Lutrine opossum

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"Lutreolina" redirects here. For the other member of this genus, see Lutreolina massoia.
Lutrine opossum
Lutreolina crassicaudata - Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria - Genoa, Italy - DSC02971.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Didelphimorphia
Family: Didelphidae
Subfamily: Didelphinae
Genus: Lutreolina
Thomas, 1910
Species: L. crassicaudata
Binomial name
Lutreolina crassicaudata
Desmarest, 1804

L. crassicaudata crassicaudata
L. crassicaudata paranalis
L. crassicaudata turneri

Little Water Opossum area.png
Little water opossum range

The lutrine opossum (Lutreolina crassicaudata), also known as the little water opossum or thick-tailed opossum, is an opossum species from South America and is monotypical of the genus Lutreolina.[2] It is found in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia and Guyana. Populations in the two last countries are isolated from the populations of all the other countries.

It is a very peculiar opossum, having a long weasel-like body ("lutrine" means "otter-like") and dense reddish or yellowish fur. It also has a long tail and small rounded ears. It can be found in areas with permanent water bodies, in marshy or riparian habitats.

Lutrine opossums are nocturnal animals and can swim and climb very well. They feed on fish, other small vertebrates and insects.



  1. ^ Lew, D., Pérez-Hernandez, R., de la Sancha, N., Flores, D. & Teta, P. (2011). "Lutreolina crassicaudata". 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
  2. ^ Gardner, A.L. (2005). "Order Didelphimorphia". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  • John F. Eisenberg and Kent H. Redford, 2000. Mammals of Neotropics: Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil.