Mexican black agouti

Dasyprocta mexicana

TAXONOMY

Dasyprocta mexicana Saussure, 1860, Veracruz, Mexico.

OTHER COMMON NAMES Spanish: Serete, guaqueque negro.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length, 12.6-25.2 in (32-64 cm); tail, 0.4-2.75 in (1-7 cm); weight, 1.3-8.8 lb (0.6-4 kg). This species is characterized by black body fur. Under parts are grayish or olive; there are long black hairs on the rump, and the eyes are ringed with conspicuous patches of naked pink skin. Pink skin also shows up at the base of the ears, contrast with the black fur and black pigmented ears.

DISTRIBUTION

Occurs only in a small area of southeast Mexico in Veracruz, north Oaxaca, northwest Chiapas, and west Tabasco states.

HABITAT

Lives in evergreen forests and secondary growth, from lowlands to 1,970 ft (600 m).

BEHAVIOR

Mostly diurnal. Mated pairs occupy territories of 2.5-5 acres (1-2 ha) in extent.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Known to eat fruit.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Two precocial young are born during the dry season.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk/Near Threatened; was probably never common in its restricted range.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Hunted for food; it is also considered an agricultural pest. ♦

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