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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species ranges from southern Mexico (Veracruz) to western Ecuador and the Cauca Valley of Colombia (Emmons and Feer, 1997). It is found from sea level to 2,600 m in Colombia (Alberico et al., 2000). To the east, this species is replaced by C. lanatus (Eisenberg, 1989), and it apparently does not pass over the eastern cordillera of the Andes. This species is decreasing in number in the northern parts of its range (Mexico and Ecuador).
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Geographic Range

Caluromys derbianus can be found in both highland and lowland rain forests in the region between south-central Veracruz, western Columbia, and northern Ecuador. Bucher and Hoffmann (1980)

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Caluromys derbianus is the largest species in the genus. It is a long, slender animal weighing from 200 to 400 grams. The common name of this opossum is derived from its woolly pelage. A dark strip is often present running from the crown to the fleshy portion of the nose. Pelage color shows much geographic variation. Its ears are creamy white to pink. All digits of the front and hind feet are clawed with the exception of the opposable hallux. The tail constitutes up to two-thirds of its total length. The latter half of the tail is naked and prehensile. Barrington and Willis (1973) ; Bucher and Hoffmann (1980)

Average mass: 330 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 1.194 W.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species generally inhabits forested areas (evergreen and deciduous), and is predominantly arboreal. It is found in mature and disturbed evergreen rainforest, dry forest, and gardens and plantations (Emmons and Feer, 1997). It has an omnivorous diet consisting of fruits, seeds, leaves, soft vegetables, insects, other small invertebrates and possibly carrion. It is nocturnal and solitary. The average litter size is three (Eisenberg, 1989).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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The woolly opossum inhabits both lowland and highland rainforests to a maximum altitude of 2,460 meters. Bucher and Hoffman (1980)

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Although food habits have not been investigated thoroughly, this opossum also appears to be omnivorous. Captive animals have eaten fruit, insects, and mice. They have been maintained on a laboratory diet of raw egg, fruit, and dog food. Bucher and Hoffman (1980)

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
8.7 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 8.7 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen was at least 8.7 years when it died (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

Litter size for C. derbianus is usually three or four, although it may be as high as six. The woolly opossums breed during the dry season (January to June) in Central America, however a few studies indicated that breeding may extend into the first few months of the rainy season (July to September). In Nicaragua it has been suggested that they breed throughout the year. The estrous cycle has an average length of 27 to 29 days and is maintained year round. The young attach to a teat after birth (in a pouch), where they are nurtured until they reach a level of development similar to young placentals at birth. Caluromys derbianus reaches sexual maturity at seven to nine months and has been reported to live in excess of five years in captivity. Bucher and Hoffman (1980) ; Dawson (1983)

Average number of offspring: 3.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)

Sex: male:
240 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
240 days.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Caluromys derbianus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Lew, D., Soriano, P., Cuarón, A.D., Emmons, L., Reid, F. & Helgen, K

Reviewer/s
Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
The species is Least Concern because it has a widespread distribution, a large presumed global population, broad habitat tolerance, and has no major threats. Some populations of this species are, however, rapidly deceasing in Mexico and Ecuador due to forest loss.

History
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
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The woolly opossum has no special conservation status. (Bucher-Hoffman, 1980.)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
The woolly opossum is fairly common throughout its extensive range. This species appears to be locally common (Emmons and Feer, 1997). This species is very common in Central Panama, Monteverde in Costa Rica, but locally common in Mexico.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats. The species may be locally threatened by deforestation. It was trapped in the past for its fur, but this is no longer in demand.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species occurs in several protected areas.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Once hunted for its fur, and possible important as a disperser of tropical trees. Bucher and Hoffman (1980)

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Wikipedia

Derby's woolly opossum

Derby's woolly opossum (Caluromys derbianus), or the Central American woolly opossum, is a species of opossum in the family Didelphidae.[2][3] It is found in the Central American region.

Contents

Habitat

C. derbianus is primarily arboreal and lives in highland and lowland rain forests of Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. It is found at altitudes up to 2,600 m (8,500 ft).[1] The species is threatened by deforestation.

Physical characteristics

C. derbianus weighs between 200 and 400 grams (7.1 and 14 oz). Its fur coloration varies geographically but often possess a dark strip running from the top of the head to the nose. The digits of the paws are clawed with the exception of the opposable thumb. The prehensile tail makes up two thirds of the length of the animal with the distal half of the tail being naked.

Reproduction

This opossum reaches sexual maturity at seven to nine months. The mating season varies regionally from year-round to only during the dry season (January to July). The litter size is 3-6 live young that attach to a teat in the pouch until mature enough to emerge.

Diet

They are omnivorous although their eating habits have not been well studied in the wild.

References

  1. ^ a b Lew, D., Soriano, P., Cuarón, A. D., Emmons, L., Reid, F. & Helgen, K. (2008). Caluromys derbianus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 28 December 2008. 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 (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=10400007.
  3. ^ Gardner, Alfred L. (2007), "Caluromys derbianus", in Gardner, Alfred L., Mammals of South America, Volume 1: Marsupials, Xenarthrans, Shrews, and Bats, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 39–116 (p. 100), ISBN 978-0-226-28240-4, http://google.com/books?id=dbU3d7EUCm8C&pg=PA5
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