Our Fauna

Tapeti

Sylvilagus brasiliensis

The Tapeti is the only native rabbit in Brazil.

Conservation Status - IUCN

Taxonomy

Class: Mammalia
Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae
Genre: Sylvilagus
Species: Sylvilagus brasiliensis
Common name: Tapeti, Brazilian cottontail, forest cottontail

Geographic Range

Click to enlarge - Source: IUCN

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They serve as food for several species in the trophic chain, such as pumas, ocelots, and certain snakes, as well as other animals. For this reason, the tapeti has learned the habit of living silently and discreetly.

Distribution

The tapeti is found from Mexico to southern South America, with the exception of one part of the Amazon. In Brazil, it is present in all biomes, distributed throughout much of the Brazilian territory.

Features

The tapeti measures between 21 and 40 centimeters in body length and may weigh up to 1.2 kilograms. It has small ears, a coat of yellowish-brown, darker in the dorsal region and lighter in the ventral region; the lumbar region is brown and speckled.

Behavior

Habits are mostly nocturnal and solitary, so the tapeti is more active after dusk and just before dawn. During the day the animal prefers to stay hidden in shelters, under rocks, inside hollow trunks, in piles of leaves, or in holes.

Food

The tapeti is an herbivorous animal with a diet based on fruits, sprouts and vegetable stalks.

Reproduction

The gestation period lasts between 28 and 44 days, with the female tapeti giving birth to between one and six cubs. Nests – where they raise their young – are made of dried leaves or grass, with their own hair lining the inside. Cubs start to leave the nest around 15 days after their birth.

Conservation

The tapeti is considered “of little concern” by the national lists of both the ICMBio and the IUCN.

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