IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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The Yellow mongoose according to MammalMAP

The Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata), sometimes referred to as the red meerkat, is a small mammal averaging about 1-2 kg in weight and about 50 cm in length. A member of the mongoose family, Herpestidae, it lives in open country, from semi-desert scrubland to grasslands in Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

The yellow mongoose is the only member of its genus, but as many as twelve subspecies of yellow mongoose have been described. In general, the yellow mongoose has lighter highlights on the underbelly and chin, a bushy tail, and a complete lack of sexual dimorphism. Southern yellow mongooses are larger, have yellow or reddish fur, longer fur, and a longer tail with a characteristic white tip. Northern subspecies tend towards smaller size, grey colouration, a grey or darker grey tip to the tail, and shorter hair more appropriate to the hotter climate.

The yellow mongoose is carnivorous, consuming mostly arthropods but also other small mammals, lizards, snakes and eggs of all kinds. The yellow mongoose is primarily diurnal, though nocturnal activity has been observed. Living in colonies of up to 20 individuals in a permanent underground burrow complex, the yellow mongoose will often co-exist with Cape Ground Squirrels or Meerkats and share maintenance of the warren, adding new tunnels and burrows as necessary. The tunnel system has many entrances, nearby which the yellow mongoose makes its latrines.

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