Short-eared Dog

Atelocynus microtis

©Renata Leite-Pitman

Standard English Name

Short-eared Dog

Scientific Name

Atelocynus microtis

Brazilian common name/s


Distribution Map - IUCN

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Physical Description

This canid weighs approximately 10 kg and stands 36 cm high. It has very short ears with an elongated head. The coat has a dark gray colouration, with a lighter reddish belly and slightly darker tail. It is the least known of the Brazilian wild canids and is rarely seen in its natural environment.

Ecology and Habitat

It occupies areas of tropical rainforest and occurs in the Amazon basin of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and possibly Venezuela. Although widely distributed it appears to occur at low densities throughout its range. Data provided by inhabitants of the Amazon indicate that the animal is solitary.

The diet of Short-eared Dogs consists of small rodents, fish, shellfish, fruits, insects, birds and reptiles.

Threats and Conservation

Due to the lack of information on its populations, little can be concluded about the impact of the destruction of their habitat, although this is possibly the greatest threat to the species. They are classified by IBAMA as threatened with extinction.

To learn more, you can see bibliography below. Pró-Carnívoros does not provide this material.

General information

Average values with minimum and maximum in parentheses

Body / tail length (cm):

(72–100) a / (25-35)a


Onívora b

Weight (kg) / Height (cm):

(9–10) a / 35.6 a

Living area (km2):


Number of puppies / Gestation (days):

- / -

Longevity (years):


Social structure:

Solitários ou casais durante a reprodução b

Activity pattern:

Diurno e noturno b, c

a (Nowak 1999), b (Leite-Pitman & Williams 2004), c (Gómez et al. 2005)

Online links

IUCN Canid Specialist Group –
Canid News –


Berta, A. 1986. Atelocynus microtis. Mammalian Species 256:1-3.

Defler, T. R., and Santacruz, A. 1994. A capture of and some notes on Atelocynus microtis (Sclater, 1883) (Carnivora: Canidae) in the Colombian Amazon. TRIANEA 5: 417-419.

Emmons, L. H., and Feer, F. 1990. Neotropical rainforest mammals: A field guide. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Grimwood, I. R. 1969. Notes on the distribution and status of some Peruvian mammals, 1968. Special publication no. 21 of the American Committee of International Wildlife Protection and New York Zoological Society. Bronx, New York, USA.

Hershkovitz P. 1961. On the South American Small-eared Zorro Atelocynus microtis Sclater (Canidae). Fieldiana – Zoology, 39:505-523.

Jones, M.L. (1982) Longevity of captive mammals. Zool. Garten 52: 113-28.

Leite, M.R.P., Williams, R. and Canaday, C. (2000). South America’s elusive rain forest canid, the short-eared dog (Atelocynus microtis): Ecology, diet and social behavior. Proceedings for Defenders of Wildlife Carnivores 2000 conference, 12-15 November, 2000, Denver, CO pp180.

Peres, C. A. 1992. Observations on hunting by small-eared (Atelocynus microtis) and bush dogs (Speothos venaticus) in central-western Amazonia. Mammalia 55: 635-639.

Pocock, R. I. 1914. On the feet of the canidae and ursidae. Proceedings of the Zoological Society, London. Pp 913 – 941.

Rodriguez, J. V., 1998. Listas preliminares de mamíferos colombianos con algún riesgo a la extinción. Informe final presentado al Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt. URL:


Learn more about Brazilian carnivore species