Detailed Pedia

List of procyonids

Raccoon lying on a branch
Common racoon (Procyon lotor)

Procyonidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, which includes raccoons, coatis, olingos, kinkajous, ring-tailed cats, and cacomistles, and many other extant and extinct mammals. A member of this family is called a procyonid. They are native to North and South America, though the common raccoon has been introduced to Europe, western Asia, and Japan. Procyonid habitats are generally forests, though some are found in shrublands and grasslands as well. The ring-tailed cat has a varied range including rocky areas and deserts as well as forests, and the common raccoon is widespread in urban environments. Species range in size from around 30–65 cm (12–26 in) long, plus a tail generally as long again. Population sizes are largely unknown, though the Cozumel raccoon is critically endangered, with around 200 individuals left, and the Eastern mountain coati is endangered. No procyonid species have been domesticated, although raccoons are sometimes kept as pets.

The fourteen species of Procyonidae are split into six genera, which are not currently grouped into named clades. Procyonidae is believed to have diverged as a separate family within Carnivora around 22.6 million years ago. In addition to the extant species, as of 2020 Procyonidae includes forty extinct species placed in the six extant and nineteen extinct genera, though due to ongoing research and discoveries the exact number and categorization is not fixed.

Conventions

IUCN Red List categories
Conservation status
 EX Extinct (0 species)
 EW Extinct in the wild (0 species)
 CR Critically Endangered (1 species)
 EN Endangered (1 species)
 VU Vulnerable (0 species)
 NT Near threatened (2 species)
 LC Least concern (10 species)

Conservation status codes listed follow the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Range maps are provided wherever possible; if a range map is not available, a description of the procyonid's range is provided. Ranges are based on the IUCN red list for that species unless otherwise noted. All extinct species or subspecies listed alongside extant species went extinct after 1500 CE, and are indicated by a dagger symbol (Extinct). Population figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.

Classification

The family Procyonidae consists of fourteen extant species belonging to six genera and divided into dozens of extant subspecies. This does not include hybrid species or extinct prehistoric species. Some prior classification schemes included the red panda or divided the family into named subfamilies and tribes based on similarities in morphology, though modern molecular studies indicate instead that the kinkajou is basal to the family, while raccoons, cacomistles, and ring-tailed cats form one clade and coatis and olingos another, despite morphology suggesting otherwise.

  • Genus Bassaricyon (olingos): four species
  • Genus Bassariscus (ring-tailed cats and cacomistles): two species
  • Genus Nasua (coatis): two species
  • Genus Nasuella (mountain coatis): two species
  • Genus Potos (kinkajous): one species
  • Genus Procyon (raccoons): three species
Procyonidae  

Bassaricyon

Nasua and Nasuella

Procyon

Bassariscus

Potos

Procyonids

The following classification is based on the taxonomy described by Mammal Species of the World (2005), with augmentation by generally accepted proposals made since using molecular phylogenetic analysis; this includes rearranging Bassaricyon from five species to a mostly different four, and promoting the eastern mountain coati from a subspecies of the mountain coati. There are additional proposals which are disputed, such as promoting the Guadeloupe raccoon population of the Bahamian raccoon subspecies of raccoon to a separate subspecies, which are not included here.

Genus Bassaricyon (Allen, 1876) – four species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
Eastern lowland olingo

Brown procyonid in a tree at night

B. alleni
Thomas, 1880
Northwest South America
Size: 30–46 cm (12–18 in) long, plus 40–53 cm (16–21 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Primarily eats fruit, as well as small rodents, lizards, birds, insects, and eggs
 LC 


Unknown Population declining

Northern olingo

Brown procyonid in a tree

B. gabbii
Allen, 1876
Central America
Size: 38–45 cm (15–18 in) long, plus 40–53 cm (16–21 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Primarily eats fruit, nectar, flowers, insects, and small vertebrates
 LC 


Unknown Population declining

Olinguito

Dark brown procyonid in a tree at night

B. neblina
Helgen, 2013

Four subspecies
  • B. n. hershkovitzi
  • B. n. neblina
  • B. n. osborni
  • B. n. ruber
Andes mountains in northwest South America
Size: 32–40 cm (13–16 in) long, plus 33–43 cm (13–17 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Primarily eats fruit
 NT 


Unknown Population declining

Western lowland olingo

Tan procyonid on a black box

B. medius
Thomas, 1909

Two subspecies
  • B. m. medius
  • B. m. orinomus
Northwest South America and eastern Central America
Size: 33–39 cm (13–15 in) long, plus 35–52 cm (14–20 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Primarily eats fruit and nectar
 LC 


Unknown Population declining

Genus Bassariscus (Coues, 1887) – two species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
Cacomistle

