Calyptophractus retusus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Calyptophractus retusus
Species Authority: (Burmeister, 1863)
Common Name(s):
English Greater Fairy Armadillo, Burmeister's Armadillo, Chacoan Fairy Armadillo, Greater Pichi Ciego
Spanish Pichiciego Mayor
Burmeisteria retusa (Gray, 1856)
Chlamyphorus retusus (Burmeister, 1863)
Taxonomic Notes: Several synonyms are still commonly used for Calyptophractus Fitzinger, 1871 (Gardner 2007): Chlamyphorus Burmeister 1863; Burmeisteria Gray 1865 (this genus name was preoccupied by Burmeisteria Salter, 1865, a trilobite, and is therefore incorrect). Classification in the genus Calyptophractus is supported by molecular data showing substantial divergence from Chlamyphorus truncatus (Delsuc et al. 2012).

Two subspecies have been described (Yepes 1939).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-10-02
Assessor(s): Cuellar, E., Meritt, D.A., Delsuc, F., Superina, M. & Abba, A.M.
Reviewer(s): Loughry, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Superina, M.
Calyptophractus retusus is classified as Data Deficient because virtually nothing is known about this species. It is known to be patchily distributed in appropriate microhabitats that are subject to ongoing habitat loss.
2010 Data Deficient
2008 Near Threatened (IUCN 2008)
2008 Near Threatened
2006 Near Threatened (IUCN 2006)
2006 Near Threatened
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Insufficiently Known (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
1982 Insufficiently Known (Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Calyptophractus retusus occurs in the Gran Chaco region of central and south-eastern Bolivia, western Paraguay, and extreme northern Argentina (Gardner 2005). The two records further south from Redford and Eisenberg (1992) are not confirmed.
Argentina (Chaco, Formosa, Salta, Santiago del Estero); Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Paraguay
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population status of this small armadillo is not known. The population is severely fragmented, as the species is limited to loose, sandy soils, which are not common in the Chaco.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Calyptophractus retusus is restricted to loose, sandy soils. It is patchily distributed and absent from areas with clay soils. It can be found in disturbed habitat, and may be encountered close to villages and other populated areas.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Calyptophractus retusus is under threat from habitat loss in the Chaco region. It is persecuted because of traditional beliefs concerning the animal as an omen of disaster (Cuéllar 2001, Noss et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This small armadillo has been recorded in a number of protected areas in Bolivia (Cuéllar and Noss 2003), and Reserva Natural General Pizarro in Salta, Argentina (Regidor et al. 2005). In Paraguay, it is known from Defensores del Chaco National Park (Meritt 2008).

Citation: Cuellar, E., Meritt, D.A., Delsuc, F., Superina, M. & Abba, A.M. 2014. Calyptophractus retusus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 01 April 2015.
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