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Mastozoología neotropical

Print version ISSN 0327-9383


MARIN, David; RAMIREZ-CHAVES, Héctor E  and  SUAREZ-CASTRO, Andrés Felipe. Cranio-dental revision of Procyon (Carnivora: Procyonidae) in Colombia and Ecuador, with remarks on its taxonomy and distribution. Mastozool. neotrop. [online]. 2012, vol.19, n.2, pp.163-178. ISSN 0327-9383.

In South America, two species of Procyon have been historically recorded, P. cancrivorus and P. lotor. However, the knowledge related to the morphology, natural history and distribution in Colombia and Ecuador is limited, for this reason the presence of P. lotor in this part of the continent has been questioned. In order to contribute to the knowledge of Procyon in these countries, we developed a cranial morphological and morphometric evaluation; we used twenty-four measures that were analyzed using multivariate analysis and standard statistical. We elucidated doubts regarding P. lotor's presence in Colombia and updated the distribution of P. cancrivorus in both countries. Our results show that both species are present in Colombia and can be distinguished by the P4 width and the palate length after M2/palate total length ratio. Morphological characters that differentiated the two species are massive molar teeth with broad and round cusps in P. cancrivorus, whereas in P. lotor, are sharper. Procyon lotor is restricted to northern Colombia, while P. cancrivorus is more widely distributed in different natural regions up to 2350 m in the Andes. Procyon cancrivorus specimens from northwestern Colombia have dental characteristics consistent with the proposals for the subspecies P. c. proteus and we suggest that this name should be applied to these populations. Nevertheless, the subspecific status of the colombian populations of P. lotor and ecuatorian populations of P. cancrivorus remain uncertain.

Keywords : Molars; Morphology; Raccoons; Subspecies; South America.

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