Monodelphis touan (Shaw, 1800)

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 : 149-150

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Monodelphis touan


35. View Plate 8: Didelphidae

Touan Short-tailed Opossum

Monodelphis touan

French: Opossum touan / German: Touan-Spitzmausbeutelratte / Spanish: Colicorto de Touan

Taxonomy. Viverra touan Shaw, 1800 ,

“ Cayenne, French Guiana.”

This species was formerly considered a synonym of M. brevicauda. Specimens from localities south of the Amazon River are morphologically distinct from those north of the Amazon, although some specimens from the northern part of the distribution are more closely related to those from south of the Amazon than to others from the same region. Specimens from Suriname (Saramacca, Marowijne) were not examined but are probably this species. Monotypic.

Distribution. French Guiana and N Brazil (Amapa and S of the Amazon and E of the Xingu River in Para, including Marajo I), probably also in Suriname. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head—body 13.8-17 cm (males) and 11:9-15.5 cm (females), tail 7:9.9-5 cm (males) and 6-5-8:5 cm (females); weight 64-100 g (males) and 40-66 g (females). Mid-dorsal fur of the Touan Short-tailed Opossum is grizzled gray, contrasting with dark reddish body sides but no dorsal stripes. Head is reddish on sides, with a narrow, sometimes ill-defined, mid-rostral band of gray fur. There is a band of red hairs above each eye, but there are no eye-rings. Tail length is ¢.55% of head-body length, tail has fur on 20-50% of its length dorsally and only at proximal part ventrally, and naked part oftail is dark brown or gray. Ventral fur is grayish-cream, with gray-based hairs, sharply contrasting with dark reddish body sides, and it is distinctly reddish on chin and throat. Fur is longer and denser dorsally (c.8 mm) and shorter ventrally (c.4 mm). Feet are dark brown or gray, and ears are small, uniformly colored dark brown or gray, and naked. Females lack a pouch, but number of mammae is not known. The Touan Short-tailed Opossum has a 2n = 18, FN = 30 karyotype, with an acrocentric X-chromosome and a dot-like Y-chromosome. There is morphological variation in pelage color: specimens from south of the Amazon have a broader middorsalstripe on head, and fur extends only ¢.20% of length oftail (it extends 30-50% in individuals from north of the Amazon), and naked part oftail is darker.

Habitat. Primary and secondary wet forests.

Food and Feeding. The Touan Short-tailed Opossum feeds mostly on small vertebrates, butits diet may include fruit. A female in French Guiana equipped with a radio transmitter was followed and spent her time searching for insects on the ground under fallen branches and lianas.

Breeding. There is no information available for this species.

Activity patterns. A female Touan Short-tailed Opossum equipped with a radio transmitter was strictly diurnal in French Guiana.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. There is no specific information for this species, but the Touan Short-tailed Opossum is exclusively ground dwelling.

Status and Conservation. The Touan Opossum has not been assessed as a distinct species on The IUCN Red List. At the time of the last assessment, it was considered to be conspecific with the Guyana Short-tailed Opossum ( Monodelphis brevicauda ). Conservation status of all opossums is being reassessed by the IUCN New World Marsupial Specialists Group.

Bibliography. Argot (2001, 2002, 2003), Carvalho, Oliveira, Langguth et al. (2011), Carvalho, Oliveira, Nunes & Mattevi (2002), Charles-Dominique et al. (1981), Grand (1983), Julien-Laferriere (1991), de Muizon & Argot (2003), Pavan et al. (2012), da Silva et al. (2013), Steiner & Catzeflis (2004), Svartman (2009), Voss et al. (2001).














Monodelphis touan

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson 2015

Viverra touan

Shaw 1800