Brown four-eyed opossum

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Brown four-eyed opossum[1]
Vieraugen-Opossum (Metachirus nudicaudatus).jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Didelphimorphia
Family: Didelphidae
Subfamily: Didelphinae
Genus: Metachirus
Burmeister, 1854
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 to Paraguay and northern Argentina,[1] including southeastern Colombia, western Brazil and eastern Peru and Bolivia, 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]

The opossum appears to be mostly insectivorous, though also consumes some types of fruit seeds, small vertebrate creatures like birds and retiles and invertebrates like crayfish and snails.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Gardner, A.L. (2005). "Order Didelphimorphia". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (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.
  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.
  5. ^ Gardner, Alfred. Mammals of South America Volume 1. University of Chicago Press. p. 34.