Selous' mongoose

Selous' mongoose /səˈluːz/ (Paracynictis selousi) is a carnivore of southern Africa. It is the only member of the genus Paracynictis[2] in the mongoose family.

Selous' mongoose
Paracynictis selousi Smit
Scientific classification

Pocock, 1916
P. selousi
Binomial name
Paracynictis selousi
(de Winton, 1896)
Selous' Mongoose area
Selous' mongoose range



  • Paracynictis selousi bechuanae
  • Paracynictis selousi ngamiensis
  • Paracynictis selousi selousi
  • Paracynictis selousi sengaani [3]


The species of mongoose is endemic to Southern Africa. Its range includes Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and South Africa.[4]

Physical description

The Selous’s mongoose has a total length of 63–90 cm and a tail length of 28–43 cm. It weighs about 1.4-2.0 kg.[5] The body of the mongoose ranges from pale speckled grey to tawny grey with a pale underside, while the legs are brown or black.[3][6] The tail of the mongoose is white at the tip, making it identifiable from the white-tailed mongoose, which has a tail that is ¾ white. The Selous’s mongoose is also smaller and more slender than the white-tailed mongoose.[6] The mongoose has four digits on each limb and long, slightly curved claws that are associated with digging.[7] The main difference between the sexes is that the female Selous’s mongoose has three pairs of nipples on her underside, while the male does not.[8]


The Selous’s mongoose is a nocturnal species, but has been observed above ground during the day.[9] Although usually solitary, mongooses will sometimes form pairs, and it is not uncommon to see females with young. The Selous’s mongoose digs its own burrows, but may opportunistically use those of other animals.[10]

The Selous’s mongoose can defend itself by expelling strong-smelling secretion from its anal gland. Its white-tipped tail may be an indication of this ability.[9]

The Selous’s mongoose’s primary source of food is invertebrates. It also feeds on small rodents, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.[10] The front claws of the mongoose are ideally adapted to search for subterranean beetle larvae. The species will dig through tufts of grass or leaf litter to find food.[11]

Litters are usually made up of two to four young, which are born from August to March.[5]


The Selous’s mongoose lives primarily in open scrub and woodland.[4] It does not inhabit either forests or arid areas.[12] The species lives in labyrinthine, underground burrows of its own construction.[4]

Conservation status and threats

The Selous’s mongoose is classified as being of least concern. There are no known threats to the species, and the population is widely distributed.[12]

Etymology of the name

The mongoose is named after Frederick Selous. Both Selous’s mongoose and Selous’ mongoose are accepted spellings of the name.[13] The Selous’s mongoose has other names in native African language, as follows:

Afrikaans: Kleinwitstertmuishond

Zulu: Nsengane

Tswana: Kgano

Shona: Jerenyenje.[11]


  1. ^ Stuart, C.; Stuart, T. & Hoffmann, M. (2008). "Paracynictis selousi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. (2005). "Paracynictis". Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ a b [1]
  4. ^ a b c Nowak, Ronald M. Walker’s Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991
  5. ^ a b Stuart, Chris and Tilde. The Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 2007
  6. ^ a b Stuart, Chris and Tilde
  7. ^ Nowak
  8. ^ Mitchell, C. “Selous’ Mongoose.” The Ultimate Field Guide for Mammals of Southern Africa
  9. ^ a b Nowak, Ronald M. Walker’s Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.
  10. ^ a b Stuart, Chris and Tilde. The Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Mitchell, C. “Selous’ Mongoose.” The Ultimate Field Guide for Mammals of Southern Africa.
  12. ^ a b Stuart, C., Stuart, T. & Hoffmann, M. 2008. “Paracynictis selousi.” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3.
  13. ^ Selous’ Mongoose. The Animal Files. Web. Accessed March 2015

The genus Arctocephalus consists of fur seals. Arctocephalus translates to "bear head."

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.


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


Eupleres is a genus of two species of mongoose-like euplerid mammal native to Madagascar. They are primarily terrestrial and consume mainly invertebrates.


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)


Galerella is a genus of the mongoose family (Herpestidae) native to Africa and commonly called the slender mongooses.There are four or five species in this genus, with more than 30 subspecies.

Four of the species have long been established:

A recent addition is the black mongoose, Galerella nigrata, which now is considered a separate species by many scientists, following genetic analysis. It was previously seen as a variant of Galerella sanguinea.


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.

Narrow-striped mongoose

The narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) is a member of the family Eupleridae, subfamily Galidiinae and endemic to Madagascar. It inhabits the Madagascar dry deciduous forests of western and southwestern Madagascar, where it lives from sea level to about 125 m (410 ft) between the Tsiribihina and Mangoky rivers. In Malagasy it is called bokiboky (pronounced "Boo-ky Boo-ky").


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.

Patagonian weasel

The Patagonian weasel (Lyncodon patagonicus) is a small mustelid that is the only member of the genus Lyncodon. Its geographic range is the Pampas of western Argentina and sections of Chile. An early mention of the animal is in the Journal of Syms Covington, who sailed with Charles Darwin on his epic voyage aboard HMS Beagle.


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.


Selous is the Anglicised form of the Dutch name Slous. It may refer to:


Andrew Selous (born 1962), British politician

Edmund Selous (1857-1934), British ornithologist and writer

Frederick Selous (1851-1917), British explorer and big-game hunter

Henry Courtney Selous (1803-1890), British painter.Other:

Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

Selous Scouts, the special forces of the Rhodesian Army

Selous, Zimbabwe

Selous' mongoose, (Paracynictis selousi)

Selous' zebra (Equus quagga selousi)


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.

Extant Carnivora species

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