Dologale dybowskiiPousargues's mongoose

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Geographic Range

Dologale dybowskii is found in Africa in the Central African Republic, northeast Zaire, southern Sudan, and throughout western Uganda (Nowak, 1999).

Habitat

Dologale dybowskii has a wide range of habitats ranging from the shores of Lake Albert to the forest grasslands of the Imatong Mountains. It has also been spotted in the savanna forests of Mubende and is therefore, often referred to as the African Savanna Mongoose (Kingdon, 1979).

  • Aquatic Biomes
  • lakes and ponds

Physical Description

Dologale dybowskii is a relatively small mongoose with brown fur covering its body and limbs. Its tail is bushy and is also brown. Both its underparts and face are gray with the latter being darker. Its claws on its forefeet are robust and powerful (Kingdon, 1997).

The head to body length of this African mongoose ranges from 25 to 33 cm while the tail length ranges from 16 to 23 cm. The hind leg is approximately 5.5 cm and its weight ranges from 300 to 400 grams (Kingdon, 1979).

Dologale dybowskii is sometimes confused with the dwarf mongoose Helogale due to their similar size and appearance. However, Helogale has a groove in its upper lip that Dologale dybowskii lacks (Kingdon, 1979). Furthermore, Dologale dybowskii has a shorter palate and weaker teeth than Helogale (Kingdon, 1997).

  • Range mass
    300 to 400 g
    10.57 to 14.10 oz

Development

.

Reproduction

No information available (Hayssen, van Tienhoven, and van Tienhoven, 1993).

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual

Behavior

Relatively little is known about the behavior of this species (Dorst, 1970). However, it has been hypothesized that Dologale dybowskii is partly diurnal and hides in termite mounds and trees (Dorst, 1970). Its large claws suggest some sort of digging behavior but there has been little field work to support this. There have been no sightings of the animals in packs; however, the social behavior is not clear.

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

The food habits of Dologale dybowskii are not certain. However, the large digging claws, as well as the lack of specialization of the teeth, suggests that it may eat fossorial invertebrates, including termites, and small vertebrates (Kingdon, 1997).

  • Animal Foods
  • insects

Ecosystem Roles

There has been no direct evidence linking Dologale dybowskii to any ecosystem roles. However, due to its habitat and hypothesized food behavior, one may assume that Dologale dybowskii affects plant, vertebrate, and invertebrate populations.

Conservation Status

Other Comments

Little is known about Dologale dybowskii. In fact, in 1989, Schreiber noted that there had been no sightings for 10 years (Nowak, 1999). This lack of sightings may be due to the fact that Dologale dybowskii is often hiding and or perhaps the lack of researchers in its habitat (Kingdon, 1979). Nevertheless, research concerning Dologale dybowskii must be greatly accelerated if this species is to be studied before it becomes extinct.

Contributors

Guru Srinivas (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Bret Weinstein (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Ethiopian

living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

carnivore

an animal that mainly eats meat

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

insectivore

An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

solitary

lives alone

tactile

uses touch to communicate

tropical

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

References

Dorst, J. 1970. A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Hayssen, V., A. van Tienhoven, A. van Tienhoven. 1993. Asdell's Patterns of Mammalian Reproduction. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Hinton, H., A. Dunn. 1967. Mongooses Their Natural History and Behavior. London: Oliver & Boyd.

Kingdon, J. 1979. East African Mammals. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Kingdon, J. 1997. The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals. London: Academic Press.

Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.