Mammal Species of the World
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- Original description: Linnaeus, C., 1766. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Regnum Animale. Twelfth edition, Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae, 1:64, 824 pp.
The white-nosed coati ranges from southeastern Arizona through Mexico and Central America and into western Colombia and Ecuador. (Macdonald 1985)
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native )
occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: Central Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and southern Texas south through Mexico (except Baja California) and Central America to northernmost Colombia, South America (Wozencraft, in Wilson and Reeder 1993). In Arizona and New Mexico, breeds from the Animas Mountains in southwestern New Mexico west to the Baboquivari Mountains in Arizona, and north as far as the Gila River; occurrences from farther north likely represent occasional wanderers or released captives (Gompper 1995). Current distribution and breeding status in Texas is uncertain.
The body length is 80-130 cm, over half of that being the tail. Their coat is a grayish brown with "silver grizzling" on the sides of the arms (Macdonald 1985). The snout is long and pointed with a flexible end. The face has a white band near the end of the nose. There is a white spot above and below each eye as well as on each cheek. Touches of white are also present on the underside of the throat and belly. The coati is plantigrade with shorter forelegs than hindlegs. The feet are black and have naked soles. The forefeet also have bent claws. The tapering tail of extreme length is covered with black rings and held erect while walking. The coat color and muzzle markings are the only physical characteristics dissimilar from its relatives the ringtailed coati (Nasua nasua) and the mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea).
Range mass: 3 to 5 kg.
Range length: 80 to 130 cm.
Average basal metabolic rate: 6.733 W.
- Macdonald, D. 1985. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File, Inc..
- Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore, Maryland: The John Hopkins University Press University Press University Press.
- Parker, S. 1989. Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Hastings-on-Hudson, New York: The Language Service, Inc..
Size in North America
Range: 750-1,350 mm
Range: "2.5-5.5 kg "
Length: 134 cm
Weight: 12200 grams
See Gompper (1995).
Southern Pacific Dry Forests Habitat
This taxon is found in the Southern Pacific dry forests ecoregion, which is situated along the southeastern versant of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains including the Pacific Ocean coastal plain. These forests are a key locus of endemism for butterflies, and has the greatest diversity of scorpions and spiders in the entirety of Mexico. This ecoregion is classified in the Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests biome. The Southern Pacific dry forests exhibit a moderate to high faunal species richness; for example, there are a total of 744 vertebrate taxa recorded in the ecoregion, with a particularly large number of endemic reptiles.
The ecoregion elevation ranges from sea level to 1400 metres. The climate is tropical and dry, with precipitation levels of 800 millimetres (mm) per annum. There is an extended arid season, which factor drives the prevalence of deciduous vegetation. The forests grow chiefly on shallow, well-drained soils derived from limestone. Closer to the base of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains, the soils are more rocky, and are derived from igneous rocks.
The dominant plant species include Mauto (Lysiloma divaricatum), Bursera excelsa and Fragrant Bursera (B. fagaroides), which are typically found in association with Pochote (Ceiba aesculifolia), Comocladia engleriana, and Trichilia americana. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, the macro plant species more generally in evidence are Ficus insipida, F. pertusa, Breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum), Licania arborea, Sideroxylon capiri and Elephant Ear (Enterolobium cyclocarpum).
There are a number of anuran species present in the ecoregion, including: Blunt-toed Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus modestus VU); Cloud Forest Stream Frog (Ptychohyla euthysanota NT), found from southeast Oaxaca to Guatemala and eastern El Salvador; Matuda's Spikethumb Frog (Plectrohyla matudai VU). A special status caecilian found in the ecoregion is the Mexican Caecilian (Dermophis mexicanus VU), a fossorial species that can attain lengths up to sixty centimetres. A special status salamander found in the ecoregion is the Sierra Juarez Salamander (Pseudoeurycea juarezi CR), a near-endemic known only between Cerro Pelón and Vista Hermosa in the Sierra de Juarez, north-central Oaxaca. The White-lipped Peeping Frog (Eleutherodactylus albolabris CR), a near-endemic known chiefly from Agua del Obispo, central Guerrero.
