Geocapromys is a genus of rodent belonging to the hutia subfamily[1] and are currently only found on the Bahamas and Jamaica.[2] However, they formerly ranged throughout the Caribbean, from Cuba to the Cayman Islands to even islands off mainland Central America.

Temporal range: Pleistocene to Recent
Geocapromys brownii Harvard University small.jpg
Mounted specimen of Geocapromys brownii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Echimyidae
Subfamily: Capromyinae
Tribe: Capromyini
Genus: Geocapromys
Chapman, 1901
Type species
Capromys (Geocapromys) brownii

G. brownii
G. ingrahami
G. caymanensis
G. columbianus
G. thoracatus


The genus Geocapromys comprises five recent species, three of which are extinct.[3]

  • Geocapromys ingrahami, the Bahamian hutia or Ingraham's hutia, is an extant species of hutia native to the Bahamas.
  • G. brownii, the Jamaican hutia, which is also known as the Jamaican coney or Brown's hutia, is another extant species endemic to Jamaica.
  • G. thoracatus, the Little Swan Island hutia, was a third species which was found only on Little Swan Island, off northeastern Honduras. It became extinct in 1955, wiped out by storms and introduced predators. Some scientists consider it a subspecies of G. brownii.
  • G. columbianus, the Cuban coney, was endemic to Cuba, where it went extinct shortly after human colonization.
  • G. caymanensis, the Cayman hutia, was endemic to the Cayman Islands, where it went extinct shortly after human colonization.

In addition, there are two species, G. megas and G. pleistocenicus, which are known only from fossil remains.


Within Capromyidae, Geocapromys is the sister group to a clade comprising Mesocapromys and Mysateles on the one hand, and Capromys on the other hand. In turn, these four genera belong to the tribe Capromyini, and are the sister group to Plagiodontia.

Genus-level cladogram of the Capromyidae
with their relationship to Carterodon and Euryzygomatomyinae.

  Trinomys (Atlantic spiny rats)


  Euryzygomatomys (guiaras)


  Carterodon (Owl's spiny rat)








  Capromys (Desmarest's hutia)

The cladogram has been reconstructed from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA characters.[4][5][6][2][7][8]


  1. ^ Woods, C.A.; Kilpatrick, C.W. (2005). "Genus Geocapromys". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 1538–1600. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Vilstrup, Julia T.; Raghavan, Maanasa; Der Sarkissian, Clio; Willerslev, Eske; Douzery, Emmanuel J. P.; Orlando, Ludovic (2014-07-01). "Rodents of the Caribbean: origin and diversification of hutias unravelled by next-generation museomics". Biology Letters. 10 (7): 20140266. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2014.0266. ISSN 1744-9561. PMC 4126619. PMID 25115033.
  3. ^ Database, Mammal Diversity (2021-08-10), Mammal Diversity Database, Zenodo, retrieved 2021-10-02
  4. ^ Galewski, Thomas; Mauffrey, Jean-François; Leite, Yuri L. R.; Patton, James L.; Douzery, Emmanuel J. P. (2005). "Ecomorphological diversification among South American spiny rats (Rodentia; Echimyidae): a phylogenetic and chronological approach". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 34 (3): 601–615. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.11.015. PMID 15683932.
  5. ^ Upham, Nathan S.; Patterson, Bruce D. (2012). "Diversification and biogeography of the Neotropical caviomorph lineage Octodontoidea (Rodentia: Hystricognathi)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 63 (2): 417–429. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2012.01.020. PMID 22327013.
  6. ^ Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Galewski, Thomas; Tilak, Marie-ka; Douzery, Emmanuel J. P. (2013-03-01). "Diversification of South American spiny rats (Echimyidae): a multigene phylogenetic approach". Zoologica Scripta. 42 (2): 117–134. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2012.00572.x. ISSN 1463-6409.
  7. ^ Upham, Nathan S.; Patterson, Bruce D. (2015). "Evolution of Caviomorph rodents: a complete phylogeny and timetree for living genera". In Vassallo, Aldo Ivan; Antenucci, Daniel (eds.). Biology of caviomorph rodents: diversity and evolution. Buenos Aires: SAREM Series A, Mammalogical Research — Sociedad Argentina para el Estudio de los Mamíferos. pp. 63–120.
  8. ^ Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Upham, Nathan S.; Emmons, Louise H.; Justy, Fabienne; Leite, Yuri L. R.; Loss, Ana Carolina; Orlando, Ludovic; Tilak, Marie-Ka; Patterson, Bruce D.; Douzery, Emmanuel J. P. (2017-03-01). "Mitogenomic Phylogeny, Diversification, and Biogeography of South American Spiny Rats". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 34 (3): 613–633. doi:10.1093/molbev/msw261. ISSN 0737-4038. PMID 28025278.