White-nosed Coati, Coatimundi

(Nasua narica)


White-nosed Coati, Coatimundi IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The white-nosed coati is similar to its relative. Head-body length ranges from 46-69 cm, the tail from 49-62 cm, the hind foot from 9-15 cm, and the body-weight is around 4.5 kg. The narrow, elongated head ends in a very flexible snout which the coati pokes under rocks and into crevices in search for food. The ears are short and rounded, the tail is thick-furred but not bushy and tapering at the end.


The colour of the upper parts is dark brown, on the shoulders or entire fore quarters are grizzled grey. The head is sometimes rusty brown, muzzle and chin are white, extending as white stripes above the eyes, and there are other white spots above and behind the eyes. The ears are lined with white. Tail and feet are dark brown. There may be inconspicuous lighter rings on the tail. Throat and chest are frosted white, the belly may be dark brown or frosted white. Specimens from more arid areas may be paler.


Coatis are diurnal terrestrial and arboreal. Males are often solitary, females and young travel in groups of up to 30 animals. Members of active groups emit constant soft whining sounds. Alarm calls consist of explosive woofs and clicks. When alarmed, all members of a group climb halfway up a tree to look. After a few moments they drop down and disperse in the undergrowth. At night, coatis sleep in a tree top.


Coatis are opportunistic omnivorous feeders eating fruit, invertebrates, like beetles, grubs, ants, termites, spiders and scorpions, and small vertebrates, including lizards, snakes, and rodents. They also take carrion One of its favorite fruits is prickly pear.

Did you know?
That coatis are hunted for their meat by local people, who sometimes have dogs trained for this purpose? If cornered on the ground by a dog, a coati can inflict serious woulds with its large an sharp canine teet.


Name (Scientific) Nasua narica
Name (English) White-nosed Coati, Coatimundi
Name (French) Coati à nez blanc, Coati à museau blanc
Name (German) Weißrüssel-Nasenbär
Name (Spanish) Coatí de nariz blanca
Local names Belize: Quash
Colobia: Cuzumbo
CITES Status Appendix III (Honduras)
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Julie Ramsey



Range From southern USA (Arizona, Texas, New Mexico) through Mexico to Ecuador and Colombia
Native: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States
Habitat Most common in different types of forest, from tropical rainforest to mountain forests
Wild population The White-nosed Coati is common in his range area and not endangered. They even extended their range northwards in the last centuries.
Zoo population 207 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

White-nosed Coati, Coatimundi


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 82 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Liz Roy

Why do zoos keep this animal

The white-nosed coati is a common species, which is frequently kept by zoos because it is diurnal, social, and always very active, i.e. an attractive zoo animal, which is a good ambassador species for the conservation of neotropical forests.