The Southern Pacific dry forests contain numerous reptilian taxa, including the following endemics: Bocourt's Anole (Norops baccatus); Taylor's Anole (Norops taylori), known only to Puerto Marquez area, in northern Acapulco, Guerrero; Simmons' Anole (Anolis simmonsi), restricted to the vicinity of Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca; Stegneger's Blackcollar Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus stejnegeri), restricted to the Pacific versant in the state of Guerrero, Mexico; Red Earth Snake (Geophis russatus), found in a very narrow range outside of Putla, Oaxaca; Sierra Mije Earth Snake (Geophis anocularis), known only from around Totontepec on the Atlantic versant of the Sierra Mixe, Oaxaca; Ramirez`s Hooknose Snake (Ficimia ramirezi), restricted to the Pacific versant of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Niltepec, Oaxaca; Halberg's Cloud Forest Snake (Cryophis hallbergi), found only in northern Oaxaca, at Sierra de Juarez and Sierra Mazateca; Isthmian Earth Snake (Geophis isthmicus), known only from the vicinity of Tehuantepec, Mexico; the endemic Macdougall's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus macdougalli).
Characteristic mammalian fauna include the endemic Oaxacan Pocket Gopher (Orthogeomys cuniculus), restricted to several sites on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca. Other mammals seen in the ecoregion include the: Lesser Long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae VU), Tropical Hare (Lepus flavigularis EN), restricted to Salina Cruz, Oaxaca to the extreme west of Chiapas; Greater Bulldog Bat (Noctilio leporinus), Coati (Nasua narica), Buller’s Pocket Gopher (Pappogeomys bulleri), Javelina (Tayassu tajacu), and Mexican Long-tongued Bat (Choeronycteris mexicana NT).
- C. Michael Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2013."Southern Pacific dry forests". Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC ed.Mark McGinley.
- P. Robles-Gil, G. Ceballos, y F. Eccardi. 1993. Mexican diversity of fauna. Cemex & Sierra Madre, México.
Belizean Coast Mangroves Habitat
This species is found in the Belizean coast mangroves ecoregion (part of the larger Mesoamerican Gulf-Caribbean mangroves ecoregion), extending along the Caribbean Coast from Guatemala, and encompassing the mangrove habitat along the shores of the Bahía de Annatique; this ecoregion continues along the Belizean coast up to the border with Mexico. The Belizean coast mangroves ecoregion includes the mainland coastal fringe, but is separate from the distinct ecoregion known as the Belizean reef mangroves which are separated from the mainland. This ecoregion includes the Monterrico Reserve in Guatemala, the estuarine reaches of the Monkey River and the Placencia Peninsula. The ecoregion includes the Burdon Canal Nature Reserve in Belize City, which reach contains mangrove forests and provides habitat for a gamut of avian species and threatened crocodiles.
Pygmy or scrub mangrove forests are found in certain reaches of the Belizean mangroves. In these associations individual plants seldom surpass a height of 150 centimetres, except in circumstances where the mangroves grow on depressions filled with mangrove peat. Many of the shrub-trees are over forty years old. In these pygmy mangrove areas, nutrients appear to be limiting factors, although high salinity and high calcareous substrates may be instrumental. Chief disturbance factors are due to hurricanes and lightning strikes, both capable of causing substantial mangrove treefall. In many cases a pronounced gap is formed by lightning strikes, but such forest gaps actually engender higher sapling regrowth, due to elevated sunlight levels and slightly diminished salinity in the gaps.
Chief mangrove tree species found in this ecoregion are White Mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), Black Mangrove (Avicennia germinans); the Button Mangrove (Conocarpus erectus) is a related tree associate. Red mangrove tends to occupy the more seaward niches, while Black mangrove tends to occupy the more upland niches. Other plant associates occurring in this ecoregion are Dragonsblood Tree (Pterocarpus officinalis), Guiana-chestnut (Pachira aquatica) and Golden Leatherfern (Acrostichum aureum).
In addition to hydrological stabilisation leading to overall permanence of the shallow sea bottom, the Belizean coastal zone mangrove roots and seagrass blades provides abundant nutrients and shelter for a gamut of juvenile marine organisms. A notable marine mammal found in the shallow seas offshore is the threatened West Indian Manatee (Trichecus manatus), who subsists on the rich Turtle Grass (Thalassia hemprichii) stands found on the shallow sea floor.
Wood borers are generally more damaging to the mangroves than leaf herbivores. The most damaging leaf herbivores to the mangrove foliage are Lepidoptera larvae. Other prominent herbivores present in the ecoregion include the gasteropod Littorina angulifera and the Mangrove Tree Crab, Aratus pisonii.
