Learn more about the Central American woolly opossum – with amazing Central American woolly opossum photos and facts on Arkive. Caluromys derbianus. Central American Woolly Opossum Uwe Speck Panama. Photo by Uwe Speck. The Central American Woolly Opossum is a medium-sized . Central American Woolly Opossum – Caluromys derbianus The Central American Woolly Opossum is without a doubt one of the cutest opossums in Drake Bay.

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Currently, this species has six recognized subspecies including Caluromys derbianus aztecusC. Each subspecies is defined by its own range within the larger C.

Central American woolly opossums are found in both primary and disturbed tropical humid forests, evergreen rainforests, dry forests, gardens and plantations up to 2, m in elevation. Allen, ; Emmons and Feer, ; Reid, Central American woolly opossums are medium-sized, with a head and body length of to mm, a tail length of to mm and weigh to g.

They have long, thick, soft, woolly hair that is lightly frosted reddish brown on the dorsum and yellowish white on the venter. They have a pale gray patch between their shoulders and on their hips. Their entire head is pale gray, with a dark brown stripe down the center of their face, merging with the brown rings around their eyes.

Their ears are naked and whitish or pink. Their forelimbs are creamy white, while their hind feet are brown with an opposable hallux. The remainder of their tail is naked and partially mottled by dark pigment. Females have fully developed pouches only when carrying young. In some regions of Central America, individuals are completely gray with a brownish tinge across their shoulders and lower back. Bucher and Hoffman, ; Emmons and Feer, Central American woolly opossums can be differentiated from sympatric opossum species by their half-furred tail.

They also lack the distinct spots above their eyes found on brown and gray four-eyed opossums. Their larger size also differentiates them from Alstons woolly mouse opossums. They differ from other species in their genus due to their large body size and the minimal fur on their tail. Very little has been reported on the specific mating habits of Central American woolly opossums, although they are known to engage in chase behaviors prior to mating.

Members of family Didelphidae are generally considered polygynous. Males compete for reproductive females, communicating with a series of clicking noises. Didelphids generally show neither courtship displays nor pair bonds.

Bucher and Hoffman, ; Fernandes, et al. In captivity, Central American woolly opossums have an estrus cycle of 16 to 39 days and females cycle throughout the year, although members of their genus tend to have only 2 litters per year.

Breeding most likely occurs year-round, as pregnant females, pouch young and individuals less than one year of age have been captured throughout the year in western Nicaragua. However, breeding may be more concentrated during the dry season, from January to June, to allow for greater food availability when the young are weaning and become independent.

Individuals born during times of low food availability may have higher mortality rates, particularly those in secondary forests.


Derby’s woolly opossum

Compared to other didelphidsthe rerbianus period for members of genus Caluromys is relatively long at about 21 days, as compared to the average 13 day gestation period among other didelphids.

The size of each litter ranges between 2 to 6 young, with an average of 3.

Although neonate data is not available for Central American woolly opossums, their close relatives, bare-tailed woolly opossumsare about 10 mm long at birth. Pouch young are 19 to 74 mm in length, those smaller than 33 mm are naked with under-developed hind limbs and toes.

Individuals reach sexual maturity at the age of 7 to 9 months. Members of genus Caluromys stand out among other didelphids due to their relatively long gestation and nursing periods and relatively small litters. Very little information is available specific to Central American caluromyd opossums, however, their close relatives, bare-tailed woolly opossums Calurimys philanderhave been studied extensively and are likely to share similar parental behavior. When these animals are between 80 and cauromys old, they may accompany their mother during her nightly foraging trips by riding on her back, or they may remain in the calurmoys.

By the time young are days old, they are independent. This is a notably longer maturation period than other didelphidsfor instance, gray four-eyed opossums fully wean their offspring within 75 days of their birth.

Members of genus Caluromys are relatively long lived for didelphidsliving up to 76 months. One individual was captured and lived 5 years and three months in captivity at the New York Zoological Park. Allen, ; Collins, ; Rasmussen, ; Walker, et al. Central American woolly opossums are nocturnal; they are sluggish during the day, if active at all.

