Isolobodon portoricensis Allen, 1916

Puerto Rican hutia, Puerto Rican isolobodon, Haitian isolobodn (as I. levir)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Isolobodon levir Miller, 1922; Isolobodon portoricensis levir Miller, 1922; Isolobodon potoricensi Allen, 1916 (used by Frank & Benson, 1998:103)


Conservation Status


Last record: >1300 AD; 1525 (Fisher & Blomberg, 2012)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Hispaniola and surrounding islands


Biology & Ecology









Original scientific description:

Allen, J. A. (1916). An extinct octodont from the island of Porto Rico, West Indies. Ann. Acad. New York Sci. 27(1): 17-22. [Abstract]


Other references:

Anthony, H. E. (1926). Field notes of the 1926 expedition to Mona and other West Indian Islands. Unpublished manuscript, American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Bininda-Emonds, O.R.P., Cardillo, M., Jones, K.E., MacPhee, R.D.E., Beck, R.M.D., Grenyer, R., Price, S.A., Vos, R.A., Gittleman, J.L. & Purvis, A. 2007. The delayed rise of present-day mammals. Nature 446, 507-512.

Borroto-Páez, Rafael, Mancina, Carlos A., Woods, Charles A. and Kilpatrick, C. William. (2012). Checklist: Updated Checklist of Endemic Terrestrial Mammals of the West Indies, pp. 389-415. In: Borroto-Páez, Rafael, Woods, Charles A. and Sergile, F. E. (eds.). Terrestrial Mammals of the West Indies: Contributions. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Museum of Natural History and Wacahoota Press. 482 pp.

Cooke, Siobhán B. and Crowley, Brooke E. (2018). Deciphering the isotopic niches of now-extinct Hispaniolan rodents. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 38(5): e1510414.

Cooke, Siobhán Bríghid and Crowley, Brooke Erin. (2022). New radiocarbon dates reveal pan-Holocene deposition of rodents at Trouing Jérémie #5, a sinkhole in the western Tiburon Peninsula, Haiti. The Holocene 32(9): 991-997.

Cooke, Siobhán B., Dávalos, Liliana M., Mychajliw, Alexis M. Turvey, Samuel T. and Upham, Nathan S. (2017). Anthropogenic Extinction Dominates Holocene Declines of West Indian Mammals. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 48: 301-327.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Fisher, Diana O. and Blomberg, Simon P. (2012). Inferring Extinction of Mammals from Sighting Records, Threats, and Biological Traits. Conservation Biology 26(1): 57-67.

Flemming, Clare, and, MacPhee, R. D. E. (1999). Redetermination of Holotype of Isolobodon portoricensis (Rodentia, Capromyidae), with Notes on Recent Mammalian Extinctions in Puerto Rico. American Museum Novitates, No. 3278: 1-11.

Frank, Edward F. and Benson, Richard. (1998). Vertebrate paleontology of Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 60(2):103-106.

Freudenthal, M. and Martín-Suárez, E. (2013). Estimating body mass of fossil rodents. Scripta Geologica 145: 1-130. [1.5 kg min. mass estimate]

Goodwin, Harry A. and Goodwin, J. M. (1973). List of mammals which have become extinct or are possibly extinct since 1600. Int. Union Conserv. Nat. Occas. Pap. 8: 1-20.

MacPhee, R. D. E. and Flemming, C. (1999). Requiem Aeternam. The last five hundred years of mammalian extinctions, pp. 333-371. In: R. D. E. MacPhee (ed.), Extinctions in Near Time. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, USA.

McFarlane, D.A., A. Vale, K. Christenson, J. Lundberg, G. Atilles, and S.E. Lauritzen. (2000). New specimens of Late Quaternary extinct mammals from caves in Sanchez Ramirez Province, Dominican Republic. Caribbean Journal of Science 36: 163-166.

Miller Jr GS (1929) Mammals eaten by Indians, owls, and Spaniards in the coast region of the Dominican Republic. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 82, 1–16.

Nieves-Rivera ÁM and McFarlane DA (2001) In search of the extinct hutia in cave deposits of Isla de Mona, P.R. NSS News 59, 92–95.

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA and London, UK.

Quitmyer IR (2003) Zooarchaeology of Cinnamon Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands: pre-Columbian overexploitation of animal resources. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 44, 131–158.

Raffaele HA (1979) The status of some endangered species in Puerto Rico with particular emphasis on Isolobodon (Rodentia). In Tercer simposio Departamento de Recursos Naturales, pp. 100–104. Departamento de Recursos Naturales, San Juan.

Reitz EJ and McEwan BG (1995) Animals, environment, and the Spanish diet at Puerto Real. In Deagan K, ed., Puerto Real: the Archaeology of a Sixteenth-Century Spanish Town in Hispaniola, pp. 287–334. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.

Shev, Gene T. et al. (2021). Human and hutia (Isolobodon portoricensis) interactions in pre-Columbian Hispaniola: The isotopic and morphological evidence. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 37: 102913.

Shev, Gene T. and Laffoon, Jason E. (2022). Paleodietary reconstruction of endemic rodents from the precolumbian Dominican Republic: Discriminating wild feeding behavior from diets linked to human niche construction activities. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions, pp. 41-61. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Turvey, S. and Dávalos, L. (2008). Isolobodon portoricensis. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. ( Downloaded on 08 May 2011.

Turvey, S.T. & Dávalos, L. 2018. Isolobodon portoricensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T10860A22186876. Accessed on 02 July 2022.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Fritz, Susanne A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1577): 2564-2576. [Supplementary Information]

Upham, Nathan S. (2017). Past and present of insular Caribbean mammals: understanding Holocene extinctions to inform modern biodiversity conservation. Journal of Mammalogy 98(4): 913-917.

Wetmore A (1922) Bird remains from the caves of Porto Rico. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 46, 297–333.

Woods, C. A. (1989). The biogeography of West Indian rodents, pp. 741-798. In: Woods, C. A. (ed.). Biogeography of the West Indies: Past, Present, and Future. Gainesville, Florida: Sandhill Crane Press.

Woods, C.A., Borroto Paéz, R. & Kilpatrick, C.W. 2001 Insular patterns and radiations of West Indian rodents. In Biogeography of the West Indies: patterns and perspectives (ed. C.A. Woods & F.E. Sergile), pp. 335-353. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Woods, C. A. and Kilpatrick, C. W. (2005). Infraorder Hystricognathi Brandt, 1855. In: Wilson DE, Reeder DM (eds) Mammal species of the world: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC, pp 1538-1600.

Woods, C.A., Ottenwalder, J. A. and Oliver, W.L.R., (1985). Lost mammals of the Greater Antilles. Dodo, J. Jersey Wild. Pres. Trust. 22: 23-45.


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