The term agouti (Spanish: Agutí, Spanish pronunciation: [aɣuˈti]) or common agouti designates several rodent species of the genus Dasyprocta. They are native to Middle America, northern and central South America, and the southern Lesser Antilles. Some species have also been introduced elsewhere in the West Indies. They are related to guinea pigs and look quite similar, but are larger and have longer legs. The species vary considerably in colour, being brown, reddish, dull orange, greyish or blackish, but typically with lighter underparts. Their bodies are covered with coarse hair which is raised when alarmed. They weigh 2.4–6 kg (5.3–13.2 lb) and are 44.5–76 cm (17.5–29.9 in) in length, with short, hairless tails.

Confusingly, the related pacas were placed by some authorities in a genus called Agouti, though Cuniculus has priority and is the correct term.

Also confusing, the agouti is known by some in Mexico as a sereque.

Back to Mammals