Brown four-eyed opossum

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Brown Four-eyed Opossum[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Didelphimorphia
Family: Didelphidae
Subfamily: Didelphinae
Genus: Metachirus
Burmeister, 1854
Species: M. nudicaudatus
Binomial name
Metachirus nudicaudatus
(É. Geoffroy, 1803)
Brown Four-eyed Opossum area.png
Brown four-eyed opossum range

The brown four-eyed opossum (Metachirus nudicaudatus) is a pouchless marsupial[3] of the family Didelphidae. It is found in different forested habitats of Central and South America,[2] from Nicaragua and to Paraguay and northern Argentina,[1] at elevations from sea level to 1500 m.[2] It is the only recognized species in the genus Metachirus,[1] but molecular phylogenetics studies suggest that it should probably be split into several species.[2] Population densities are usually low, and it is uncommon in parts of Central America.[2] A density of 25.6/km2 was reported near Manaus, Brazil.[3] Its karyotype has 2n = 14 and FN = 24.[3]

It is a nocturnal, solitary,[2] strongly terrestrial and omnivorous animal, feeding on fruits, small vertebrates and invertebrates.[3]

The brown four-eyed opossum builds nests made of leaves and twigs in tree branches or under rocks and logs.[4] It is seasonally polyestrous and the litter size varies from one to nine.[3]

The white spot over each eye inspired the common name of "four-eyed opossum". Its scaly tail is longer than its body.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Gardner, A. L. (2005). "Order Didelphimorphia". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Brito, D., Astua de Moraes, D., Lew, D. & de la Sancha, N. (2011). "Metachirus nudicaudatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 18 January 2012.  Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  3. ^ a b c d e f Eisenberg, John F.; Redford, Kent H. (May 15, 2000). Mammals of the Neotropics, Volume 3: The Central Neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil. University of Chicago Press. pp. 77–78. ISBN 978-0-226-19542-1. OCLC 493329394. 
  4. ^ Bies, L. (2002). "Metachirus nudicaudatus". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. Retrieved 2012-01-13.