Ruddy Mongoose, Herpestes smithii

The ruddy mongoose (Herpestes smithii) is native to Sri Lanka and India. It prefers a habitat within forested areas, but can sometimes be found in open fields. It holds two subspecies throughout its range, with one occurring in Sri Lanka and the other occurring in India. This species resembles the Indian gray mongoose, although it is larger and has a longer, black tipped tail. As is similar to mongoose species, it hunts during the daytime and nighttime. In Sri Lanka, this mongoose is called mugatiya, a Sinhala word, and is often thought of as a pest. Sometimes, the golden palm civet is confused with the ruddy mongoose because of its similar color and shape. The ruddy mongoose appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: A Ruddy mongoose from Daroji wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, India. Credit: Kalyanvarma/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)