Bassariscus is a genus in the family Procyonidae. There are two species in the genus: the ring-tailed cat or ringtail (B. astutus) and the cacomistle (B. sumichrasti). Genetic studies have indicated that the closest relatives of Bassariscus are raccoons,[1][2][3] from which they diverged about 10 million years ago.[3] The two lineages of Bassariscus are thought to have separated after only another two million years,[1] making it the extant procyonid genus with the earliest diversification.

The name is a Greek word for fox ("bassaris") with a Latinized diminutive ending ("-iscus").[4] The genus was first described by Elliott Coues in 1887. He proposed the word "bassarisk" as the English term for animals in this genus.[5] Its habitat includes semi-arid areas in the southwestern United States,[6] the whole of Mexico, as well as moist tropical forests in Central America.

Scientific classification

Coues, 1887

Bassariscus astutus
Bassariscus sumichrasti

Extant Species

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Squaw-ringtail-28073 Bassariscus astutus Ring-tailed cat Southern United States from southern Oregon and California throughout the southwestern states to Texas. In Mexico it ranges from the northern desert state of Baja California to Oaxaca. Its distribution overlaps that of B. sumichrasti in the Mexican states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Veracruz.[7]
Bassariscus sumichrasti geo Bassariscus sumichrasti Cacomistle Central America, from south central Mexico to Panama


  1. ^ a b K.-P. Koepfli; M. E. Gompper; E. Eizirik; C.-C. Ho; L. Linden; J. E. Maldonado; R. K. Wayne (2007). "Phylogeny of the Procyonidae (Mammalia: Carvnivora): Molecules, morphology and the Great American Interchange". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 43 (3): 1076–1095. CiteSeerX doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.10.003. PMID 17174109.
  2. ^ Eizirik, E.; Murphy, W. J.; Koepfli, K.-P.; Johnson, W. E.; Dragoo, J. W.; Wayne, R. K.; O’Brien, S. J. (2010-02-04). "Pattern and timing of diversification of the mammalian order Carnivora inferred from multiple nuclear gene sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 56 (1): 49–63. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.01.033. PMID 20138220.
  3. ^ a b Helgen, K. M.; Pinto, M.; Kays, R.; Helgen, L.; Tsuchiya, M.; Quinn, A.; Wilson, D.; Maldonado, J. (2013-08-15). "Taxonomic revision of the olingos (Bassaricyon), with description of a new species, the Olinguito". ZooKeys (324): 1–83. doi:10.3897/zookeys.324.5827. PMC 3760134. PMID 24003317.
  4. ^ "Definition of BASSARISCUS". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  5. ^ Coues, E. (1887). "Bassariscus, a new generic name in mammalogy". Science. 9 (225): 516. doi:10.1126/science.ns-9.225.516. PMID 17748409.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-12-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Timm, R.; Reid, F. & Helgen, K. (2008). "Bassariscus astutus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved January 26, 2009.

