Geocapromys ingrahami

Hutia

Hutias are moderately large cavy-like rodents that inhabit the Caribbean Islands. They range in size from , and can weigh up to . 20 species of hutia have been identified, and half may be extinct. Among those that perished were the giant hutias. They resemble the nutria in some respects and the largest species weigh up to seven kilograms. Tails are present, varying from vestiges to prehensile. They have stout bodies and large heads. Most species are herbivorous, though some consume small animals. Instead of burrowing underground, they nest in trees or rock crevices. Only a few species are common, while others have become endangered.

They are hunted for food in Cuba, where they are often cooked in a large pot with wild nuts and honey. One of the recipes is hutia stew: sauté with green peppers, onions, tomato sauce and lots of garlic.

One species of hutia is referred to by those stationed at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base as banana rats.

Banana rats are not named for their dietary preference, but because their feces look like small versions of the fruit. They are also known to come out at night.

Species

  • Those species with daggers by them are known to be extinct.

Order Rodentia
Suborder Hystricognathi
Family Capromyidae
Subfamily Capromyinae
Capromys
Desmarest's hutia (Capromys pilorides)
Geocapromys
Bahamian Hutia (Geocapromys ingrahami)
Brown's hutia (Geocapromys brownii)
Little swan island hutia (†Geocapromys thoracatus)
Mesocapromys
Cabrera's Hutia (Mesocapromys angelcabrerai)
Dwarf Hutia (Mesocapromys nanus)
Eared Hutia (Mesocapromys auritus)
San Felipe Hutia (Mesocapromys sanfelipensis)
Mysateles
Black-tailed Hutia (Mysateles melanurus)
Garrido's Hutia (Mysateles garridoi)
Gundlach's Hutia (Mysateles gundlachi)
Prehensile-tailed Hutia (Mysateles prehensilis)
Southern Hutia (Mysateles meridionalis)
Subfamily †Hexolobodontinae
Hexolobodon
Imposter Hutia (†Hexolobodon phenax)
Subfamily Isolobodontinae
Isolobodon
Montane Hutia (†Isolobodon montanus)
Puerto Rican Hutia (Isolobodon portoricensis)
Subfamily Plagiodontinae
Plagiodontia
Hispaniolan Hutia (Plagiodontia aedium)
Samana Hutia (Plagiodontia ipnaeum)
San Rafael Hutia (Plagiodontia araeum)
Rhizoplagiodontia
Lemke's Hutia (Rhizoplagiodontia lemkei)

References

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