Total length 45 - 55 cm; tail 20 - 24 cm; mass 0,62 - 0,96 kg
The body is fawn to silvery-grey with a number of darker irregular transverse bars running from behind the shoulders to the base of the tail. The tail is thin, tapering and short-haired. The head is broad at the back and the muzzle is pointed. Frequently stands on hindlegs and the tail is used for support. When running, tail held vertically. The front claws are very long and are used for digging for prey.
Open, arid, lightly vegetated country.
Completely diurnal, living in groups ranging from 5 to 40 individuals. It will dig for burrow complexes (warrens), but also uses those that are dug by ground squirrels and yellow mongooses, often living in harmony with both of these species. When foraging or on the move, it maintains communication with a constant soft grunting.
The suricate predominantly eats insects and other invertibrates, but it will also eat reptiles and birds.