- Name: Giant striped mongoose
- Latin: Galidictis grandidieri
- Classification: Mammal
- Origin: Madagascar
- Lifespan: No documented information
- Kingdom: Animalia (animals)
- Phylum: Chordata (vertebrates)
- Class: Mammalia (mammals)
- Order: Carnivora (carnivores)
- Family: Eupleridae (native to Madagascar)
- Genus: Galidiinae (mongoose-like)
- Species: Galidictis grandidieri (giant striped mongoose)
Length: 32-40cm (12.6-15.7 inches)
Weight: 0.5-0.6 kgs (1.1-1.3 lbs)
Giant Striped Mongooses have light brown, creamy coloured fur with 8 dark stripes running down their back. They have longer legs and larger feet than other members of the mongoose family. This species are not sexually dimorphic.
- Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) -LEAST CONCERN-
- Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) -LEAST CONCERN-
- Slender mongoose (Galarella sanguinea) -LEAST CONCERN-
- White-tailed mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda) -LEAST CONCERN-
Habitat & Distribution
The giant striped mongoose lives in the spiny, desert region of South-western Madagascar, which is classified as subtropical or tropical dry. This area of Madagascar receives only 10-40cm of rainfall per year. The vegetation includes species of euphoria and pachypodium, which are spiny and thorny plants.
The giant striped mongoose is largely an insectivore, feasting on invertebrates, especially the giant hissing cockroach and scorpions. Also, due to their strong, crushing teeth and massive skill, scientists believe they may also hunt and eat rodents and lizards. This species forages and hunts individually and in pairs.
The giant striped mongoose is nocturnal and will hide in holes in limestone foundations during the day. They are very mobile and will not sleep in the same hole every day. They are very easy to tame and also very loyal to each other. If two mongooses are travelling together and one happens to get caught in a trap, the other will stay with it, even if humans approach.
The behavioural patterns of the giant striped mongoose are difficult to document because of the rough terrain it lives in. The limestone formations they sleep in also make it tough to track signals. New methods of tracking this animal are still being developed.
The giant striped mongoose lives and pairs and breeds all year round. They are monogamous and produce only one offspring per year. The gestation period of the female is thought to be between 72-105 days long, and the young weigh around 50g at birth.
This mongoose reaches physical maturity at 1-2 years and reaches sexual maturity at around 2 years. The young are cared for, groomed and suckled inside limestone burrows. Since they live in pairs, it is thought that the father also helps care for the young, and due to lack of research, it is unknown when the young break away from their mothers.
The giant striped mongoose has a limited range as it is and is rapidly decreasing due to threats of livestock grazing and clearance for maize cultivation. Also, the predation of non-native carnivores, such as dogs, is a big threat to these creatures.
Conservation Status: Endangered
There is only one protected area in Madagascar that protects its native animals, called Tsimanampetstotsa National Park. Other things that are being done to protect and increase the number of giant striped mongooses include land/water management, site/area management and education and awareness.
- Male: Male
- Female: Female
- Young: Pup
- Group: Mongaggle
The giant striped mongoose (also called Grandidier’s Mongoose) is named after Alfred Grandidier, the Malagasy mammologist.
The giant striped mongoose is extremely difficult to research due to the extreme environment that it lives in. No one even knows how long it lives for.