Monodelphis dimidiata 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Didelphimorphia Didelphidae

Scientific Name: Monodelphis dimidiata
Species Authority: (Wagner, 1847)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Short-tailed Opossum, Yellow-sided Opossum, Eastern Short-tailed Opossum
French Petit Opossum-musaraigne
Spanish Colicorto Pampeano
Didelphis brachyura Waterhouse, 1839
Didelphis henseli Matschie, 1916
Didelphis lundi Matschie, 1916
Didelphys dimidiata Wagner, 1847
Monodelphis fosteri Thomas, 1924
Monodelphis sorex (Hensel, 1872)
Peramys dimidiata subspecies itatiayae A. Miranda-Ribeiro, 1936
Peramys sorex Thomas, 1909
Taxonomic Notes: Populations from southern Brazil and Northeastern Argentina usually assigned to M. sorex, are now placed under synonymy with M. dimidiata (Vilela et al. 2010, Solari 2010). M. dimidiata is the type species of the genus name Peramys Lesson 1842, by subsequent designation and of Minuania Cabrera 1919, by original designation, same as M. sorex being the type species of Monodelphiops Matschie 1916. Because of synonymy of these two species names, all three genus names become synonyms too; with Peramys being the senior one (see Solari 2010). At this time, Peramys is a junior synonym (or subgenus) of Monodelphis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-06-30
Assessor(s): Brito, D., Vilela, J., Flores, D. & Teta, P.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S. & Chiozza, F.
This species is listed as Least Concern in because of its wide distribution, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to some degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining at the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. This species is in decline and further investigations into rates of decline and adaptability to disturbed habitat could indicate that this species is or will be Near Threatened, however, inference from current knowledge suggests Least Concern is more appropriate at this time.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in Uruguay, southeastern Brazil, southeastern Paraguay and central and northern Argentina (Gardner 2007). The populations from the Atlantic Forest assigned traditionally to M. sorex, are now considered as conspecific with M. dimidiata (Vilela et al. 2010, Solari 2010).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Brazil; Uruguay
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species can be common in the appropriate habitats (see Pine et al. 1985). Remaining populations of this species have been reduced to isolated fragments of their former range. In southeastern Brazil, northeastern Argentina and southern Paraguay, the population may be larger than thought as surveys have been inadequate.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in pastures, wetlands, pampas grasslands, and riparian areas next to waterways. Founded also in Atlantic coast rainforest (Eisenberg and Redford 1999, Emmons and Feer 1997).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats occur to the species, although numerous populations are threatened by habitat conversion to agriculture or urbanized areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: M. dimidiata occurs in a number of protected areas in Brazil.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Eisenberg, J.F. and Redford, K.H. 1999. Mammals of the Neotropics: The Central Neotropics. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Emmons, L.H. and Feer, F. 1997. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide, Second edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, USA.

Gardner, A.L. 2008. Order Didelphimorphia. In: A.L. Gardner (ed.), Mammals of South America, pp. 669. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Pine, R.H., Dalby, P.L. and Matson, J.O. 1985. Ecology, postnatal development, morphometrics, and taxonomic status of the short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis dimidiata, an apparently semelparous annual marsupial. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 54: 195–231.

Solari, S. 2010. A molecular perspective on the diversification of short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis: Didelphidae). MastozoologĂ­a Neotropical 17(2): 317-333.

Vilela, J.F., Russo, C.A. de M. and Oliveira, 2010. An assessment of morphometric and molecular variation in Monodelphis dimidiata (Wagner, 1847) (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae). Zootaxa 2646: 26-42.

Citation: Brito, D., Vilela, J., Flores, D. & Teta, P. 2011. Monodelphis dimidiata. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T13693A4350546. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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