Crossarchus is a genus of mongoose, commonly referred to as kusimanse (often cusimanse[1][2]), mangue, or dwarf mongoose. Of three subfamilies of Herpestidae (Herpestinae, Mungotinae and Galidiinae), dwarf mongooses belong to Herpestinae or Mungotinae,[3] which are small, highly social mongooses.[1]

Common kusimanse
(Crossarchus obscurus)
Scientific classification

Cuvier, 1825

Crossarchus alexandri
Crossarchus ansorgei
Crossarchus obscurus
Crossarchus platycephalus

Crossarchus areas
Crossarchus range

Nomenclature and etymology

They are known in French as Mangouste brune and in German as Dunkelkusimanse.

Range and habitat

Members of this genus are found in the swamplands and forests of central and western Africa, in the countries of Ghana,[1] Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.[4]


Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Crossarchus alexandri Alexander's kusimanse Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
Crossarchus ansorgei Angolan kusimanse Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Crossarchus obscurus Plzen zoo 02.2011 Crossarchus obscurus Common kusimanse Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin,Liberia, and Sierra Leone,
Crossarchus platycephalus Flat-headed kusimanse Benin, Cameroon and Nigeria.


They feed on insects, larvae, small reptiles, crabs and berries. They use their claws and snouts for digging in leaf litter, under rotted trees and stones for the insects and larvae. They will also wade into shallow streams looking for freshwater crabs.

In most areas where members of Crossarchus live, they are the numerically dominant members of the forest carnivore community.[2]


Females are polyestrus and if not mated will come into heat nine times in a year. Litters range from 2-3 per year. The young can open their eyes in about twelve days, eating solid food in three weeks and have adult hair in five weeks.


Crossarchus live in groups of 10 to 24. One to three families live in a group. The families are made up of the mating pair and the young. They are diurnal, and will wander throughout their territories constantly, never staying in one place too long. In their wanderings they will create temporary shelters for themselves. As they do not occupy permanent den sites, the young are not able to keep up with the group for several weeks and must be carried to different foraging spots. Individuals in the group take turns carrying the young from place to place and also help feed them.[1]

Since the sociable kusimanses do not live in open habitat, they maintain contact in the dense rainforest understory by giving constant whistling calls while traveling.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Dunham, Amy E. (2003–2004). "Mongooses and Fossa (Herpestidae)". In Hutchins, Michael; et al. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Detroit: Gale. p. 347. ISBN 0787653624.
  2. ^ a b Ray, Justina C. (2001). "Carnivore Biogeography and Conservation in the African Forest: A Community Perspective". In William Weber. African Rain Forest Ecology and Conservation: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 223. ISBN 0300084331.
  3. ^ Veron, Geraldine (2010). "Phylogeny of the Viverridae and 'Viverrid-like' Feliforms". In Anjali Goswami; Anthony Friscia. Carnivoran Evolution: New Views on Phylogeny, Form, and Function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 70. ISBN 9780521515290.
  4. ^ Olson, Annette Lynn (2001). The Behavior and Ecology of the Long-Nosed Mongoose, Crossarchus obscurus [Doctoral dissertation]. Coral Gables: University of Miami.
Alexander's kusimanse

Alexander's kusimanse (Crossarchus alexandri) is a genus of mongoose found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.This species has a body length of 30 to 45 centimeters (12 to 18 inches) and weighs between 0.45 and 1.4 kg (0.99 and 3.09 lb). Its tail measures 15 and 25 centimeters (5.9 and 9.8 inches) in length.

It is known to share range with the Angolan kusimanse (Crossarchus ansorgei). It feeds on grubs, small rodents, small reptiles, crabs, and some fruits. It can produce 2 to 3 litters (2 to 4 young per litter) of young each year after a gestation period of 8 weeks. The young wean at 3 weeks old and reach sexual maturity at 9 months old.

Angolan kusimanse

The Angolan kusimanse (Crossarchus ansorgei), also known as Ansorge's kusimanse, is a species of small mongoose. There are two recognized subspecies: C. a. ansorgei, found in Angola; and C. a. nigricolor, found in DR Congo, which do not have overlapping ranges. It prefers rainforest type habitat, and avoids regions inhabited by humans. It grows to 12–18 inches in length, with a 6–10 inch long tail, and weighs 1–3 lb. Little is known about this species of kusimanse, and there are no estimates of its wild population numbers or status.

Until 1984, the species was only known from two specimens from Baringa but are now thought to be quite common in some regions. Threats are probably habitat loss and bushmeat hunting. However, this species is protected by Salonga National Park.

Asiatic linsang

The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.

Bengal mongoose

The Bengal mongoose (Herpestes javanicus palustris) is a subspecies of the small Asian mongoose. It is also known as the marsh mongoose, not to be confused with Atilax paludinosus, which is also called the marsh mongoose. Other synonyms include Indian marsh mongoose and Bengali water mongoose.