Brown procyonid with black-striped tail on a branch

B. sumichrasti
Saussure, 1860

Five subspecies
  • B. s. latrans
  • B. s. notinus
  • B. s. oaxacensis
  • B. s. sumichrasti
  • B. s. variabilis
Southern Mexico and Central America
Size: 38–47 cm (15–19 in) long, plus 39–53 cm (15–21 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Primarily eats fruit, insects, and small vertebrates
 LC 


Unknown Unknown

Ring-tailed cat

Brown procyonid with black-striped tail on a rock

B. astutus
Lichtenstein, 1830

Fourteen subspecies
  • B. a. arizonensis
  • B. a. astutus
  • B. a. bolei
  • B. a. consitus
  • B. a. flavus
  • B. a. insulicola
  • B. a. macdougalli
  • B. a. nevadensis
  • B. a. octavus
  • B. a. palmarius
  • B. a. raptor
  • B. a. saxicola
  • B. a. willetti
  • B. a. yumanensis
Mexico and southwestern United States
Size: 30–42 cm (12–17 in) long, plus 31–45 cm (12–18 in) tail

Habitat: Shrubland, forest, rocky areas, desert, and grassland

Diet: Primarily eats rodents, insects, birds, and fruit
 LC 


Unknown Unknown

Genus Nasua (Storr, 1780) – two species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
South American coati

Brown procyonid with brown-striped tail on a branch

N. nasua
Linnaeus, 1766

Thirteen subspecies
  • N. n. aricana
  • N. n. boliviensis
  • N. n. candace
  • N. n. cinerascens
  • N. n. dorsalis
  • N. n. manium
  • N. n. molaris
  • N. n. montana
  • N. n. nasua
  • N. n. quichua
  • N. n. solitaria
  • N. n. spadicea
  • N. n. vittata
Northern and central South America
Size: 41–67 cm (16–26 in) long, plus 32–69 cm (13–27 in) tail

Habitat: Forest and shrubland

Diet: Primarily eats invertebrates and fruit
 LC 


Unknown Population declining

White-nosed coati

Brown procyonid in a tree

N. narica
Linnaeus, 1766

Four subspecies
Southern North America, Central America, and northwest South America
Size: 33–67 cm (13–26 in) long, plus 33–67 cm (13–26 in) tail

Habitat: Grassland and forest

Diet: Primarily eats fruit and invertebrates
 LC 


Unknown Population declining

Genus Nasuella (Hollister, 1915) – two species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
Eastern mountain coati N. meridensis
Thomas, 1901
Andes mountains in Venezuela
Size: 43–54 cm (17–21 in) long, plus 19–30 cm (7–12 in) tail

Habitat: Forest and grassland

Diet: Unknown
 EN 


Unknown Population declining

Western mountain coati

Drawing of brown and black procyonid

N. olivacea
Gray, 1865

Two subspecies
  • N. o. olivacea
  • N. o. quitensis
Andes mountains in northern South America
Size: 36–39 cm (14–15 in) long, plus 20–24 cm (8–9 in) tail

Habitat: Forest and grassland

Diet: Primarily eats invertebrates, small vertebrates, fruit, and vegetable remains
 NT 


Unknown Population declining

Genus Potos (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire & G. Cuvier, 1795) – one species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
Kinkajou

Brown procyonid on a branch

P. flavus
Schreber, 1774

Seven subspecies
  • P. f. chapadensis
  • P. f. chiriquensis
  • P. f. flavus
  • P. f. megalotus
  • P. f. meridensis
  • P. f. modestus
  • P. f. nocturnus
Central America and northern South America
Size: 40–60 cm (16–24 in) long, plus 40–60 cm (16–24 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Primarily eats fruit, as well as flowers and leaves
 LC 


Unknown Population declining

Genus Procyon (Storr, 1780) – three species
Common name Scientific name and subspecies Range Size and ecology IUCN status and estimated population
Cozumel raccoon

Gray procyonid with black and white face markings in grass

P. pygmaeus
Merriam, 1901
Cozumel island in Mexico
Size: 42–60 cm (17–24 in) long, plus 23–26 cm (9–10 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Primarily eats crabs, as well as fruit, insects, crayfish, and small vertebrates
 CR 


200 Population declining

Crab-eating raccoon

Gray procyonid with black and white face markings in grass

P. cancrivorus
G. Cuvier, 1798

Four subspecies
  • P. c. aequatorialis
  • P. c. cancrivorus
  • P. c. nigripes
  • P. c. panamensis
South America
Size: 54–65 cm (21–26 in) long, plus 25–38 cm (10–15 in) tail