External links

Androlaelaps fahrenholzi

Androlaelaps fahrenholzi is a species of mite in the genus Androlaelaps of the family Laelapidae. It occurs throughout the contiguous United States, where it has been recorded on the mammals Arborimus albipes, Arborimus longicaudus, Bassariscus astutus, Blarina brevicauda, Blarina carolinensis, Callospermophilus lateralis, Chaetodipus hispidus, Condylura cristata, Corynorhinus townsendii, Cryptotis parva, Cynomys ludovicianus, Didelphis virginiana, Dipodomys elator, Dipodomys elephantinus, Dipodomys ordii, Dipodomys venustus, Geomys pinetis, Glaucomys sabrinus, Glaucomys volans, Lemmiscus curtatus, Marmota monax, Mephitis mephitis, Microtus chrotorrhinus, Ictidomys tridecemlineatus, Microtus longicaudus, Microtus montanus, Microtus ochrogaster, Microtus oregoni, Microtus pennsylvanicus, Microtus pinetorum, Microtus richardsoni, Microtus townsendii, Mus musculus, Mustela erminea, Mustela frenata, Mustela nivalis, Myodes californicus, Myodes gapperi, Napaeozapus insignis, Neofiber alleni, Neotamias amoenus, Neotamias minimus, Neotoma cinerea, Neotoma floridana, Neotoma fuscipes, Neotoma lepida, Neotoma magister, Neotoma micropus, Neovison vison, Neurotrichus gibbsii, Ochrotomys nuttalli, Ondatra zibethicus, Onychomys leucogaster, Otospermophilus beecheyi, Oryzomys palustris, Parascalops breweri, Perognathus fasciatus, Perognathus parvus, Peromyscus boylii, Peromyscus crinitus, Peromyscus gossypinus, Peromyscus leucopus, Peromyscus maniculatus, Peromyscus truei, Podomys floridanus, Poliocitellus franklinii, Procyon lotor, Rattus norvegicus, Reithrodontomys megalotis, Scalopus aquaticus, Scapanus latimanus, Scapanus orarius, Scapanus townsendii, Sciurus carolinensis, Sciurus niger, Sigmodon hispidus, Sorex bendirii, Sorex cinereus, Sorex fumeus, Sorex longirostris, Sorex pacificus, Sorex palustris, Sorex trowbridgii, Sorex vagrans, Spilogale putorius, Sylvilagus floridanus, Sylvilagus palustris, Synaptomys borealis, Synaptomys cooperi, Tamias striatus, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus, Taxidea taxus, Thomomys talpoides, Urocitellus beldingi, Urocitellus brunneus, Urocitellus richardsonii, Urocitellus townsendii, Urocitellus washingtoni, Urocyon cinereoargenteus, Xerospermophilus tereticaudus, Zapus hudsonius, Zapus princeps, and Zapus trinotatus.


The genus Bassaricyon consists of small Neotropical procyonids, popularly known as olingos . They are native to the rainforests of Central and South America from Nicaragua to Peru. They are arboreal and nocturnal, and live at elevations from sea level to 2,750 m. Olingos closely resemble the kinkajou in morphology and habits, though they lack prehensile tails and extrudable tongues, have more extended muzzles, and possess anal scent glands. They also resemble galagos and certain lemurs, which are primates.

Genetic studies have shown that the closest relatives of the olingos are actually the coatis; the divergence between the two groups is estimated to have occurred about 10.2 million years (Ma) ago during the Tortonian age, while kinkajous split off from the other extant procyonids about 22.6 Ma ago during the Aquitanian age. The similarities between kinkajous and olingos are thus an example of parallel evolution.


The cacomistle, Bassariscus sumichrasti, is a nocturnal, arboreal and omnivorous member of the carnivoran family Procyonidae. Its preferred habitats are wet, tropical, evergreen woodlands and mountain forests, though seasonally it will venture into drier deciduous forests.

Nowhere in its range (from southern Mexico to western Panama) is B. sumichrasti common. This is especially true in Costa Rica, where it inhabits only a very small area. It is completely dependent on forest habitat, making it particularly susceptible to deforestation.

The term cacomistle is from the Nahuatl language (tlahcomiztli) and means "half cat" or "half mountain lion"; it is sometimes also used to refer to the ringtail, Bassariscus astutus, a similar species that inhabits arid northern Mexico and the American Southwest.

Civet cat

Civet cat is an imprecise term that is used for a variety of cat-like creatures including:

Civets, of the families Viverridae and Nandiniidae

Ring-tailed cat or North American Civet Cat (Bassariscus astutus), related to the raccoons

Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), a true cat

African wildcat (Felis silvestris libyca), a true cat

Spotted skunks, skunks of the genus Spilogale


Coatis, also known as the coatimundis (), are members of the raccoon family (Procyonidae) in the genera Nasua and Nasuella. They are diurnal mammals native to South America, Central America, and southwestern North America. The name coatimundi is purportedly derived from the Tupian languages of Brazil.The coati is also known in English as the hog-nosed coon.

Eastern lowland olingo

The eastern lowland olingo (Bassaricyon alleni) is a species of olingo from South America, where it is known from the lowlands east of the Andes in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Venezuela. It is the only olingo species found east of the Andes. The Latin species name honors Joel Asaph Allen, the American zoologist who first described the genus Bassaricyon.


