The tayra (Eira barbara), is an omnivorous animal from the weasel family, native to the Americas. It is the only species in the genus Eira.

Tayras are also known as the tolomuco or perico ligero in Central America, motete in Honduras, irara in Brazil, san hol or viejo de monte in the Yucatan Peninsula, and high-woods dog (or historically chien bois) in Trinidad.[4] The genus name Eira is derived from the indigenous name of the animal in Bolivia and Peru, while barbara means "strange" or "foreign".[5]

Scientific classification

E. barbara
Binomial name
Eira barbara
Tayra area
Tayra range

Mustela barbara Linnaeus, 1758


Tayras are long, slender animals with an appearance similar to weasels and martens. They range from 56 to 71 cm (22 to 28 in) in length, not including a 37- to 46-cm-long (15 to 18 in) bushy tail, and weigh 2.7 to 7.0 kg (6.0 to 15.4 lb). Males are larger, and slightly more muscular, than females. They have short, dark brown to black fur which is relatively uniform across the body, limbs, and tail, except for a yellow or orange spot on the chest. The fur on the head and neck is much paler, typically tan or greyish in colour. Albino or yellowish individuals are also known, and are not as rare among tayras as they are among other mustelids.[5]

Identified individuals of Eira barbara in the Peruvian Amazon
Identified individuals of E. barbara in the Peruvian Amazon
Records of Eira barbara in the Peruvian Amazon. 1 of 2
Records of E. barbara in the Peruvian Amazon 1 of 2
Records of Eira barbara in the Peruvian Amazon. 2 of 2
Records of E. barbara in the Peruvian Amazon 2 of 2

The feet have toes of unequal length with tips that form a strongly curved line when held together. The claws are short and curved, but strong, being adapted for climbing and running rather than digging. The pads of the feet are hairless, but are surrounded by stiff sensory hairs. The head has small, rounded ears, long whiskers, and black eyes with a blue-green shine. Like most other mustelids, tayras possess anal scent glands, but these are not particularly large, and their secretion is not as pungent as in other species, and is not used in self defence.[5] The species have a unique throat patch that can be used for[6] individual identification.

Range and habitat

Tayra range
Distribution of Tayra.

Tayras are found across most of South America east of the Andes, except for Uruguay, eastern Brazil, and all but the most northerly parts of Argentina. They are also found across the whole of Central America, in Mexico as far north as southern Veracruz, and on the island of Trinidad.[1] They are generally found only in tropical and subtropical forests, although they may cross grasslands at night to move between forest patches,[7] and they also inhabit cultivated plantations and croplands.[1]


At least seven subspecies are currently recognised:[5]

Behaviour and diet

Tayras are solitary diurnal animals, although occasionally active during the evening or at night.[7] They are opportunistic omnivores, hunting rodents and other small mammals, as well as birds, lizards, and invertebrates, and climbing trees to get fruit and honey.[5][8] They locate prey primarily by scent, having relatively poor eyesight, and actively chase it once located, rather than stalking or using ambush tactics.[7]

They are expert climbers, using their long tails for balance. On the ground or on large horizontal tree limbs, they use a bounding gallop when moving at high speeds.[9] They can also leap from treetop to treetop when pursued. They generally avoid water, but are capable of swimming across rivers when necessary.[5]

They live in hollow trees, or burrows in the ground. Individual animals maintain relatively large home ranges, with areas up to 24 km2 (9.3 sq mi) having been recorded. They may travel at least 6 km (3.7 mi) in a single night.[5]

An interesting instance of caching has been observed among tayras: a tayra will pick unripe green plantains, which are inedible, and leave them to ripen in a cache, coming back a few days later to consume the softened pulp.[10]


Tayras breed year-round, with the females entering estrus several times each year for 3 to 20 days at a time.[11] Unlike some other mustelids, tayras do not exhibit embryonic diapause, and gestation lasts from 63 to 67 days. The female gives birth to one to three young, which she cares for alone.[5][12]

The young are altricial, being born blind and with closed ears, but are already covered in a full coat of black fur; they weigh about 100 g (3.5 oz) at birth. Their eyes open at 35 to 47 days, and they leave the den shortly thereafter. They begin to take solid food around 70 days of age, and are fully weaned by 100 days. Hunting behaviour begins as early as three months, and the mother initially brings her young wounded or slow prey to practice on as they improve their killing technique. The young are fully grown around 6 months old, and leave their mother to establish their own territory by 10 months.[5]

A tayra from above
A rare white tayra at Ipswich Museum, Ipswich, Suffolk, England

Interaction with humans

Tayras are playful and easily tamed. Indigenous people, who often refer to the tayra as cabeza del viejo, or old man's head, due to their wrinkled facial skin, have kept them as household pets to control vermin. Sometimes, they attack domestic animals, such as chickens.


Wild tayra populations are slowly shrinking, especially in Mexico, due to habitat destruction for agricultural purposes. The species is listed as being of least concern.


  1. ^ a b c "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2018-10-27.
  2. ^ Nascimento, F. O. do (2014). "On the correct name for some subfamilies of Mustelidae (Mammalia, Carnivora)". Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo). 54 (21): 307–313. doi:10.1590/0031-1049.2014.54.21.
  3. ^ Law, C. J.; Slater, G. J.; Mehta, R. S. (2018-01-01). "Lineage Diversity and Size Disparity in Musteloidea: Testing Patterns of Adaptive Radiation Using Molecular and Fossil-Based Methods". Systematic Biology. 67 (1): 127–144. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syx047.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-10-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Presley, S.J. (2000). "Eira barbara" (PDF). Mammalian Species. 636: 1–6. doi:10.1644/1545-1410(2000)636<0001:eb>2.0.co;2.
  6. ^ Villafañe-Trujillo, Álvaro José; López-González, Carlos Alberto; Kolowski, Joseph M. (2018-01-24). "Throat Patch Variation in Tayra (Eira barbara) and the Potential for Individual Identification in the Field". Diversity. 10 (1): 7. doi:10.3390/d10010007.
  7. ^ a b c Defler, T.R. (1980). "Notes on interactions between tayra (Eira barbara) and the white-fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons)". Journal of Mammalogy. 61 (1): 156. doi:10.2307/1379979.
  8. ^ Galef, B.G.; et al. (1976). "Predation by the tayra (Eira barbara)". Journal of Mammalogy. 57 (4): 760–761. doi:10.2307/1379450.
  9. ^ Kavanau, J.L. (1971). "Locomotion and activity phasing of some medium-sized mammals". Journal of Mammalogy. 52 (2): 396–403. doi:10.2307/1378681.
  10. ^ Soley, F.G. & Alvarado-Díaz, I. (8 July 2011). "Prospective thinking in a mustelid? Eira barbara (Carnivora) cache unripe fruits to consume them once ripened". Naturwissenschaften. 98 (8): 693–698. doi:10.1007/s00114-011-0821-0.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Poglayen-Neuwall, I. "Copulatory behavior, gestation and parturition of the tayra." Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Zool. 7 (1974): 1-140.
  12. ^ Vaughan, R. (1974). "Breeding the tayra (Eira barbara) at Antelope Zoo, Lincoln". International Zoo Yearbook. 14: 120–122. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1090.1974.tb00791.x.

Further reading

  • Nowak, Ronald M. (2005). Walker's Carnivores of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press. ISBN 0-8018-8032-7
  • Emmons, L.H. (1997). Neotropical Rainforest Mammals, 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-20721-8
Arenillas Ecological Reserve

Arenillas Ecological Reserve (Spanish: Reserva Ecológica Arenillas) is a 17,083-hectare (42,210-acre) protected area in Ecuador situated in the El Oro Province, in the Arenillas Canton and in the Huaquillas Canton.

Known mammals in the reserve, according to a 1993 study include the Sechuran fox (Lycalopex sechurae), the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), Robinson's mouse opossum (Marmosa robinsoni), the Pacific spiny-rat (Proechimys decumamus), the jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi), the tayra (Eira barbara), the greater bulldog bat, the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus), the crab-eating raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus) and the Guayaquil squirrel (Sciurus stramineus). There are also 153 species of birds of which 35% are endemic. The reserve is a BirdLife International IBA with the following endangered birds: grey-cheeked parakeet (Brotogeris pyrrhoptera), slaty becard (Pachyramphus spodiurus), and blackish-headed spinetail (Synallaxis tithys).The region is managed by the ministry of defense and visitors must get permission from them to visit the area.


