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Black Legged Mongoose

Bdeogale nigripes Pucheran 1855

Brief Summary

    Black-footed mongoose: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    The black-footed mongoose (Bdeogale nigripes) is a species of mongoose found in central Africa. Unlike most similar species, the black-footed mongoose has only 4 toes on each limb rather than 5. The black-footed mongoose is closely related to Jackson's mongoose, which is of the same subgenus Galeriscus and are sometimes considered conspecific. The black-footed mongoose inhabits the tropical belt from east Nigeria to north-east Zaire and to north Angola.

    An important part of the black-footed mongooses diet is mainly insectivorous, but it also includes rodents.

Comprehensive Description

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Bdeogale nigripes lives in African rainforests, from southeastern Nigeria to northern Democratic Republic of the Congo and also northern Angola. (Nowak ,1999)

    Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The body of B. nigripes is long, ranging from 375 to 600 mm long with short limbs and a blunt muzzle. The tail is 175 to 375 mm long. Adult animals stand 150 to 175 mm at the shoulders. These mammals weigh between 900 and 3000 g.

    The upper layer of fur on the black-legged mongoose is long and coarse with a soft, dense undercoat. The individual hairs are generally banded with colors ranging from white at the base to dark brown at the tip. Their predominant coat color is grayish-brown with black legs. Several molts can occur which progressively darken the color of the fur as the animal ages.

    B. nigripes have 4 shallowly webbed digits with non-retractile claws. Scent glands are located in the anal region. The dental formula is: I 3/3, C 1/1, P 3-4/3-4, M 2/2 = 36 – 40. The dentition and skulls of B. nigripes are less specialized than the more carnivorous mustelids.

    (Nowak, 1999; Rosevear, 1974)

    Range mass: 900 to 3000 g.

    Range length: 375 to 600 mm.

    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Black-legged mongooses live in dense African rainforests and are often found near rivers. (Rosevear, 1974)

    Habitat Regions: tropical

    Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

    Other Habitat Features: riparian

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    B. nigripes is primarily insectivorous, feeding on termites, ants, and beetles. They also consume snakes, small mammals and carrion. Captive animals often eat amphibians. They have jaw and dentition structure that suggests crushing abilities but lack any specialization for eating ants. (Ray and Sunquist, 2001; Rosevear, 1974)

    Animal Foods: mammals; amphibians; reptiles; insects

    Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

Associations

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Next to nothing is known about the ecology of these animals. Because of their foraging habits, black-legged mongoose populations probably have a negative impact on populations of invertebrates and small mammals on which they feed.

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    With the exception of notes indicating that humans sometimes eat these animals, there is no information available on predation. It is reasonable to assume, however, that these animals sometimes fall victim to larger rainforest carnivores.

Behavior

    Behavior
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

Life Cycle

    Life Cycle
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    See Reproduction.

Life Expectancy

    Life Expectancy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Captive black-legged mongooses have lived for 15 years. (Nowak 1999)

    Range lifespan
    Status: captivity:
    15 (high) years.

    Average lifespan
    Status: captivity:
    15.0 years.

    Average lifespan
    Status: captivity:
    15.8 years.

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The mating system and behavior of this species has not been characterized.

    B. nigripes have 1 young per litter. Mating occurs during the dry season of West Africa and the young are born between November and January. (Nowak, 1999; Rosevear 1974)

    Breeding season: Dry season

    Range number of offspring: 1 (low) .

    Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous

    Average number of offspring: 1.

    Although the parental care of this species has not been described, it is reasonable to assume that the female nurses her young, as is the case for all mammals. Herpestids, in general, have altricial offspring, and the mother typically cares for them in some type of burrow or nest until they are able to move about with her. A female and her quarter-grown young were collected in Kenya in December. (Nowak, 1999)

    Parental Investment: female parental care

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Although no special conservation status for this animals has been reported, because it dwells in the rainforest, a threatened habitat, it is at risk from habitat destruction and human encroachment.

    US Migratory Bird Act: no special status

    US Federal List: no special status

    CITES: no special status

    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Benefits

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    B. nigripes is often introduced to kill poisonous snakes and rodents but they often kill desirable species of birds and mammals. (Nowak, 1999)

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The black-legged mongoose is a source of food in some northeastern African villages. (Ntiamoa – Baidu , 1997)

    Positive Impacts: food

Other Articles

    Untitled
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    B. nigripes was formerly placed in the genus Galeriscus. (GIS Lab, date unknown)