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Didelphis virginiana - Virginia Opossum
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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

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


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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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:

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  • 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

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2005; Sechrest, 2002

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Copyright 2008
Version 5.0 (10 April 2007)
Data last updated: April 2007
Click here to see the west cribean area map. Click here to see the east caribean area map