Photographs on this page courtesy of SFWMD
There is only one raccoon (Procyonidae
) species in Florida.
, Procyon lotor
, is found in areas with trees, including urban areas, statewide. It is gray, brown, and black with a pale brown underside. Its face is lighter with a black mask. Its hind legs are longer than its forelegs. It is 30-35" long with a 9-12" banded tail and weighs 10-15 pounds.
It is omnivorous and opportunistic. Its diet includes fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, roots, amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, and insects. It also forages in garbage and has displayed an uncanny ability to open coolers and other camping equipment. Food plants include sea grapes
, Crataegus spp.
, Rubus spp.
, cabbage palm
, saw palmetto
, and cactus
The raccoon typically sleeps in trees
during the day, becoming active in the late afternoon. It has several den sites within its home range (1 mile in diameter for males, .75 for females).
Breeding usually occurs during December or January. The male wanders off in search of another mate. A litter of 3-4 kits is born about 60 days later. The female is very protective of her offspring.
Predators include man, dogs, bobcats, panthers, and great horned owls.
Raccoons are primary carriers of rabies in Florida and may also carry distemper and tuberculosis.
[ Mammal Index | Protected Mammals ]