Habitat: Forest and inland wetlands

Diet: Primarily eats molluscs, fish, crabs, insects, and amphibians
 LC 


Unknown Population declining

Raccoon

Gray procyonid with black and white face markings in a tree

P. lotor
Linnaeus, 1758

22 subspecies
  • P. l. auspicatus (Key Vaca raccoon)
  • P. l. elucus (Florida raccoon)
  • P. l. excelsus (Snake River Valley raccoon)
  • P. l. fuscipes (Texas raccoon)
  • P. l. gloveralleni (Barbados raccoon)Extinct
  • P. l. grinnelli (Baja California raccoon)
  • P. l. hernandezii (Mexican plateau raccoon)
  • P. l. hirtus (Upper Mississippi Valley raccoon)
  • P. l. incautus (Torch Key raccoon)
  • P. l. inesperatus (Matecumbe Key raccoon)
  • P. l. insularis (Tres Marias raccoon)
  • P. l. litoreus (Saint Simon Island raccoon)
  • P. l. lotor (Eastern raccoon)
  • P. l. marinus (Ten Thousand Islands raccoon)
  • P. l. maynardi (Bahamian raccoon)
  • P. l. megalodous (Mississippi Delta raccoon)
  • P. l. pacificus (Pacific Northwest raccoon)
  • P. l. pallidus (Colorado Desert raccoon)
  • P. l. psora (California raccoon)
  • P. l. pumilus (Isthmian raccoon)
  • P. l. simus (Short-faced raccoon)Extinct
  • P. l. vancouverensis (Vancouver Island raccoon)
North and Central America, and introduced to Central Europe, the Caucasus Mountains, and Japan
Size: 41–55 cm (16–22 in) long, plus 19–41 cm (7–16 in) tail

Habitat: Forest

Diet: Omnivorous, eats fruit, nuts, insects, small mammals, eggs, birds, frogs, fish, aquatic invertebrates, worms, and garbage
 LC 


Unknown Population increasing

Prehistoric procyonids

In addition to extant procyonids, some prehistoric species have been discovered and classified as a part of Procyonidae. There is no generally accepted classification of extinct procyonid species. The species listed here are based on data from the Paleobiology Database, unless otherwise cited. Where available, the approximate time period the species was extant is given in millions of years before the present (Mya), also based on data from the Paleobiology Database. All listed species are extinct; where a genus or subfamily within Procyonidae comprises only extinct species, it is indicated with a dagger symbol Extinct.

  • Genus AngustictisExtinct (23–20 Mya)
    • A. mayri (23–20 Mya)
  • Genus AmphinasuaExtinct
  • Genus ArctonasuaExtinct (16–4.9 Mya)
    • A. eurybates (11–4.9 Mya)
    • A. floridana (14–10 Mya)
    • A. fricki (11–4.9 Mya)
    • A. gracilis (16–13 Mya)
    • A. minima (16–13 Mya)
  • Genus BassaricynoidesExtinct (21–15 Mya)
    • B. phyllismillerae (21–15 Mya)
    • B. stewartae (21–15 Mya)
  • Genus BrachynasuaExtinct
    • B. merani
  • Genus BroilianaExtinct
    • B. dehmi
    • B. nobilis (16–13 Mya)
  • Genus ChapalmalaniaExtinct
    • C. altaefrontis
    • C. ortognatha
  • Genus CyonasuaExtinct
    • C. argentina (9.0–6.8 Mya)
    • C. brevirrostris
    • C. clausa (6.8–4.0 Mya)
    • C. groeberi (9.0–4.0 Mya)
    • C. longirostris
    • C. lutaria
    • C. meranii
    • C. pascuali (9.0–6.8 Mya)
    • C. robusta
  • Genus EdaphocyonExtinct (21–13 Mya)
    • E. lautus (21–15 Mya)
    • E. palmeri (21–15 Mya)
    • E. pointblankensis (16–13 Mya)
  • Genus MyxophagusExtinct
    • M. spelaeus
  • Genus Nasua (10 Mya–present)
    • N. nicaeensis
    • N. pronarica (4.9–1.8 Mya)
  • Genus PachynasuaExtinct
    • P. clausa
  • Genus ParahyaenodonExtinct (6.8–4.0 Mya)
    • P. argentinus (6.8–4.0 Mya)
  • Genus ParanasuaExtinct (14–10 Mya)
    • P. biradica (14–10 Mya)
  • Genus ParapotosExtinct (16–13 Mya)
    • P. tedfordi (16–13 Mya)
  • Genus ProbassariscusExtinct (16–13 Mya)
    • P. matthewi (16–13 Mya)
  • Genus Procyon (10 Mya–present)
    • P. rexroadensis (4.9–1.8 Mya)
  • Genus ProtoprocyonExtinct (14–10 Mya)
    • P. savagei (14–10 Mya)
  • Genus SivanasuaExtinct
    • S. viverroides
  • Genus StromeriellaExtinct (23–13 Mya)
    • S. depressa (23–20 Mya)
    • S. franconica (16–13 Mya)
  • Genus TetraprothomoExtinct (6.8–4.0 Mya)
    • T. argentinus (6.8–4.0 Mya)
Painting of a brown procyonid
Restoration of Chapalmalania species

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