals, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, and eggs. However, they occasionally will also eat insects and fruit.
Little information is known about the mating system in these animals. Their mating season occurs from April to November. Females give birth to a single pup after a gestation period that lasts from 72 to 92 days. Pups reach adult size when they are one year old, and become reproductively mature in their second year.
Major threats to Ring-tailed mongooses include habitat loss and degradation, and hunting. Another serious threat to these animals is competition with small Indian civets, feral dogs, and cats.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Ring-tailed mongoose is unknown. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.