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versión On-line ISSN 2007-3364


SILVA-CABALLERO, Adrián; MONTIEL-REYES, Fernando; SANCHEZ-GARIBAY, Eduardo  y  ORTEGA, Jorge. Leucism in the white-nosed coatiNasua narica (Mammalia: Carnivora), in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Therya [online]. 2014, vol.5, n.3, pp.839-843. ISSN 2007-3364.


Chromatic aberrations happen infrequently in mammals, usually as a result of the expression of a recessive gene. Leucism is the partial or total loss of pigmentation; this condition is the result of genetic mutations. This manuscript is the first report of leucistic individuals of White-nosed coati Nasua narica in Mexico.


In September-October 2012, in the course of a faunal survey in the Yucatán Peninsula two atypical White-nosed coatis Nasua narica (Linnaeus 1766) was sighted and photographed in two different localities: "Crococun" regional zoological park, in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, México (20°52. 822' N y -86°53.222' W, 8 m), and "Condominio Club Real, Playacar Fase 1", in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México (20°36.775' N y -87°05.711' W, 10 m).


The animals, a juvenile and an adult, both females, showed a lack of pigmentation in the back, belly and members, coloration ranged from white to creamy-white; both cases had a slightly brown color in the neck and rings of the same color in the tail (Figura 1). Such pigmentation pattern is similar to the reported for leucistic individuals (Buckley 1982).


Little is known about the cost to an individual under those conditions associated with this reduction in pigmentation; some authors consider leucism as a disadvantage, as it can be a determining factor for survival, because this condition increases visibility to potential predators and therefore suffer greater selection pressure (Chętnicki et al. 2007). The interpretation of the biological significance of atypical patterns of coloration still remains uncertain; however, it is known that the leucism can provide indirect evidence of the underlying genetic variability, genetic change to variation in fitness-related traits and/or population structure (Acevedo and Aguayo 2008). Therefore, it is necessary to perform detailed genetic studies to generate knowledge about the cause of the abnormalities in the color of the fur and to clarify whether further environmental or biological factors are involved.

Palabras llave : genetic mutation; mammals; mesocarnivores; Mexico; pigmentation.

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