The cadejo (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈðexo]) is a supernatural character from Central American folklore. There is a good white cadejo and an evil black cadejo. Both are spirits that appear at night to travelers: the white to protect them from harm during their journey, the black (sometimes an incarnation of the devil) to kill them. The colors of the cadejo are sometimes exchanged according to local tradition. In some places, the black cadejo is seen as the good one and the white cadejo the evil one. They usually appear in the form of a large (up to the size of a cow), shaggy dog with burning red eyes and a goat's hooves, although in some areas they have more bull-like characteristics. According to the stories, many have tried to kill the black cadejo but have failed and perished. It is also said that if a cadejo is killed, it will smell terrible for several days, and then its body will disappear. Some Guatemalan and Salvadoran folklore also tells of a cadejo that guards drunks against anyone who tries to rob or hurt them. When the cadejo is near, it is said to bring about a strong goat-like smell. Most people say never to turn your back to the creature because otherwise you will go crazy. Speaking to the cadejo will also induce insanity.

In popular etymology, the name cadejo is thought to have derived from the Spanish word "cadena", meaning "chain"; the cadejo is at times represented as dragging a chain behind him. There is a fairly large member of the weasel family, the tayra, which in common speech is called a cadejo and is cited as a possible source of the legend.

In Guatemala and El Salvador, the dog-like creature is known as El Cadejo, is said to look like a dog but is not a dog, has deer-like hooves and also moves like a deer, rather than a dog. The white Cadejos are known to be benevolent and eat bell-like flowers that only grows on volcanoes. The white Cadejo protects people including drunks, vagabonds, and people with grudges from all evil foot steps and even La Siguanaba, and bad choices which are sometimes caused by the evil black Cadejo. The black Cadejo is malevolent and lures people to make bad choices. The black Cadejo has glowing red eyes and eats new born puppies and sometimes the black Cadejo is said to be the devil himself. The black Cadejo is said to be able to stand on two feet like a man and swiftly throw punches on its victims, letting them know that they are no ordinary dog. The novel "Los perros magicos de los volcanes" (Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes) by Manilo Argueta, describes the Cadejos as mythical dog-like creatures that figure prominently in the folklore of El Salvador. They mysteriously appear at night and lovingly protect the villagers who live on the slopes of the volcanoes from danger. In Guatemala and El Salvador the legend of El Cadejo revolves around La Siguanaba and El Cipitio legends.


Guloninae is a subfamily of the mammal family Mustelidae distributed across Eurasia and the Americas. It includes martens and the fisher, tayra and wolverine. These genera were formerly included within a paraphyletic definition of the mustelid subfamily Mustelinae.

Most gulonine species are arboreal to a degree. Some of the fashion furs come from this subfamily, i.e. sable, marten.

Imyra, Tayra, Ipy - Taiguara

Imyra, Tayra, Ipy - Taiguara is an album by the Brazilian singer-songwriter Taiguara, released by EMI-Odeon on 1976 (LP) and then, on 2013, by Kuarup (CD).

Kaman, Rajasthan

Kaman is a town in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan State, India.


Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Manú National Park

Manu National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional del Manu) is a national park and biosphere reserve located in the regions of Madre de Dios and Cusco in Peru. It protects diverse ecosystems such as lowland rainforests, cloud forests and Andean grasslands.


A mesocarnivore is an animal whose diet consists of 30–70% meat with the balance consisting of non-vertebrate foods which may include fungi, fruits, and other plant material. Mesocarnivores are seen today among the Canidae (coyotes, foxes), Viverridae (civets), Mustelidae (martens, tayra), Procyonidae (ringtail, raccoon), Mephitidae (skunks), and Herpestidae (some mongooses).


The Mustelidae (; from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, mink, and wolverines, among others. Mustelids are diverse and the largest family in the order Carnivora, suborder Caniformia. Mustelidae comprises about 56-60 species across eight subfamilies.

Northern olingo

The northern olingo (Bassaricyon gabbii), also known as the bushy-tailed olingo or as simply the olingo (due to it being the most commonly seen of the species), is a tree-dwelling member of the family Procyonidae, which also includes raccoons. It was the first species of olingo to be described, and while it is considered by some authors to be the only genuine olingo species, a recent review of the Bassaricyon genus has shown that there are a total of four olingo species, although two of the former species should now be considered as a part of this species. Its scientific name honors William More Gabb, who collected the first specimen. It is native to Central America.

