Marmosa phaea, Thomas, 1899

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 : 144

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Marmosa phaea


25. View Plate 8: Didelphidae

Little Woolly Mouse Opossum

Marmosa phaea

French: Opossum de Hopke / German: Kleine Zwergbeutelratte / Spanish: Marmosa lanuda pequena

Taxonomy. Marmosa phaea Thomas, 1899 ,

“ San Pablo ,” Narino, Colombia .

This species is monotypic.

Distribution. W Colombia to SW Ecuador, on the W slopes of the Andes; also possibly in NW Peru (Tumbes) where not fully confirmed. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 121-17 cm, tail 15.3-23.6 cm; weight 63 g. The Little Woolly Mouse Opossum has warm brown dorsal and lateral fur, narrow and indistinct eye-rings surrounding its black eyes, and buff chin and cheeks. Tail length is ¢.130% of head-body length, and tail has fur on proximal 2 cm or less. Naked part oftail is brown, occasionally mottled with white on tip. Ventral fur is buff or pale orange, graybased; overall, fur is short. Ears are brown. Female Little Woolly Mouse Opossums lack a pouch and have nine mammae, four on each side, and a central mamma. Karyotype is unknown. There is no sexual dimorphism in skull size and shape.

Habitat. Humid evergreen lowland and montane forests.

Food and Feeding. There is no specific information for this species, but based on diets of other species in the genus, the Little Woolly Mouse Opossum probably feeds on insects and fruits.

Breeding. There is no information available for this species.

Activity patterns. There is no specific information forthis species, but the Little Woolly Mouse Opossum is likely nocturnal.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. One specimen was taken from a hole in a tree limb about 3 m above and over water.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List. This classification is warranted because the current known distribution of the Little Woolly Mouse Opossum is severely fragmented, and a continuing decline in the area of occupancy is inferred from rates of habitat conversion to agriculture and human settlement. As a consequence, a population decline estimated to be more than 30% could occur over the next ten years. The southern part of its distribution has little protection, outside of Tumbes National Reserve in Peru. The northern part ofits distribution is severely fragmented by agriculture and human settlements.

Bibliography. Astua (2010), Eisenberg (1989), Emmons & Feer (1997), Gardner & Creighton (2007b), Hershkovitz (1992a), Voss etal. (2014).














Marmosa phaea

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson 2015

Marmosa phaea

Thomas 1899