The Cacomistle (Bassariscus sumichrasti) is a nocturnal, arboreal omnivore. Its preferred habitats are wet, tropical evergreen woodlands and mountain forests, though seasonally it will range 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 ringtailed cat, Bassariscus astutus, a similar species that inhabits arid northern Mexico and the American Southwest.