Kusimanses are active foragers, and excellent diggers, which feed on a wide variety of things. Their diet is primarily carnivorous, consisting of insects, larvae, fresh water crabs, small reptiles, and small rodents. They have excellent eyesight and keen sense of smell, making them adept small prey hunters. They prefer to kill their prey with a single bite to the back of the neck. They will also consume various types of fruits and berries in small quantity.
The common kusimanse has a vaguely weasel-shaped body with dark or reddish brown fur that is thick, with a wiry texture down the back, and fine and soft on the underside. It has a long snout, short legs, a short, relatively stiff tail which tapers to a point, long claws, small ears, small, dark colored eyes, and an elongated nose. Adult size is typically around 33 cm (13 in) with a weight of approximately 1 kg (2.2 lb).
Females are polyestrus and if not mated will come into heat nine times in a year. Litters range from 2-3 per year. The young can open their eyes in about twelve days, eating solid food in three weeks and have adult hair in five weeks.
It differs from other mongooses primarily in its choice of habitat, which is generally forested areas near water, whereas most species of mongoose tend to prefer open grasslands, or semi-arid brush. It can be found from sea level to elevations of 1000 m (3280 ft).
The common kusimanse is found in the west African countries of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, and it has been exported to various other countries for the pet trade.
Where kusimanses live near human populations, they are "seen as natural pesticides."
Since the sociable kusimanses do not live in open habitat, they maintain contact in the dense rainforest understory by giving constant whistling calls while traveling.
They are known in French as Mangouste brune and in German as Dunkelkusimanse.
This mongoose is a highly social animal which lives in a small family group of 10 to 20 or more individuals, with a strict hierarchical structure. The members of the family group communicate through various vocalizations including whistles, chirps and growls. The whistles are emitted for the purpose of maintaining contact in the dense rainforest understory while traveling.
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.
They feed on insects, larvae, small reptiles, crabs and berries. They use their claws and snouts for digging in leaf litter, under rotted trees and stones for the insects and larvae. They will also wade in to shallow streams looking for freshwater crabs.
As they do not occupy permanent den sites, the young are not able to keep up with the group for several weeks and must be carried to different foraging spots. Individuals in the group take turns carrying the young and also help to feed them.
The common kusimanse is not listed as threatened or endangered, and while no exact numbers of the wild population is known, is not considered to be at risk.
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The common kusimanse (Crossarchus obscurus), also known as the long-nosed kusimanse or cusimanse, is a small, diurnal kusimanse or dwarf mongoose. Of three subfamilies of Herpestidae (Herpestinae, Mungotinae and Galidiinae), the kusimanse is a member of Mungotinae, which are small and very social.
In captivity the risk of obesity is high, and care should be taken to assure its diet is varied, and that it gets an appropriate amount of exercise. It will often try to eat almost anything it is offered or that it comes across which seems even remotely edible, and will often become aggressive if what it perceives as a food item is taken away. Captive breeding is not commonplace, but has been done.
Members of this genus are found in the swamplands and forests of central and western Africa, in the countries of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
In most areas where members of Crossarchus live, they are the numerically dominant members of the forest carnivore community.
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