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Paca, Lowland.jpg

The lowland paca (Cuniculus paca), also known as the spotted paca, is a large rodent found in tropical and sub-tropical America, from East-Central Mexico to Northern Argentina. Introduced to Cuba, Bahamas, Jamaica and Hispaniola.[4] It is called paca in most of its range, but tepezcuintle in most of Mexico and Central America, pisquinte in northern Costa Rica, jaleb in the Yucatán peninsula, conejo pintado in Panama, guanta in Ecuador, majás or picuro in Peru, jochi pintado in Bolivia, and boruga,[5] tinajo,[6] or guartinaja in Colombia. It is also known as the gibnut in Belize, where it is prized as a game animal, labba in Guyana, lapa in Venezuela, and lappe on the island of Trinidad.

There is much confusion in the nomenclature of this and related species; see agouti. In particular, the popular term agouti or common agouti normally refers to species of the distinct Dasyprocta genus (such as the Central American agouti, Dasyprocta punctata). Sometimes the word agouti is also used for a polyphyletic grouping uniting the families Cuniculidae and Dasyproctidae, which, besides the pacas and common agoutis, includes also the acouchis (Myoprocta). Cuniculus is the appropriate genus name instead of Agouti based on a 1998 ruling of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature as the Lowland Paca's genus.[7]

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