Stripe-necked Mongoose, Herpestes vitticollis
The stripe-necked mongoose (Herpestes vitticollis) can be found in a range that extends from Sri Lanka to India. It prefers a habitat within forested areas with abundant water, like swamps or rice fields. This species holds two subspecies that differ in appearance. H. vitticollis inornatus is not red in color and can be found in the Kanara province, while H. vitticollis vitticollis is red in color and can be found in the Western Ghats, Kerala, and Coorg provinces.
The stripe-necked mongoose is largest of the species that live in Asia, with a stout body and shorter legs. The majority of the fur is typically reddish grey or greyish brown. It bears a black stripe on each side extending down the neck. The tail fur is black until it reaches the tip, which is dark grey in color. This species is active during the day and prefers a varied diet of frogs, fish, crabs, rodents, mouse deer, birds, and reptiles. The stripe-necked mongoose appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”
Image Caption: Adult stripe-necked mongoose photographed in Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka, India. Credit: Yathin sk/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)