There are two species, the red and the brown, both remarkable for the great length and mobility of the snout; they live among the branches of trees, being very expert climbers, where they feed upon birds, and their young and eggs, on insects, and sometimes on vegetable substances. The red coaiti (nasua rufa) is of a general reddish chestnut color, with black ears and legs, maroon-colored bands on the tail, and white hairs on the edge of the upper jaw; the fur is harsh, and of little use; the paws are provided with peculiar tubercles, which give it firm foothold on the branches. It is a nocturnal animal, hiding by day; it may be tamed, though its temper is very capricious; the feet are 5-toed, with sharp claws. This species is often called "coaiti-mondi." It is smaller and more weasel-like than the raccoon. The brown coaiti, or quaschi (X. narica), is of a browner color, with the lower parts and inside of limbs tinged with yellowish gray. It is a lively and amusing animal, easily tamed, and useful as a destroyer of rats and mice in the house, and of slugs and snails in the garden; it lives in the same region as the other species.
Coaiti-mondi (Nasua rufa).