IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

Active during the day, the Malagasy narrow-striped mongoose feeds mainly on insects, especially insect larvae, which it may dig up or excavate from rotting wood. During the rainy season, the diet is more varied, and includes small mammals, reptiles, birds' eggs, worms, snails, and other invertebrates (2) (3). To break open an egg or a snail shell, the Malagasy narrow-striped mongoose may lie on its side, grasping the object with all four feet, before throwing it until it breaks (3). Larger prey, such as small lemur species, may be hunted cooperatively (2). The Malagasy narrow-striped mongoose lives both in the trees and on the ground, and may spend the night in tree holes during the summer or in burrows during the dry winter (2) (3). It is also a good swimmer (3). The Malagasy narrow-striped mongoose is a social species, usually found in family groups of six to eight individuals, including adult males, adult females, juveniles and young (1) (2) (3). The group stays in contact using a series of short, repeated contact calls. During the winter, it may break up into smaller units, which include temporary pairs, maternal family groups, all-male groups, and solitary males (2) (3). If disputes arise, the bushy tail may be bristled and held erect as a threat (2). Breeding occurs between December and April, with the female giving birth to a single offspring after a gestation of 90 to 105 days. The young Malagasy narrow-striped mongoose is weaned at just two months old, but may remain with the female for up to two years (2) (3). The lifespan of this species is up to 12 years (8).

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Source: ARKive

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