Common kusimanse

The common kusimanse (Crossarchus obscurus), also known as the long-nosed kusimanse or cusimanse, is a small, diurnal kusimanse or dwarf mongoose. Of three subfamilies of Herpestidae (Herpestinae, Mungotinae and Galidiinae), the kusimanse is a member of Mungotinae, which are small and very social.


Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.

Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)

Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)

Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)

Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)

Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)

Flat-headed kusimanse

The flat-headed kusimanse (Crossarchus platycephalus) is a dwarf mongoose endemic to Benin, Cameroon and Nigeria. This species was once regarded as a subspecies of the common kusimanse (Crossarchus obscurus).

List of species in order Carnivora

This list contains the species in order Carnivora.


Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mephitis (genus)

The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.


Mongoose is the popular English name for 29 of the 34 species in the 14 genera of the family Herpestidae, which are small feliform carnivorans native to southern Eurasia and mainland Africa. The other five species (all African) in the family are the four kusimanses in the genus Crossarchus, and the species Suricata suricatta, commonly called meerkat in English.

Six species in the family Eupleridae are endemic to the island of Madagascar. These are called "mongoose" and were originally classified as a genus within the family Herpestidae, but genetic evidence has since shown that they are more closely related to other Madagascar carnivorans in the family Eupleridae; they have been classified in the subfamily Galidiinae within Eupleridae since 2006.

Herpestidae is placed within the suborder Feliformia, together with the cat, hyena, and Viverridae families.


Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).

Namaqua slender mongoose

The Namaqua slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea swalius), also known as the Namibian slender mongoose, is a subspecies of the slender mongoose. It is endemic to Namibia.


Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.

Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.


Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:

the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.

Pousargues's mongoose

The Pousargues's mongoose (Dologale dybowskii), also known as the African tropical savannah mongoose, is a mongoose native to Central Africa. It is listed as data deficient on the IUCN Red List as little is known about its distribution and ecology.Up to the late 20th century, it was known from only around 30 zoological specimens in natural history museum collections.


Pusa is a genus of the earless seals, within the family Phocidae. The three species of this genus were split from the genus Phoca, and some sources still give Phoca as an acceptable synonym for Pusa.

The three species in this genus are found in Arctic and subarctic regions, as well as around the Caspian Sea. This includes these countries and regions: Russia, Scandinavia, Britain, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Due to changing local environmental conditions, the ringed seals found in the Canadian region has varied patterns of growth. The northern Canadian ringed seals grow slowly to a larger size, while the southern seals grow quickly to a smaller size.

Only the Caspian seal is endangered.


Speothos is a genus of canid found in Central and South America. The genus includes the living bush dog, Speothos venaticus, and an extinct Pleistocene species, Speothos pacivorus. Unusually, the fossil species was identified and named before the extant species was discovered, with the result that the type species of Speothos is S. pacivorus.

William John Ansorge

William John Ansorge (6 April 1850 – 31 October 1913 at Luanda) was a physician who worked in Angola and Uganda and is known for exploring the fauna of the African region. He was posted as a medical officer in Uganda from 1895 to 1898. Several species of animals were named after him by museum taxonomists chiefly in Britain; these include Ansorge's Cusimanse, Crossarchus ansorgei, Ansorge's Greenbul Andropadus ansorgei, and many fishes (Polypterus ansorgii, Microctenopoma ansorgii, Phractura ansorgii, Thysochromis ansorgii, Enneacampus ansorgii, Neolebias ansorgii, and Epiplatys ansorgii).

Also, three species of African reptiles were named after him: Afrogecko ansorgii, Hemidactylus ansorgii, and Psammophis ansorgii.Ansorge's ancestors came from Silesia, but William was born in Chapra, Bengal, to Rev. Paul Gotthold Ansorge (who worked in Krishnaghar, Bengal, and later at Mauritius, preaching in Bengali and Hindi in India) in 1850 and studied at the Royal College in Mauritius and then at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He worked briefly at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. He then became a professor at the Royal College in Mauritius (1872–1880) and senior professor from 1880 to 1886. He was also District Medical Officer in Uganda and in Southern Nigeria. He travelled across Africa (northern Angola, Benguella, Mossamedes, Portuguese Guinea) and wrote Under the African Sun in 1899. Ernst Hartert noted that Ansorge was a very valuable collector and contributor to the bird collection of Walter Rothschild at Tring. Hartert noted that Ansorge's knowledge of the species collected was limited and that he lacked a training in zoology. His early collections made from 1892 in Uganda were of poor quality and he received training from Hartert. Hartert notes that he died in Angola at just 64, although giving the appearance of an older man with his white beard.Ansorge married Mary Matilda, daughter of G.E. Ely of Edinburgh, in 1881. They had two sons and a daughter. He received two medals with clasps for his service in Uganda 1897–1898 and for his role in the Aro Expedition of 1901–1902.

Extant Carnivora species

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