Metachirus nudicaudatus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Didelphimorphia Didelphidae

Scientific Name: Metachirus nudicaudatus
Species Authority: (É. Geoffroy, 1803)
Common Name(s):
English Brown Four-eyed Opossum
French Opossum brun à quatre yeux
Spanish Cuica Común
Taxonomic Notes: Molecular phylogenetics studies (Costa 2003, Patton and Costa 2003) showed high sequences divergences between specimens from different regions. These results suggest the possibility of there being more than one species named nudicaudatus (Silva 2005). The genus is under taxonomic review.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-06-25
Assessor(s): Brito, D., Astua de Moraes, D., Lew, D. & de la Sancha, N.
Reviewer(s): Martin, G.M.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, its occurrance in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. This species should be reassessed following a taxonomic revision.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2011 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is distributed from southern Nicaragua to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina (Emmons and Feer 1997). There is a record from southern Mexico (Gardner and Dagosto 2008) in Chiapas (F. Reid pers. comm.). This species may also be encountered in Bolivia (Salazar et al. 1993). It is found from lowlands to 2,100 m asl (Reid 1997, Gardner and Dagosto 2008). In Colombia, this species is found up to 1,500 m asl (Alberico et al. 2000).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2100
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Widespread and often common, this species lives at low population densities (Emmons and Feer 1997). It is quite rare in parts of Central America but is locally common in Panama.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is usually found in mature evergreen forests in lowlands and foothills, and occasionally in deciduous or dense secondary forest (Reid 1997). Individuals seem to prefer mature forests with little undergrowth, although they can also be present in dense vegetation. It is nocturnal, terrestrial and solitary (Emmons and Feer 1997). It is omnivorous with a diet that includes fruit, small vertebrates, insects and other invertebrates. Unlike other opossums, this species is extremely nervous and wary. It travels on the ground and along the tops of fallen logs, trotting or walking quickly and silently. The nests are in well-hidden hollows in or near the ground. Litter size ranges from one to nine, with a mean of five (Eisenberg and Redford 1999, Emmons and Feer 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilised.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in number of protected areas. The taxonomy needs to be revised.

Citation: Brito, D., Astua de Moraes, D., Lew, D. & de la Sancha, N. 2015. Metachirus nudicaudatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T40509A22177475. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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