Coypu on the green
Coypu (Myocastor coypus) Photo © ITAW

Also known as:

coypu, beaver rat, swamp beaver, tail rat or tail beaver


Scientific name:

Myocastor coypus


Order: Rodentia (Rodentia)
Family: barbed rat (Echimyidae)
Type: Nutria (Myocastor coypus)


Color: red-brown to brown-gray; rare colors: white, beige, light brown
Body length: up to approx. 65 cm
Body weight: 8 to 10 kg on average
Special features: red-orange incisors, round scale-covered, barely hairy tail, webbed between the first four (of five) toes of the hind limbs


Original habitat: South America
Current habitat: South America, Eurasia and North America
In Germany: occurring in all federal states


on lakes, rivers, ponds, swamps, streams


stems, leaves, grasses, roots of aquatic plants and root crops; but also snails, worms and freshwater mussels.


contact person

TÄ Franziska Maria Schöttes
direct dial +49 511 856-7546
Dr. med. vet. Friederike Gethöffer
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
direct dial +49 511 856-7579