Many avian species from further north winter in the Belizean coast mangroves, which boast availability of freshwater inflow during the dry season. Example bird species within or visiting this ecoregion include the Yucatan Parrot (Amazona xantholora), , Yucatan Jay (Cyanocorax yucatanicus), Black Catbird (Dumetella glabrirostris) and the Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulfuratus)
Upland fauna of the ecoregion include paca (Agouti paca), coatimundi (Nasua narica), Baird’s Tapir (Tapirus bairdii), with Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya) occurring in the riverine mangroves in the Sarstoon-Temash National Park. The Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta palliata) can be observed along the mangrove fringes of the Monkey River mouth and other portions of this mangrove ecoregion.
Other aquatic reptiian species within the ecoregion include Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletti), Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta), and Kemp’s Ridley (Lepidochelys kempi).
- C. Michael Hogan. 2012."Belizean Coast Mangroves". Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC ed.Harold Ormes. updated 2013
- Les Beletsky and David Beadle. 2005. Belize & Northern Guatemala. Interlink Books. 477 pages
Habitat and Ecology
White-nosed coatis will occupy many different types of habitat, from tropical lowlands to dry, high-altitude forests. (Macdonald 1985)
Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest
Other Habitat Features: agricultural
Comments: Broken tropical forests of coastal plains, pine forest, mesquite grassland, oak scrub. In southwestern U.S.: canyons (oak-sycamore-walnut, oak-pine, shrub-grass); usually near water. Dens in crevice, under tree roots, in cave or mine, or in hollow trees (Leopold 1959).
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
White-nosed coatis are omnivores that primarily eat insects. They will travel up to 2000 meters in a single day in a quest for food. They forage by keeping their muzzle down close to the forest floor and sniff around to find beetles, spiders, scorpions, ants, termites, grubs, centipedes, and even land crabs. When plentiful, fruit is also eaten. Occasionally coatis may search for small vertebrates, such as mice, lizards, and frogs. When hunting, coatis will "force vertebrates to the ground with their paws and kill by a bite to the head" (Parker et al. 1990). (Macdonald 1985)
Comments: Omnivorous. Preferred foods are fruits and berries, but bulbs, roots, leaves, insects, worms, spiders, lizards, small mammals, birds, and bird eggs also are eaten. May eat cultivated crops. Forages on ground and in trees.
Often travels in groups of a dozen or more individuals; groups consist of mothers and young males and females during much of year. Males solitary most of year (Hoffmeister 1986).
Life History and Behavior
Comments: Some activity at night but primarily diurnal; most active in morning and evening. Active throughout the year.
Status: wild: 14.0 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
In February or March, the most dominant male in a female band's range will be allowed to enter it ranks, first through grooming and other submissive behaviors. Once accepted into the group, the male will breed with each member of the band in a tree, and is soon afterwards driven away from the group. This is because they are known to kill juveniles. The gestation period of the white-nosed coati is 77 days. About 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth, the female will depart the band to build a nest, most often in a palm tree. Between 2 and 7 young are born, and remain in the nest for several weeks. They weigh only 100-180 grams at birth and are dependent on their mother, who only leaves the nest to find food. The newborns will open their eyes at 11 days and be weaned after 4 months. After 5 months the mother and young descend from the nest and rejoin their group. A short time afterwards the male that mated with the band will appear for a short time, several days in a row in order to recognize their young. Adult body sized is reached by 15 months. Sexual maturity is reached by three years if age in males and two years of age in females. (Macdonald 1985, Nowak 1999)
Average birth mass: 140 g.
Average gestation period: 78 days.
Average number of offspring: 4.17.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
Sex: male: 712 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female: 712 days.
Brief pair-bond. Gestation lasts about 77 days. Young are born in early summer (June-July). Litter size is 4-6.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Nasua narica
There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nasua narica
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
This species of coati was very plentiful in the 1950s, but suffered major population declines in the early 1960s for unknown reasons. Populations have since been recovering and this population increase has been accompanied by a northward extension of their range. The threats to their numbers are legal hunting by humans and several predators including cats, boas, and large predatory birds. (Nowak 1999)
The species is rated "Lower Risk" by the IUCN. The government of Honduras has listed its population of the species in Appendix III of CITES, placing restrictions on international trade in their animals.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
White-nosed coatis will only occasionally cause crop damage, and rarely take small farm animals. (Nowak 1999)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Coatis are hunted for their meat and may also be kept as pets. Their fur has no value. (Parker 1989)
The white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) is a species of coati and a member of the family Procyonidae (raccoons and relatives). Local names include pizote, antoon, and tejón. The last, which mainly is used in Mexico, means badger. It weighs about 4–6 kg (8.8–13 lb). However, males are much larger than females, and small females weigh as little as 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) and large males as much as 12.2 kg (27 lb). On average, the total length is about 110 cm (43 in), about half of that being the tail length.
