Indian Mongoose and Mouse identification help please

Hi All

I confess that birds have been my main interest, but recent trips have become more mammal-orientated (including India in March 2020, with 17 species identified – I’ll try to get a trip report for that done soon). The Mongooses attached were at out hotel in Agra on that trip and we think may be Indian Small Mongoose (Vivek Menon’s book suggests the shorter, less grizzled fur and relatively short tail would indicate this species). However, we’re new to this, so confirmation/correction would be appreciated thanks. Also attached is a mouse/rat from Bet Dwarka island in Gujurat, which was in our tent in the sand dunes there (in January 2008). The closest we have got is maybe Earth-coloured Mouse, but we’re not really sure what we’re looking for to be honest.

Many thanks for any help



  • Daler

    Thanks for sharing!
    Fascinating adventure.

  • Avijit Sarkhel

    Small Indian Mongoose it is and the rodent I think is a Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat but I am not 100% sure on that. If you had any other images that would help. The Greater Bandicoot normally is darker – this one looks very sand-coloured.

    Hope this helps.


    Avijit Sarkhel

  • Jon Hall

    As Avi said there is something quite Bandicoot Rat-like about the rodent but hard to tel (especially as I am not very familiar witht the alternatives)l. Bandicoot Rats have shaggy guard hairs and a general unkempt look to them that your’s doesnt’ have (see my pic here – about half way down of one in the Great Rann of Kutch ) … maybe this was a young one? How big was it though? Earth coloured Mice are going to be 1/4 the size of a bandicoot rat.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Some bandicoot rats are shaggy and some aren’t, but they are all rat-sized, not mouse-sized. If your mystery rodent was rat-sized, I also suspect Millardia; if mouse-sized, could be Mus booduga.

  • David Parnaby

    Thanks for the helpful replies everyone.
    Unfortunately that is the only photo I took of the rodent (I mostly took it to show my Dad what we were sharing a tent with, as he was not as keen on the wildlife as I was!). My memory of it is a bit hazy as it was 12 years ago, but I remember thinking of it as being a ‘small rat’ in terms of size (I guess maybe body length 14-20cm), but I couldn’t be sure. It’s probably best left as an uncertain identification I think, and I’ll know to pay closer attention to all the mammals next time, not just the ‘exciting’ ones!
    Best wishes, David

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