Watch a Small Asian Mongoose sunbathing @ Korat

The Small Asian Mongoose is a species of mongoose known by the scientific name Herpestes javanicus. It also known as the Javan Mongoose, Javan Gold-spotted Mongoose, or the Common Indian Mongoose.

When you first see a Small Asian Mongoose you can easily confuse them with a weasel because they are close in body size and have a few of the same features, but since Thailand doesn't have any weasels, or ferrets, stoats, polecats for that matter, they are undoubtedly a mongoose.

The Small Asian Mongoose has brown or grey fur and a few have striped fur. The size of the tails vary but they are all between 6-21 inches long, and are almost as long as the body itself. The size of an average Small Asian Mongoose is 25 inches. The males are generally larger than the females. They have a pointed head, and think hair except on their lower legs. The fur makes the animal look twice as big as it actually is, which is useful when it meets an enemy especially poisonous snakes. 

A Small Asian Mongoose’s troop is made up of mostly a band of females, with a hierarchy of males, allowing only a few to mate with the females. A pup is born into a litter of two to five pups, weighing approximately 25.92 grams. When they are about a month old, they will learn to forage for food alongside their mothers. The females remain with the other females, usually for their entire lives, while the males leave when they are about six months old. However, if a troop becomes too large, the older females will chase the younger ones off. 

They are completely Diurnal, being active during the day, and absolutely love sunning themselves. Their love of sunbathing is very funny to observe as they stretch out in the sun with as much of their bodies as the can being exposed. Then, once it is too hot, they find somewhere cool to lie down, or scratch at the warm dirt and lie down again.

The Small Asian Mongoose is generally regarded as an omnivore, but most commonly eats insects. However, it possesses a wide diet range including rats, birds, eggs, reptiles, fruits, frogs, crabs, scorpions, and other small animals. Although the Small Asian Mongoose can be found in a wide range of habitats, it tends to flourish in grasslands, shrublands, and deciduous forests containing an abundance of available water. It is native to many Asian and Middle-eastern countries stretching across Iraq, Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

They make their homes in burrows in the ground and large tree bases that have been hollowed-out. When provoked, these mongooses are known to boldly attack venomous snakes. Despite its speed and agility, the Small Asian Mongoose is preyed upon by hawks.

Now that you know all about them, you must be wondering where to see them? They are all around the city, they are not common, but neither are they rare. One of the best places I know of are the fields to the western side of Ratchitani estate. Where they can often be seen in family troops, feeding, playing, chasing snakes and most importantly sunbathing!


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