Habitat and range[edit source | edit]
White-nosed coatis inhabit wooded areas (dry and moist forests) of the Americas. They are found at any altitude from sea level to 3,000 m (9,800 ft), and from as far north as southeastern Arizona and New Mexico, through Mexico and Central America, to far northwestern Colombia (Gulf of Urabá region, near Colombian border with Panama). There has been considerable confusion over its southern range limit, but specimen records from most of Colombia (only exception is far northwest) and Ecuador are all South American coatis.
Coatis from Cozumel Island have been treated as a separate species, the Cozumel Island coati, but the vast majority of recent authorities treat it as a subspecies, N. narica nelsoni, of the white-nosed coati. They are smaller than white-nosed coatis from the adjacent mainland (N. n. yucatanica), but when compared more widely to white-nosed coatis the difference in size is not as clear. The level of other differences also support its status as a subspecies rather than separate species.
White-nosed coatis have also been found in the US state of Florida, where they are an introduced species. It is unknown precisely when introduction occurred; an early specimen in the Florida Museum of Natural History, labeled an "escaped captive", dates to 1928. There are several later documented cases of coatis escaping captivity, and since the 1970s there have been a number of sightings, and several live and dead specimens of various ages have been found. These reports have occurred over a wide area of southern Florida, and there is probable evidence of breeding, indicating that the population is well established.
Feeding habits[edit source | edit]
They are omnivores, preferring small vertebrates, fruits, carrion, insects, and eggs. They can climb trees easily, where the tail is used for balance, but they are most often on the ground foraging. Their predators include boas, raptors, hunting cats, and Tayras (Eira barbara). They readily adapt to human presence; like raccoons, they will raid campsites and trash receptacles. They can be domesticated easily, and have been verified experimentally to be quite intelligent.
Behavior[edit source | edit]
While the raccoon and ringtail are nocturnal, coatis are active by day, retiring during the night to a specific tree and descending at dawn to begin their daily search for food. However, their habits are adjustable, and in areas where they are hunted by humans for food, or where they raid human settlements for their own food, they might become more nocturnal. Adult males are solitary, but females and sexually immature males form social groups. They use many vocal signals to communicate with one another, and also spend time grooming themselves and each other with their teeth and claws. During foraging times, the young cubs are left with a pair of babysitters, similar to meerkats. The young males and even some females tend to play-fight. Many of the coatis will have short fights over food.
References[edit source | edit]
- Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Samudio, R., Kays, R., Cuarón, A.D., Pino, J.L. & Helgen, K. (2008). Nasua narica. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 26 January 2009.
- David J. Schmidly; William B. Davis (1 August 2004). The mammals of Texas. University of Texas Press. pp. 167–. ISBN 978-0-292-70241-7. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- North American Mammals: Nasua narica. Mnh.si.edu. Retrieved on 2011-09-15.
- Coati (Nasua narica). Wc.pima.edu. Retrieved on 2011-09-15.
- Reid, F. A. (1997). Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. pp. 259–260. ISBN 0-19-56400-3
- Decker, D. M. (1991). Systematics Of The Coatis, Genus Nasua (Mammalia, Procyonidae). Proceedings of The Biological Society of Washington 104: 370–386
- Guzman-Lenis, A. R. (2004). Preliminary Review of the Procyonidae in Colombia. Acta Biológica Colombiana 9(1): 69–76
- Eisenberg, J., and K. H. Redford (1999). Mammals of the Neotropcs: The Central Neotropics. Vol. 3, p. 288. ISBN 0-226-19541-4
- Kays, R. (2009). White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica), pp. 527–528 in: Wilson, D. E., and R. A. Mittermeier, eds. (2009). Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Vol. 1, Carnivores. ISBN 978-84-96553-49-1
- Simberloff, Daniel; Don C. Schmitz, and Tom C. Brown (1997). Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida. Island Press. p. 170. ISBN 1-55963-430-8. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Decker (1991) regarded N. narica of North and Central America as specifically distinct from N. nasua of South America. Jones et al. (1992) and Wozencraft (in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005) followed Decker in recognizing N. nasua and N. narica as distinct species. See Decker (1991) for a phylogenetic analysis on procyonid genera (analysis based on skeletal and soft morphological characters).