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: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-06-30
Assessor(s): Brito, D., Astua de Moraes, D., Lew, D. & de la Sancha, N.
Reviewer(s): Flores, D. & Chiozza, F.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs 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 taxonomic revision.
Previously published Red List assessments:
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 2007) It is found from lowlands to 1,200 m (Reid 1997). This species may also be encountered in Bolivia (Salazar et al. 1994). In Colombia, this species is found up to 1,500 m (Alberico et al. 2000). Quite rare in parts of Central America. Just one record in Chiapas (F. Reid pers. comm.). Locally common in Panama.
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
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).
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. M. nudicaudatus is nocturnal, terrestrial and solitary (Emmons and Feer 1997). It is omnivorous with a diet that includes fruit, small vertebrates, and insects and other invertebrates. Unlike other opossums, these are extremely nervous and wary. They travel on the ground and along the tops of fallen logs, trotting or walking quickly and silently. Their 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

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, but the taxonomy needs to be revised.

Citation: Brito, D., Astua de Moraes, D., Lew, D. & de la Sancha, N. 2011. Metachirus nudicaudatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T40509A10322178. . Downloaded on 14 October 2015.
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