Puerto Rico women's national basketball team

The Puerto Rico women's national basketball team (Spanish: Selección femenina de Baloncesto de Puerto Rico) is governed by the Puerto Rican Basketball Federation (Spanish: Federación de Baloncesto de Puerto Rico).

Reda Taliani

Réda Tamni better known as Reda Taliani (in Arabic رضى الطلياني) (born 1980 in El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria) is an Algerian raï singer and musician. He is a longtime resident of Aubagne, Marseille, France. His music blends chaabi, raï and traditional musical styles of the Maghreb, and many of his songs depict the realities and aspirations of the Algerian youth.

Serra da Cutia National Park

Serra da Cutia National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Serra da Cutia) is a national park in the state of Rondônia, Brazil.


Taiguara Chalar da Silva (October 9, 1945 in Montevideo – February 14, 1996 in São Paulo), whose stage name was Taiguara, was a Brazilian singer and songwriter.

Taiguara was born in Montevideo, Uruguay as his father toured the country as a musician, but grew up in Rio and later moved to São Paulo. While attending Law School at Mackenzie University, he became increasingly involved with student organized recitals and performances, eventually abandoning the course altogether to pursue a musical career full-time. In 1964, he joined the Sambalanço Trio and started receiving media attention, which yielded his first offer from record label Phillips. In 1965, Taiguara recorded his first of several albums, and in the following years won many awards.

Due to a series of disagreements with the military dictators in power, his career in Brazil was interrupted in the mid-1970s and he was forced to move abroad, settling in London, where he studied at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, played with the London Symphony Orchestra and recorded the album Let the Children Hear the Music. The album set a precedent, as it became the first foreign recording by a Brazilian musician censored in Brazil (the same record was never released in England either, having been deemed "misplaced" by the studios). During a second exile, Taiguara also lived in Paris and a few African countries, mainly Tanzania, where he studied Journalism for a year.

Always troubled by the harsh reality of the less fortunate, Taiguara increasingly leaned towards leftist views, later becoming involved with political activities which rallied for a fairer future and social and economical equality for all. Although he was never officially affiliated with any political parties, communist leader Luis Carlos Prestes became a great friend and mentor in his later years. Taiguara composed and recorded the song "O Cavaleiro da Esperança" {The Hope Knight} in his honor.

Thirteen years after performing in Brazil for the last time, Taiguara returned with the concert "Thirteen Octobers" and released two more albums: "Cançoes de Amor e Liberdade" {Songs of love and Freedom} (1984) and "Brazil Afri" {Afro Brasil} (1994) in the following years. On February 14, 1996, he died from bladder cancer. His last project, an album of songs that celebrated and examined the joys and hardships of the poor living on the slums of Rio de Janeiro, never came to completion.

Taiguara was one of the most censored Brazilian artists to date, having close to 200 songs vetoed throughout his career. Some of his biggest hits were "Universo No Teu Corpo", "Teu Sonho Não Acabou", "Viagem", "Berço de Marcela", "Que as Crianças Cantem Livres", "Hoje", "Amanda", "Carne e Osso", "Geração 70" and "Mudou". Not unlike many MPB artists, Taiguara composed his own music.

Taira (disambiguation)

The Taira clan was a major Japanese clan of samurai.

Taira may also refer to:

Taira, Toyama, a village in Toyama prefecture, Japan

Taira, the center of Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan

Taira (spider): a genus of spiders (family Amaurobiidae)

Tayra (Eira barbara), a neotropical Mustelidae

Tayra Meléndez

Tayra Meléndez (born 29 October 1993) is a Puerto Rican basketball player for Santeras de Aguada and the Puerto Rican national team.She participated at the 2018 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup.

Tumbes National Reserve

Tumbes National Reserve is a protected area established in 2006 and located in the region of Tumbes, Peru; near the border with Ecuador. It spans an area of 751 km2 (290 sq mi) and along with Cerros de Amotape National Park and El Angolo Game Preserve is part of the Noroeste Biosphere Reserve designated by UNESCO.

Extant Carnivora species

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.