Hispaniolan hutia

Plagiodontia aedium

TAXONOMY

Plagiodontia aedium Cuvier, 1836, probably Haiti. Three subspecies have been recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

17-22 in (43-56 cm); 2.2-3.3 lb (1-1.5 kg). Fur is darker above and lighter below.

DISTRIBUTION

Hispaniola, La Gonave Island.

HABITAT

Forested hillsides and ravines.

BEHAVIOR

Nocturnal and mainly arboreal, living in pairs or small groups.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Leaves, fruits, and roots.

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Plagiodontia aedium

Mysateles prehensilis

Litters of one to two highly precocial youngsters born after a gestation of around 120-150 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Hunted for food and agriculture has encroached upon its habitat. ♦

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