However, several island populations are reportedly diurnal.

These calruomys construct nests made of leaves in vine tangles, tree holes and occasionally on the ground; they may coil their prehensile tails to help carry nest materials.

They use their forepaws for eating and grooming their faces. These opossums sleep in a curled position; females have been noted as being more sedentary than their male counterparts. They are arboreal and are rarely found on the ground. Central American woolly opossums are very adept climbers and are much more agile than many other didelphid species. Interestingly, members of genus Caluromys have a similar basal metabolic rate as placental mammals of a similar size, unlike most other marsupials.

These animals can run rather quickly and balance easily on vines and telephone wires. Central American woolly opossums are likely solitary, as individuals are oftentimes sighted derbinus. Central American woolly opossums are thought to keep extremely small home ranges, Bucher and Hoffman suggested that their home range size is no more than a couple of nearby trees, although the home range size of the closely related bare-tailed woolly opossums has been estimated at 2.

As compared to other members of family Didelphidaemembers of genus Caluromys have the largest brain size. As a nocturnal species, Central American woolly opossums are sensitive to light. Due to the prominence and frontal orientation of their large eyes, these animals are believed to have extremely cauromys vision. When they perceive a threat, these animals may bare their teeth and hiss.


Although they are not vocal animals, Central American woolly opossums may squeal when they sense danger. These animals have eerbianus been observed tightly coiling their tails, this is likely a sign of submission, or stress.

Central American woolly opossums are omnivores that eat many insects as well as other small invertebrates, fruits, seeds, leaves, small vertebrates, flower parts, nectar and possibly carrion. Their diet may shift seasonally deebianus on food availability.

During the dry season, these animals consume nectar from balsa treesmabea and aro blanco plants. Allen, ; Lew, et al. Central American woolly opossums are preyed upon by ocelots. Their close relatives, bare-tailed woolly opossumsare caluroomys preyed upon by margays and jaguarundiswho likely also consume Central American woolly opossums. Central American woolly opossums help pollinate flowers due to their feeding habits.

Species in genus Caluromys also host many external and internal parasites including ticks, botfly larvae, tongue worms, acanthocephalid worms, tapeworms, roundworms, protozoa and derbianuss.

Canopy Family Panama

Collins, ; Reid, Central American woolly opossums were once hunted by humans for their fur, but there is no longer a demand for the trade. Emmons and Feer, There debianus no known negative impacts of Central American woolly opossums on humans. According to the IUCN Red List, Central American woolly opossums are a species of least concern because of their widespread range, presumed large population, tolerance of various habitats and the lack of direct threats to known populations.

This species can also be found in many protected areas throughout their range, although deforestation has decreased derbiaanus populations in Mexico and Ecuador. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends.

Synapomorphy of the Bilateria. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a now extinct synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not derbiqnus these possibilities.

Caluromys derbianus – photos

Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons or periodic condition changes. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal. Mammals of South America. The University of Chicago Press. Rarity in Neotropical forest mammals and its ecological correlates. Conservation Biology4: Growth of pouch young in the bare-tailed woolly opossum, Caluromys philander. Journal of Mammalogy Diet of margay, Leopardus wiediiand jaguarundi, Puma yagouaroundiCarnivora: Felidae in Atlantic rainforest, Brazil.

Behavior and maintenance of the woolly opossum Caluromys in captivity. Mammalian Species Jumping ability in the arboreal locomotion of didelphid marsupials. Mastozoologia Neotropical Asdell’s Pattern of Mammalian Reproduction: A Compendium of Species Specific Data. A Field Guide, Second Edition. Growth and home range size of the gracile mouse opossum Gracilinanus microtarsus Marsupialia: Didelphidae in Brazilian cerrado.

Journal of Tropical Ecology The mammals of Veracruz. The Biology of Marsupials. Feeding and reproduction of three didelphid marsupials in two Neotropical forests French Guiana.