The grison has a long muscular body with short legs and a short tail. The upper part of the body is grizzled grey in color. The underbody, including the legs and feet, are black. The face of is tricolor, with a grizzled grey forehead and a black face and neck. A white stripe runs from the forehead over the ears and to the shoulders, and separates the grey forehead from the black face. The fur is long and soft. The ears are very small, and the eyes are small and black. The feet are broad and have very long claws. The grison's eyeshine is a bright blue-green color. The length of the body, including the tail, is approximately 67 cm.
Range mass: 1 to 3 kg.
Average length: 67 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Habitat and Ecology
The grison occupies a large range of habitats. It can be found in grasslands, evergreen forests, rain forests, and savannas. It is often found near water. They live under tree roots, in crevices of rocks, and they have also been know to occupy burrows dug by armadillos. They live anywhere from the lowlands to approximately 1500 m in elevation.
Range elevation: 1500 (high) m.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest
The grison is carnivorous, feeding on small mammals such as chinchillas, viscachas, agoutis, mice. The grison has also been known to feed on reptiles, birds and some fruits.
Life History and Behavior
Status: captivity: 10.5 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Grisons are polygynous. The female gives birth to her young in October. The grison typically gives birth to two young but may give birth to up to four young.
Average gestation period: 40 days.
Average number of offspring: 2.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Galictis vittata
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern
The grison has a large range but is rare throughout this range.
CITES: appendix iii
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
The grison has been known to cause damage to domestic animals.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
The grison is tamed easily. The grison is helpful in controlling rodent infestations. They are also used by man to hunt chinchillas.
The greater grison, Galictis vittata, is an animal belonging to the ferret family Mustelidae. It is native to Central and South America, ranging from southern Mexico in the north, to central Brazil, Peru and Bolivia in the south . Its habitat is savannas and rainforests, and it is usually seen near rivers and streams.
Greater grisons are terrestrial and nocturnal, with some diurnal activity in the morning. They live alone or in pairs, feeding on small vertebrates including fish, amphibians, birds, and other mammals.
- Cuarón, A.D., Reid, F. & Helgen, K. (2008). Galictis vittata. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 24 February 2009.
- Louise H. Emmons and Francois Feer, 1997 - Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, A Field Guide.
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