Mesocapromys nanus Allen, 1917:54

Dwarf hutia



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Capromys nana Allen, 1917:54


Conservation Status


Last record: 1937 (Fisher & Blomberg, 2012; Lee et al., 2017; Martin et al., 2023); 26 October 1951?

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)



Matanzas Province, Cuba


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: MCZ VP9864

Type locality: Cuba: Matanzas, cave in Sierra de Hato Nuevo.

Paratypes are also held by the MCZ.

A specimen can be seen here:






Original scientific description:

Allen, Glover Morrill. (1917). An extinct Cuban Capromys. Proceedings of the New England Zoological Club 6: 53-56.


Other references:

Allen, Glover Morrill. (1918). Fossil mammals from Cuba. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 62: 133-148.

Allen, Glover Morrill. (1942). Extinct and vanishing mammals of the Western Hemisphere with the marine species of all the oceans. New York, N.Y.: American Committee for International Wildlife Protection, Special Publications 11: 1-620.

Alvarez, V. B. and Gonzalez, A. C. (1991). The critical condition of hutias in Cuba. Oryx 25: 206-208.

Anthony, H. E. (1919). Mammals collected in eastern Cuba in 1917. With descriptions of two new species. Bulletin of American Museum of Natural History 41: 625-643.

Borroto-Páez, Rafael and Mancina, Carlos A. (2017). Biodiversity and conservation of Cuban mammals: past, present, and invasive species. Journal of Mammalogy 98(4): 964-985.

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., 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.

Duncan, Clare, Böhm, Monika and Turvey, Samuel T. (2021). Identifying the possibilities and pitfalls of conducting IUCN Red List assessments from remotely sensed habitat information based on insights from poorly known Cuban mammals. Conservation Biology 35(5): 1598-1614.

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.

Garrido, O. H. (1980). Los vertebrados terrestres de la Península de Zapata. Poeyana 203: 39-49. [pp. 1-49?]

Hall, E. R. 1981. The mammals of North America. Second ed. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1:1-600 + 90, 2:601-1181 + 90.

Hall, E. R. and Kelson, K. R. (1959). The Mammals of North America. New York: Ronald Press.

Joslin, Paul and Maryanka, Daphne. (1968). Endangered Mammals of the World: Report on Status and Action Treatment. IUCN Publications, New Series, Supplementary Paper No. 13: 34 pp.

Kratochvíl, J., L. Rodriguez, and V. Barus. 1978. Capromyinae (Rodentia) of Cuba. I. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium. Academiae Scientiarum Bohemoslovacae (Brno), n.s., 12(11):1-60.

Lee, T. E., Fisher, D. O., Blomberg, S. P. and Wintle, B. A. (2017). Extinct or still out there? Disentangling influences on extinction and rediscovery helps to clarify the fate of species on the edge. Global Change Biology 23(2): 621-634.

Martin, Thomas E., Bennett, Gareth C., Fairbairn, Andrew J. and Mooers, A. Ø. (2023). ‘Lost’ taxa and their conservation implications. Animal Conservation 26(1): 14-24. [Appendix S2 (1617 taxa not seen >10 years); Appendix S3 (562 taxa not seen >50 years)]

Morrison-Scott, T. C. S. (1939). Description of Capromys nana Allen, a supposedly extinct Cuban hutia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 11 3: 214-216.

Peterson, O. A. (1917). Report upon the fossil material collected in 1913 by the Messrs. Link in a cave in the Isle of Pines. Annals of Carnegie Museum 11(24): 359-361.

Rodriguez, L., Barus, V. and Kratochvil, J. (1979). The genus Mesocapromys, a link between the families Echimyidae and Capromyidae. Folia Zoologica 28(2): 97-102.

Soy, J. and Silva, G. (2008). Mesocapromys nanus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 10 July 2011.

Thornback, Jane and Jenkins, Martin (compilers). (1982). The IUCN Mammal Red Data Book. Part 1: Threatened Mammalian Taxa of the Americas and the Australasian Zoogeographic Region (Excluding Cetacea). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 516 pp.

Turvey, Samuel et al. (2017). The Last Survivors: current status and conservation of the non-volant land mammals of the insular Caribbean. Journal of Mammalogy. [Abstract]

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.

Upham, Nathan S. and Borroto-Páez, Rafael. (2017). Molecular phylogeography of endangered Cuban hutias within the Caribbean radiation of capromyid rodents. Journal of Mammalogy 98(4): 950-963.

Varona, L. S. (1974). Catalogo de los mamiferos vivientes y extinguidos de las Antillas. Academia de Ciencias de Cuba, Habana.

Varona, L. S. (1979). Subgénero y especie nuevos de Capromys para Cuba (Rodentia: Caviomorpha). Poeyana (Academia de Ciencias de Cuba) 194: 1-33.

Varona, L. S. (1980a). Mamiferos de Cuba. Editorial Gente Nueva, Habana. [annotated by the author]

Varona, L. S. (1980b). Protection in Cuba. Oryx 15(3): 282-284.


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