The white-nosed coati (Nasua narica),[2] also known as the coatimundi (/kˌɑːtɪˈmʌndi/),[1][3] is a species of coati and a member of the family Procyonidae (raccoons and their relatives). Local Spanish names for the species include antoon, gato solo, pizote, and tejón, depending upon the region.[4] It weighs about 4–6 kg (8.8–13.2 lb), and the nose-to-tail length of the species is about 110 cm (3.6 ft) with about half of that being the tail length.[5] However, small females can weigh as little as 3.1 kg (6.8 lb), while large males can weigh as much as 9 kg (20 lb).[6][7]

White-nosed coati
at Tikal, Guatemala
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Procyonidae
Genus: Nasua
N. narica
Binomial name
Nasua narica
(Linnaeus, 1766)
  • N. n. narica (Linnaeus, 1766)
  • N. n. molaris Merriam, 1902
  • N. n. nelsoni Merriam, 1901
  • N. n. yucatanica J. A. Allen, 1904
The native range of the white-nosed coati. Note: Its Colombian range is restricted to the far northwest (see text).

Viverra narica (Linnaeus, 1766)

Distribution and habitat

A white-nosed coati at Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park in Costa Rica

The white-nosed coati is distributed from as far north as Flagstaff, Arizona,[8] New Mexico, through Mexico, Central America, and the far northwestern region of Colombia near the border with Panama.[9][10] It inhabits wooded areas in tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests and in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests at elevations from sea level to 3,000 m (9,800 ft).[11]

Coatis from Cozumel Island have been treated as a separate species, the Cozumel Island coati, but the vast majority of recent authorities treat it as a subspecies, N. narica nelsoni, of the white-nosed coati.[2][1][11][12] They are smaller than white-nosed coatis from the adjacent mainland (N. n. yucatanica), but when compared more widely to white-nosed coatis the difference in size is not as clear.[9] The level of other differences also support its status as a subspecies rather than separate species.[9]

White-nosed coatis have also been found in Florida, where they were introduced. It is unknown precisely when introduction occurred; an early specimen in the Florida Museum of Natural History, labeled an "escaped captive", dates to 1928. There are several later documented cases of coatis escaping captivity, and since the 1970s there have been a number of sightings, and several live and dead specimens of various ages have been found. These reports have occurred over a wide area of southern Florida, and there is probable evidence of breeding, indicating that the population is well established.[13]

Behavior and ecology


Unlike many of their Procyonidae cousins, such as raccoons and kinkajous, coatis are diurnal and therefore do much of their foraging during the day.[14]



White-nosed coatis are known pollinators of the balsa tree, as observed in a study of a white-nosed coati population in Costa Rica.[15] The coati were observed inserting their noses into the flowers of the tree and ingesting nectar, while the flower showed no subsequent signs of damage. Pollen from the flowers covers the face of the coati following feeding and disseminates through the surrounding forest following detachment. Scientists observed a dependent relationship between the balsa tree, which provides a critical resource of hydration and nutrition to the white-nosed coati when environmental resources are scarce, and the coati, which increases proliferation of the tree through pollination.[16][17]

Feeding habits


The white-nosed coati is an omnivore and forages mostly on the ground for small vertebrates, fruits, carrion, insects, snakes, and eggs. It can climb trees easily and uses its tail for balancing.[18]

Reproduction and life span


Adult male coatis live solitary lives except during the mating season. Female coatis live in groups, called bands, with their offspring, including males less than two years old. Gestation lasts 10 to 11 weeks, and litters consist of two to seven young. The young are weaned at four months and reach adult size at 15 months.[19]

Coatis can live as long as seven years in the wild. In captivity, the average lifespan is about 14 years, but some coatis in human care have been known to live into their late teens.[19]



The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists both the white-nosed coati and the South American coati as least concern. However, the coati is an endangered species in New Mexico.[19]


  1. ^ a b c Cuarón, A.D.; Helgen, K.; Reid, F.; Pino, J.; González-Maya, J.F. (2016). "Nasua narica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T41683A45216060. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41683A45216060.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). "Species Nasua narica". Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ Animal Diversity Web at University of Michigan. "Coatis are also referred to in some texts as coatimundis. The name coati or coatimundi is Tupian Indian in origin."
  4. ^ "Tejón", which means badger, is mainly used in Mexico.
  5. ^ David J. Schmidly; William B. Davis (1 August 2004). The mammals of Texas. University of Texas Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-0-292-70241-7.
  6. ^ Gompper, Matthew E. "Sociality and asociality in white-nosed coatis (Nasua narica): foraging costs and benefits." Behavioral ecology 7.3 (1996): 254-263.
  7. ^ Valenzuela, David. "Natural history of the white-nosed coati, Nasua narica, in a tropical dry forest of western Mexico." Revista Mexicana de Mastozoología (Nueva época) 3.1 (1998): 26-44.
  8. ^ Golightly, Sean (4 December 2022). "Call of coatimundi: Strange animal sightings in Flagstaff a result of climate change". Arizona Daily Sun. Lee Enterprises, Davenport IA. Retrieved 4 December 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Decker, D. M. (1991). "Systematics Of The Coatis, Genus Nasua (Mammalia, Procyonidae)" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 104: 370–386.
  10. ^ Guzman-Lenis, A. R. (2004). "Preliminary Review of the Procyonidae in Colombia" (PDF). Acta Biológica Colombiana. 9 (1): 69–76.
  11. ^ a b Reid, F. A. (1997). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press. pp. 259–260. ISBN 0-19-506400-3. OCLC 34633350.
  12. ^ Kays, R. (2009). White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica), pp. 527–528 in: Wilson, D. E., and R. A. Mittermeier, eds. (2009). Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Vol. 1, Carnivores. ISBN 978-84-96553-49-1
  13. ^ Simberloff, D.; Schmitz, D. C.; Brown, T. C. (1997). Strangers in Paradise: Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida. Island Press. p. 170. ISBN 1-55963-430-8.
  14. ^ "Coatis". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 6 October 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  15. ^ Mora, J.M. (1999). "White-nosed coati Nasua narica (Carnivora: Procyonidae) as a potential pollinator of Ochroma pyramidale (Bombacaceae)" (PDF). Revista de Biología Tropical. 47 (4): 719–721.
  16. ^ Kobayashi, Shun, et al. "Pollination partners of Mucuna macrocarpa (F abaceae) at the northern limit of its range." Plant Species Biology 30.4 (2015): 272-278.
  17. ^ Mora, José M., Vivian V. Méndez, and Luis D. Gómez. "White-nosed coati Nasua narica (Carnivora: Procyonidae) as a potentialpollinator of Ochroma pyramidale (Bombacaceae)." Revista de Biología Tropical 47.4 (1999): 719-721.
  18. ^ Gompper, Matthew (1995). Mammalian Species, Nausua Narica. The American Society of Mammologists.
  19. ^ a b c "White-nosed coati". Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. Retrieved 7 April 2023.