Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Carnivora > Herpestidae > Cynictis > Cynictis penicillata

Cynictis penicillata (Yellow Mongoose)

Wikipedia Abstract

The yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata), sometimes referred to as the red meerkat, is a member of the mongoose family averaging about 1 lb (1/2 kg) in weight and about 20 in (500 mm) in length. It lives in open country, from semi-desert scrubland to grasslands in Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
View Wikipedia Record: Cynictis penicillata


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 12.8
EDGE Score: 2.62


Adult Weight [1]  1.32 lbs (599 g)
Female Maturity [1]  2 years
Diet [2]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates)
Diet - Invertibrates [2]  90 %
Diet - Vertibrates [2]  10 %
Forages - Ground [2]  100 %
Gestation [1]  56 days
Litter Size [1]  2
Litters / Year [1]  2
Maximum Longevity [1]  15 years
Weaning [1]  61 days


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Albany thickets South Africa Afrotropic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Angolan Mopane woodlands Angola, Namibia Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Highveld grasslands South Africa Afrotropic Montane Grasslands and Shrublands
Kalahari Acacia-Baikiaea woodlands Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Kalahari xeric savanna Botswana, Namibia, South Africa Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Montane fynbos and renosterveld South Africa Afrotropic Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Nama Karoo Namibia, South Africa Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Namibian savanna woodlands Angola, Namibia Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands
Southern Africa bushveld Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa Afrotropic Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Succulent Karoo Namibia, South Africa Afrotropic Deserts and Xeric Shrublands

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Bontebok National Park II 8315 Western Cape, South Africa
Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve 934651 Western Cape, South Africa
Etosha National Park II 5699141 Namibia  
Golden Gate Highlands National Park II 28689 Free State, South Africa
Kalahari Gemsbok National Park II 2382284 Northern Cape, South Africa
Namib-Naukluft National Park II 12585619 Namibia  
Naute Dam Recreational Resort V 58352 Namibia  
Richtersveld National Park II 399195 Northern Cape, South Africa
Skeleton Coast Game Park II 4168395 Namibia  
Weenen Nature Reserve   Kwazulu Natal, South Africa  

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Cape Floristic Region South Africa No
Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland No
Succulent Karoo Namibia, South Africa No

Prey / Diet

Diospyros lycioides[3]
Hodotermes mossambicus[4]
Trinervitermes trinervoides[4]
Xerus inauris (South African ground squirrel)[5]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Acontias jappi (Striped Legless Skink)1
Afrotis afraoides (Northern Black Korhaan)1
Atilax paludinosus (Marsh Mongoose)1
Cursorius rufus (Burchell's Courser)1
Cursorius temminckii (Temminck's Courser)1
Galerella pulverulenta (Cape Gray Mongoose)1
Lamprotornis acuticaudus (Sharp-tailed Starling)1
Oenanthe familiaris (Familiar Chat)1
Onychognathus nabouroup (Pale-winged Starling)1
Orycteropus afer (Aardvark)2
Otocyon megalotis (Bat-eared Fox)1
Proteles cristata (Aardwolf)2
Rhinoptilus africanus (Double-banded Courser)1
Sigelus silens (Fiscal Flycatcher)1
Suricata suricatta (Meerkat)1


Aquila rapax (Tawny Eagle)[4]
Hieraaetus wahlbergi (Wahlberg's Eagle)[4]
Polemaetus bellicosus (Martial Eagle)[4]


Parasitized by 
Amblyomma hebraeum (Bont tick)[6]
Amblyomma marmoreum (South African Tortoise tick)[6]
Ctenocephalides connatus[6]
Ctenocephalides felis damarensis[7]
Ctenocephalides felis strongylus[7]
Dipylidium zschokkei <Unverified Name>[8]
Echidnophaga bradyta[6]
Echidnophaga gallinacea (sticktight flea)[6]
Haemaphysalis zumpti[6]
Rhipicephalus exophthalmos[6]
Rhipicephalus follis (Karoo brown tick)[6]
Rhipicephalus theileri[6]
Rhipicephalus turanicus[6]
Synosternus caffer[6]
Xenopsylla brasiliensis[7]
Xenopsylla cryptonella[6]
Xenopsylla erilli[6]
Xenopsylla piriei[6]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Africa Alive!
Almaty State Zoo of Kazakhstan
Apenheul Primate Park
Aqua Zoo Friesland
Beale Park
Bosphorus Zoo (Bogaziçi Hayvanat
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Budapest Zool.& Botanical Garden
CERZA Centre d'Etude Rech Zool Augeron
Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
Dierenpark Amersfoort
Drusillas Zoo Park
Dudley Zoological Gardens
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Emerald Safari Resortbechuanae
Exmoor Zoological Park
GaiaPark, Kerkrade Zoo
Galloway Wildlife Conservation Park
Hai Park Kiriat Motzkin
Jardin Zoologique de la Ville de Lyon
Leningrad Zoo - St. Petersburg
Longleat Safari Park
Marwell Wildlife
Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny w Lodz
Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny Wybrzeza
Museum de Besancon
North of England Zoological Society
Novosibirsk Zoological Park
Oasys Parque del Desierto de Tabernas
Ouwehand Zoo
Parc Zoologique de Lille
Parco Natura Viva
Rotterdam Zoo
Schoenbrunner Tiergarten GmbH
South Lakes Wild Animal Park
Trotter's World of Animals
Zagreb Zoo / Zooloski vrt Zagreb
Zoo de Jurques
Zoo de Pont-Scorff
Zoo Dortmund
Zoo Hannover GmbH
Zoo of Antwerp
Zoological Garden Prague
Zoological Society of London
Zoologicka zahrada Liberec
Zoologicka zahrada Olomouc
Zoologická a botanická zahrada Plzen
Zoologischer Garten Basel
Zoologischer Garten Halle GmbH
Zoologischer Garten Magdeburg

Range Map




Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
3The Yellow Mongoose Cynictis penicillata and Other Small Carnivores in the Mountain Zebra National Park, C. F. Du Toit, Koedoe 23:179-184 (1980)
4Cynictis penicillata, P. J. Taylor and J. Meester, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 432, pp. 1-7 (1993)
5Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
6Nunn, C. L., and S. Altizer. 2005. The Global Mammal Parasite Database: An Online Resource for Infectious Disease Records in Wild Primates. Evolutionary Anthroplogy 14:1-2.
7International Flea Database
8Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access