Help request on Mongoose identification

Hi everyone

I’m looking for help on a mongoose identification

Enclosed is a fairly bad picture of a mongoose I took during a night drive in Uganda in the Semuliki game reserve near the Congo boarder. It was taken in February this year.

First, I thought it was a marsh mongoose but with closer looks, I find the tail is not so “bushy” and the head is not so “heavy”. In addition, the white spots near the jaw strikes me. Could it be a long-nosed mongoose ?

Can anymore confirm which species it could be? Thanks in advance



  • Steve Morgan

    Difficult to say. Statistically I suppose the odds are in favour of Marsh Mongoose though the shape of the snout and the lack of thick fur around the neck are interesting, Also the apparently “leggy” appearance. Not sure what the white spots tell us? Do juvenile Mongooses have them?

    It is tempting to think it might be a Long-snouted Mongoose but I don’t think the photograph is diagnostic enough to be sure. At least not for me!

  • Vladimir Dinets

    The ear looks wrong for marsh mongoose: there’s no black hair tuft partially covering it. I’d send the photo to the editor of Small Carnivore Conservation and ask him to consult appropriate experts. hapeman at

  • tomeslice

    I’m not a mongoose expert by any means, but there is a paper about the distribution of small carnivores in Gabon, and there is an illustration there, called “Fig. 2. Camera-trap images showing distinction between Marsh Mongoose Atilax paludinosus (above) and Long-nosed Mongoose Herpestes naso (below).”
    To me it looks like the latter.


  • Chris Roche

    What would anyone say to a melanistic white-tailed mongoose?
    Habitat in Toro Semliki Game Reserve is savannah, as opposed to Congo Basin rainforest in the nearby Semuliki National Park.

  • Charles

    Hi Samuel,

    I suspect its the black-tailed morph of a white-tailed mongoose. That morph is quite prevalent in that part of East Africa.


  • samuel

    Thanks everyone for your quick feedback
    Although the pictures shown in the link given by tomeslice are indeed suggesting a long-nose mongoose, the comments from Charles and Chris about a melanistic morph of white-tailed mongoose are interesting and might make more sense
    At least we all agree it is not a marsh mongoose 🙂

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