The kinkajou ( KING-kə-joo) (Potos flavus) is a tropical rainforest mammal of the family Procyonidae related to olingos, coatis, raccoons, and the ringtail and cacomistle. It is the only member of the genus Potos and is also known as the "honey bear" (a name that it shares with the sun bear). Kinkajous are arboreal, a lifestyle they evolved independently; they are not closely related to any other tree-dwelling mammal group (e.g. primates, some mustelids, etc).

Native to Central America and South America, this mostly frugivorous mammal is not an endangered species, though it is seldom seen by people because of its strict nocturnal habits. However, they are hunted for the pet trade, for their fur (to make wallets and horse saddles) and for their meat. The species has been included in Appendix III of CITES by Honduras, which means that exports from Honduras require an export permit and exports from other countries require a certificate of origin or re-export. They may live up to 40 years in captivity.

List of mammals of Missouri

This is a list of known mammals in Missouri, United States.

List of the Cenozoic life of Kansas

This list of the Cenozoic life of Kansas contains the various prehistoric life-forms whose fossilized remains have been reported from within the US state of Kansas and are between 66 million and 10,000 years of age.


Nasua is a genus of coatis of the family Procyonidae. Two additional species of coatis, commonly known as mountain coatis, are placed in the genus Nasuella.


Mountain coatis are two species of procyonid mammals from the genus Nasuella. Unlike the larger coatis from the genus Nasua, mountain coatis only weigh 1.0–1.5 kilograms (2.2–3.3 lb) and are endemic to the north Andean highlands in South America.


The olinguito , Bassaricyon neblina, is a mammal of the raccoon family Procyonidae that lives in montane forests in the Andes of western Colombia and Ecuador. The species was described as new in 2013. The species name neblina is Spanish for fog or mist, referring to the cloud forest habitat of the olinguito.On 22 May 2014 the International Institute for Species Exploration declared the olinguito as one of the "Top 10 New Species of 2014" among species discovered in 2013. It is the first new carnivoran mammal described in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.

Procyon (genus)

Procyon is a genus of nocturnal mammals, comprising three species commonly known as raccoons, in the family Procyonidae. The most familiar species, the common raccoon (P. lotor), is often known simply as "the" raccoon, as the two other raccoon species in the genus are native only to the tropics and less well known. Genetic studies have shown that the closest relatives of raccoons are the ring-tailed cats and cacomistles of genus Bassariscus, from which they diverged about 10 million years ago.


Procyonidae is a New World family of the order Carnivora. It comprises the raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, olingos, olinguitos, ringtails, and cacomistles. Procyonids inhabit a wide range of environments and are generally omnivorous.

Rexroad Formation

The Rexroad Formation is a geologic formation in Kansas. It preserves fossils dating back to the Neogene period. These fossils include two types of skunk {Spilogale rexroadi and Brachyprotoma breviramus), a tree bat (Lasiurus fossilis), a ringtail (Bassariscus casei), several snakes, such as Elaphe obsoleta, and a turkey (Agriocharis progenes).

Ring-tailed cat

The ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a mammal of the raccoon family, native to arid regions of North America. Even though it is not a cat, it is also known as the ringtail cat, ring-tailed cat, miner's cat or bassarisk, and is also sometimes called a "civet cat" (after similar, though only distantly related, cat-like carnivores of Asia and Africa). The ringtail is sometimes called a cacomistle, though this term seems to be more often used to refer to Bassariscus sumichrasti.

South American coati

The South American coati or ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua) is a species of coati and a member of the raccoon family (Procyonidae), from tropical and subtropical South America. In Brazilian Portuguese, it is known as quati. An adult generally weighs 2–7.2 kg (4.4–15.9 lb) and is 85–113 cm (33–44 in) long, with half of that being its tail. Its color is highly variable and the rings on the tail may be only somewhat visible, but its distinguishing characteristic is that it lacks the largely white snout (or "nose") of its northern relative, the white-nosed coati.

Western lowland olingo

The western lowland olingo (Bassaricyon medius) is a species of olingo from Central and South America, where it is known from Panama and from Colombia and Ecuador west of the Andes.

Extant species of family Procyonidae
Extant Carnivora species

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