Procyon cancrivorus (Cuvier, 1798)

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2009, Procyonidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 1 Carnivores, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 504-530 : 529

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Procyon cancrivorus


10. View Plate 30: Procyonidae

Crab-eating Raccoon

Procyon cancrivorus

French: Raton crabier / German: Krabbenwaschbér / Spanish: Mayuato

Taxonomy. Ursus cancrivorus Cuvier, 1798 Cayenne ,

French Guiana .

Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution.

P.c. cancrivorus Cuvier, 1798 — Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, the Guianas.

P. c. aequatorialis J. A. Allen, 1915 — Ecuador.

P. c. nigripes Mivart, 1886 — Amazonia to Argentina.

P. c. panamensis Goldman, 1913 — Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 54-76 cm,tail 25-38 cm; weight 3.1-7. 7 kg. Crab-eating Raccoons are grayish, with the characteristic Raccoon black mask and black banded tail. Their legs and feet are dark brown, distinguishing Crab-eating Racoons from Northern Raccoons, which have white feet. Crab-eating Raccoons also are different in having the hair on the back of the neck slanting forward, appearing reversed, and a brownish throat.

Habitat. Crab-eating Raccoons use a broad range of waterside habitats, including swamps, rivers, and beaches. They appear to be more strongly tied to water and less adapted to urban areas than the Northern Raccoon.

Food and Feeding. In Venezuela Crab-eating Raccoons are recorded eating primarily aquatic prey, including crawfish, fish, and snails. In Brazil fruit was much more important (53% of diet), followed by a mixture of insects and vertebrate prey.

Activity patterns. Nocturnal, these raccoons sleep in tree holes during the day. Their nocturnal foraging is primarily on the ground around waterways. Of 55 raccoon camera trap photos recorded in Bolivia, 85% were nocturnal, 13% crepuscular, and only 2% diurnal.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Usually solitary but sometimes seen in pairs or groups. No details are known abouttheir social organization.

Breeding. Presumed to be similar to Northern Raccoons.

Status and Conservation. Considered Least Concern by The IUCN Red List, Crab-eating Raccoons are not adapted to urban life like their northern cousins, but are not highly sensitive to habitat fragmentation. They are the third most frequent species to be found as roadkill in southern Brazil.

Bibliography. Bisbal (1986), Carrillo-Jimenez & Vaughan (1993), Cherem et al. (2007), Dos Santos & Hartz (1999), Gatti et al. (2006), Gomez et al. (2005), Lohmer (1976), Maffei et al. (2002), Marquez & Farina (2003), Michalski & Peres (2005), Mugaas et al. (1993), Srbek-Araujo & Chiarello (2005), Yanosky & Mercolli (1993).