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Didelphis virginiana - Virginia Opossum
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Taxonomy/Classification
Scientific Name: Didelphis virginiana
Authority: Kerr, 1792
English Common Name: Virginia Opossum
Spanish Common Name(s): Tlacuache Común, Guazalo, Zorro Pelón
Portuguese Common Name(s): None Known

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Class Order Family
Mammalia Didelphimorphia Didelphidae

Global Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern  
CITES Status: None

Habitat
Very adaptable; may be found in most habitats. Prefers wooded riparian habitats. Also in suburban areas. Abandoned burrows, buildings, hollow logs, and tree cavities are generally used for den sites. In southeastern New York, all weaning dens were in burrows; weaning dens were in more densely vegetated habitats than were nonweaning dens (Hossler et al. 1994).
Population Status

Distribution Status in Latin America

Native Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador

References

  • Baker, R. H. 1983. Michigan mammals. Michigan State University Press. 642 pp.

  • Conover, M. R. 1990. Reducing mammalian predation on eggs by using a conditioned taste aversion to deceive predators. J. Wildl. Manage. 54:360-365.

  • Fitch, H.S. and H.W. Shirer. 1970. A radiotelemetric study of spatial relationships in the opossum. Am. Midl. Nat. 84:170-186.

  • Gardner, A. L. 1982. Virginia opossum. Pages 3-36 in Chapman, J. A., and G. A. Feldhamer, eds. Wild mammals of North America. Biology, management, and economics. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore.

  • Godin, A. J. 1977. Wild mammals of New England. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 304 pp.

  • Hall, E. Raymond. 1981. The Mammals of North America, Vols. I & II. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York. 1181 pp.

  • Hamilton, W. J., Jr., and J. O. Whitaker, Jr. 1979. Mammals of the eastern United States. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York. 346 pp.

  • Hartman, C.G. 1962. Possums. Univ. Texas Press, Austin. 174 pp.

  • Hossler, R. J., J. B. McAninch, and J. D. Harder. 1994. Maternal denning behavior and survival of juveniles in opossums in southeastern New York. J. Mamm. 75:60-70.

  • Hunsaker, D., II, and D. Shupe. 1977. Behavior of New World marsupials. Pages 279-347 IN D. Hunsaker, editor, The biology of marsupials. Academic Press, New York, NY. xv + 537pp.

  • Hunsaker, D., II. 1977. Ecology of New World marsupials. Pages 95-156 IN D. Hunsaker, editor, The biology of marsupials. Academic Press, New York, NY. xv + 537pp.

  • Keefe, J.F. 1967. The world of the oppossum. 144 pp.

  • Kissell, R. E., Jr., and M. L. Kennedy. 1992. Ecologic relationships of co-occurring populations of opposums (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA) and raccoons (PROCYON LOTOR) in Tennessee. J. Mamm. 73:808-813.

  • Lay, D.W. 1942. Ecology of the opposum in eastern Texas. Jour. Mammal. 23:147-159.

  • Llewellyn, L.M. and F.H. Dale. 1964. Notes on the ecology of the opossum in Maryland. Jour. Mamm. 45:113-122.

  • Mammalian Species, nos. 1-604. Published by the American Society of Mammalogists.

  • McManus, J.J. 1971. Activity of captive Didelphis marsupialis. (sic) Jour. Mamm. 52:846-848.

  • McManus, J.J. 1974. Didelphis virginiana. Am. Soc. Mammalogists, Mammalian Species No. 40 pp. 1-6.

  • Reid, F. A. 1997. A field guide to the mammals of Central America and southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, Incorporated New York, New York. 334 pp.

  • Schwartz, C. W., and E. R. Schwartz. 1981. The wild mammals of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia. 356 pp.

  • Sunquist, M. E., S. N. Austad, and F. Sunquist. 1987. Movement patterns and home range in the common opossum (DIDELPHIS MARSUPIALIS). Journal of Mammalogy 68:173-176.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal Species of the World: a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Second Edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.

  • Wilson, D. E., and S. Ruff. 1999. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 750 pp.

  • Zeiner, D.C., W.F. Laudenslayer, Jr., K.E. Mayer, and M. White, eds. 1990. California's Wildlife. Volume III. Mammals. State of California, The Resources Agency, Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento, CA. 407 pp.


Summary Text | Overview Map | West Caribbean Map  | East Caribbean Map | Range Map


Overview Map
Note: indicates countries of occurrence, actual area occupied by the species is usually much less.

Summary Text |  Overview Map | West Caribbean Map  | East Caribbean Map | Range Map

West Caribbean Map
Species not known to occur in this region.

Summary Text |  Overview Map | West Caribbean Map  | East Caribbean Map | Range Map

East Caribbean Map
Species not known to occur in this region.

Summary Text |  Overview Map |  West Caribbean Map  |  East Caribbean Map |  Range Map

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. A shapefile of this map is available for download at www.natureserve.org/getData/animalData.jsp.


Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005; Sechrest, 2002

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Version 5.0 (10 April 2007)
Data last updated: April 2007
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