Monodelphis brevicaudata (Erxleben, 1777)

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 : 149

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Monodelphis brevicaudata


34. View Plate 8: Didelphidae

Guyanan Short-tailed Opossum

Monodelphis brevicaudata

French: Opossum a pattes rouges / German: Guiana-Spitzmausbeutelratte / Spanish: Colicorto de Guyana

Other common names: Northern Red-sided Opossum, Red-legged Short-tailed Opossum

Taxonomy. Didelphis brevicaudata Erxleben, 1777 ,

“in Americae australis silvis.”

Restricted by P. Matschie in 1916 to “Suriname” and by R. S. Voss, D. P. Lunde, and N. B. Simmons in 2001 to “Kartabo, Cuyuni-Mazaruni District, Guyana.” This species is monotypic.

Distribution. SE Venezuela (S of the Orinoco River), N Guyana, and NW Brazil (N of the Rio Negro and W of the Rio Branco). View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 14:3-17 cm (males) and 12:8-16.1 cm (females), tail 6.4-9.7 cm (males) and 7.1-8.7 cm (females); weight 70-127 g (males) and 50-81 g (females). Mid-dorsal fur of the Guyanan Short-tailed Opossum is usually brownish or grayish, sometimes appearing slightly grizzled. There is some variation in pelage color throughout its distribution. Some individuals have reddish-brown dorsal fur, similar to color of sides of body. Sides of head are reddish, and there is often a narrow, pale gray, yellowish, or orangish mid-rostral stripe. There are no eye-rings. Tail length is c.50% of head-body length, and tail has fur on 25% ofits length dorsally and only at the very proximal part ventrally. Naked part oftail is pale brown to dark brownishgray. Ventral fur is creamy gray, with gray-based hairs, contrasting with reddish sides, chin, and throat. Fur is longer and denser dorsally (c.8 mm) than ventrally (c.4 mm). Feet are pale brown to dark brown or gray, and ears are small, uniformly colored pale brown to dark brownish-gray, and appear naked. Females lack a pouch and have nine mammae, four on each side, and a medial mamma. Karyotype of the Guyanan Shorttailed Opossum is unknown. Males are larger than females, and skull size and shape are sexually dimorphic.

Habitat. Mostly in lowland forests at elevations of 95-400, with occasional records at higher elevations (620-1080 m) in upland forests.

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

Breeding. There is no information available for this species.

Activity patterns. There is no information available for this species.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. There is no information available for this species.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. The Guyanan Short-tailed Opossum has a wide distribution, is presence in several protected areas, and appears to be tolerant of some degree of habitat modification.

Bibliography. Astua (2010), Handley (1976), Matschie (1916a), Pavan et al. (2012), Pine & Handley (2007), Steiner & Catzeflis (2004), Ventura, Lew et al. (2005), Ventura, Pérez-Hernandez & Lépez-Fuster (1998), Voss et al. (2001).














Monodelphis brevicaudata

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson 2015

Didelphis brevicaudata

Erxleben 1777