Speothos venaticus is squat in stature with a body length of 575-750 mm, tail length of 125-150 mm, and a height of 300 mm. The head is wide, has a short rostrum, and is covered with short reddish tan fur. The fur darkens to a dark brown or black towards the tail, and a light patch is found on the underside of the throat (Nowak 1999). The tail exhibits similar fur as the main body. In addition, Speothos venaticus has webbed feet, a diploid chromosome number of 74 (Wayne), and molars of 2/2 pattern (Hall 1981). In m1 the talonid trenchant and inner cusp (metaconid) are absent (Hall 1981). (Burton and Burton, 1988; Hall, 1981; Nowak, 1999; Wayne, 1993)
- Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Burton, J., V. Burton. 1988. The Collins Guide to the Rare Mammals of the World. Lexington, Massachusetts: The Stephen Greene Press.
- Hall, E. 1981. The Mammals of North America. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
- Wayne, R. 1993. Molecular evolution of the dog family. Trends in Genetics, 9: 218-224.