Indian brown mongoose

Indian brown mongoose
Adult from the southern Western Ghats
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Subfamily: Herpestinae
Genus: Herpestes
Species: H. fuscus
Binomial name
Herpestes fuscus
Waterhouse, 1838
Indian brown mongoose range
Indian brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) from Western Ghats, India

The Indian brown mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) looks similar to the short-tailed mongoose from Southeast Asia and is sometimes believed to be only a subspecies of this latter. The Indian brown mongoose is found in southwest India and Sri Lanka.


The Indian brown mongoose appears large compared to the other mongoose species in southern Western Ghats. This species has a dark brown body and its legs are noticeably in black colour. The tail length is two third of its body length and more furry than that of the small Indian mongoose. A pointed tail and fur beneath the hind leg help to distinguish this species from others.[2]

An old illustration of H. f. maccarthiae


In South India, it is found from 700 to 1,300 m from Virajpet in south Coorg and Ooty in the Nilgiri hills, Tiger Shola in the Palni hills, High Wavy Mountains in Madurai, Kalakad-Mundanthurai in Agasthyamalai hills, Valparai plateau in the Anamalai hills, and Peeramedu in Kerala.[3]


  1. Muddapa, D.; Choudhury, A.; Wozencraft, C. & Yonzon, P. (2008). "Herpestes fuscus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  2. A Field Guide to Indian Mammals by Vivek Menon
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