Marmosops parvidens, Tate, 1931

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson, 2015, Didelphidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 5 Monotremes and Marsupials, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 129-186 : 181

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Marmosops parvidens


90. View Plate 9: Didelphidae

Delicate Slender Opossum

Marmosops parvidens

French: Opossum délicat / German: Zierliche Schlankbeutelratte / Spanish: Marmosa esbelta delicada

Other common names: Delicate Slender Mouse Opossum

Taxonomy. Marmosa parvidens Tate, 1931 ,

“ Hyde Park , 30 miles up the Demerara River,” Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana.

This species is treated as monotypic pending a revision using modern techniques; it is likely that Colombian and western Venezuelan populations represent an additional species. Monotypic.

Distribution. Colombia (E slope of the Andes), N & SE Venezuela, the Guianas, and N Brazil. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 9.3-10.7 cm,tail 14.2-16 cm; weight 21-31 g. The Delicate Slender Opossum has dusty reddish-brown dorsal fur that extends onto body sides and contrasts sharply with ventral fur. Head is same color as dorsum on crown but gradually paler in mid-rostral region, contrasting with narrow dark eye-rings that do not reach bases of ears and buffy cheeks. Tail length is ¢.150% of head—body length, and tail is paler ventrally than dorsally. Ventral fur is mostly white or buffy from chin to inguinal area, sometimes extending onto inside surfaces of limbs, with little or no presence of lateral bands of gray-based hairs. Dorsal fur is ¢.7 mm long. Males have carpal tubercles. Females lack a pouch and have nine mammae, four on each side and a medial mamma. Karyotype of the Delicate Slender Opossum is unknown. Although several karyotypes have been reported as belonging to the Delicate Slender Opossum, they are from specimens from localities outside its distribution as currently understood, and they likely represent other taxa. Skull shape is sexually dimorphic.

Habitat. Humid tropical forests at elevations from sea level to ¢.1700 m, including welldrained and swampy primary forests and secondary forests.

Food and Feeding. There is no information available for this species.

Breeding. Six and seven embryos have been reported for the Delicate Slender Opossum.

Activity patterns. All specimens of the Delicate Slender Opossum collected in French Guiana were captured at night, and specimens have been seen foraging in early evening.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. The Delicate Slender Opossum forages on the ground and in trees. In French Guiana, nine specimens were captured on the ground and six in the understory, either perched on vertical stems at heights of 0-2-1-5m or on a liana at 1-8 m. In Venezuela, individuals have been captured on the ground and in trees.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. The Delicate Slender Opossum has a wide distribution and occurs in several protected areas.

Bibliography. Adler et al. (2012), Astua (2010), Carvalho et al. (2002), Eisenberg (1989), Gardner & Creighton (2007a), Handley (1976), Lunde & Schutt (1999), Pine (1981), da Silva et al. (2013), Steiner & Catzeflis (2004), Svartman (2009), Voss, Lim et al. (2013), Voss, Lunde & Simmons (2001), Voss, Tarifa & Yensen (2004).