Standard English Name
Brazilian common name/s
They are small animals, with a length of 50 to 70 cm and weigh 1 to 3 kg. G. vittata is slightly larger than G. cuja. The coat is very characteristic, with a black face, neck and limbs whereas the and back is gray. The boundary between the two colours is delineated by a white band that extends from the head to the side of the neck. They have very elongated body with short legs. These animals are extremely agile and are strong swimmers and climbers.
Ecology and Habitat
The geographical distribution of both species of this genus is still unclear. G. vittata occurs mainly in the north of Brazil, but the southern limits of its range have yet to be defined. G. cuja occurs in the central-southern part of the continent and north-east Brazil. G. vittata inhabits forests and open areas, including secondary habitats, living in tree trunks or rocks, in burrows that they dig. They are active both day and night and are often seen in pairs or small groups (probably families), who communicate through vocalizations.
Their diet includes small mammals, birds and their eggs, reptiles, amphibians, insects and fruit.
Average values with minimum and maximum in parentheses
Body / tail length (cm):
68(45-76)a,b / 16(13-20) a,b
Weight (kg) / Height (cm):
2.3(1.5-4) a, b / -
Living area (km2):
Number of puppies / Gestation (days):
(1-4) b / 39 b
Alone or family groups b
Twilight and night b
a (Emmons & Feer 1997), b (Yensen & Tarifa 2003), c (Sunquist et al. 1989)
Emmons, L. H., & Feer, F. (1997). Neotropical rainforest mammals: a field guide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Michalski, F., & Peres, C. A. (2005). Anthropogenic determinants of primate and carnivore local extinctions in a fragmented forest landscape of southern Amazonia. Biological Conservation, 124, 383-396.
Sunquist, M. E., Sunquist, F., & Daneke, D. E. (1989). Ecological separation in a Venezuelan llanos carnivore community. In K. H. Redford & J. F. Eisenberg (Eds.), Advances in Neotropical mammalogy (pp. 197–232). Gainesville, Florida: Sandhill Crane Press.
Yensen, E., & Tarifa, T. (2003). Galictis vittata. Mammalian Species, 727, 1-8.