Overview

Distribution

Range Description

C. vellerosus is generally known from the Chaco region of Bolivia (Cuéllar and Noss 2003, Noss et al. 2008), Paraguay and Argentina (Gardner 2005). A disjunct population occurs in eastern Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (Crespo 1974, Carlini and Vizcaíno 1987, Abba et al. 2007, Abba 2008, Abba and Cassini 2008). Records from Chile are probably Chaetophractus nationi.
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Geographic Range

C. vellersus is distributed in western Bolivia and in northwestern provinces of Argentina in the Monte Desert (Montgomery, 1985).

Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Armadillos possess a characteristic protective armor that consists of the shield on the head; a small shield between the ears on the back of the neck; and a carapace that protects the shoulders, back, sides, and rump. The carapace has 6 to 8 movable bands. This species has more hair than most armadillos. The hairs project from between the scales of the body armor, and the limbs and belly are covered with whitish or light brown hairs. The male is generally larger than the female, and both sexes are heavier in the winter due to a thick layer of fat under the skin (Montgomery, 1985; Nowak, 1997).

Average mass: 840 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 1.707 W.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
C. vellerosus is primarily found in xeric environments, in both lowland and upland areas with loose sandy soils; it has been recorded from rangeland pasture and agricultural areas. The animal constructs burrows, and it is absent from rocky areas where burrows cannot be excavated (Greegor 1985, Abba et al. 2007, Abba 2008, Abba and Cassini 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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The hairy armadillo lives in sloping burrows in desert sand dunes. Chaetophractus avoids summer heat and dessication by being fossorial and nocturnal. In the winter, they are diurnal. Their burrows are insulated against extreme heat because of their depth (Montgomery, 1985).

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; scrub forest

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Chaetophractus vellerosus is omnivorous, feeding on plant material and on insects. Their main source of insects come from the beetle family (Montgomery, 1985).

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
16.2 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 16.2 years (captivity) Observations: One specimen lived 16.2 years in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005). Although maximum longevity could be underestimated, they could be shorter-lived than the hairy armadillo (*Chaetophractus villosus*).
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Reproduction

Breeding takes place in the autumn. The gestation period is 60 to 75 days and there is more than one litter annually. Litters usually consist of two young, often one male and one female. The young weigh 155 grams at birth, open their eyes after 16 to 30 days, are weaned at 50 to 60 days, and reach sexual maturity at 9 months (Nowak, 1997).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chaetophractus vellerosus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
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
2010

Assessor/s
Abba, A.M. Superina, M.

Reviewer/s
Cuellar, E. & Poljak, S.

Contributor/s
Vizcaíno, S.

Justification
Chaetophractus vellerosus is listed as Least Concern as, although susceptible to hunting in parts of its range, it is widespread and rates of offtake are not believed to be at a level that would warrant listing in a higher category of threat. The disjunct population in Buenos Aires Province is subjected to habitat modification in its restricted range. Further studies are needed to determine its taxonomic status.

History
  • 2006
    Least Concern
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Least Concern
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/least concern
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
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---

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
The population status of this species is not known, but the wild populations are expected to be stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
C. vellerosus is heavily hunted for its meat and carapace (including for charangos, a musical instrument; Aguiar and Fonseca 2008), especially by indigenous groups in some parts of the Chaco region in Bolivia (Cuéllar and Noss 2003, Noss et al. 2008). It is also persecuted as an agricultural pest. In addition, some animals are killed by hunting dogs. The isolated population on the coast of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, is negatively affected by mining activities (Abba 2008).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
C. vellerosus is present in a number of protected areas. The highest density of this species in a protected area is probably found in the Kaa-Iya National Park (3.4 million hectares), Bolivia.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

These animals may burrow extensively in loose farm soil and damage crops (Montgomery,1985).

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Humans frequently eat the hairy armadillo (Montgomery, 1985).

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Wikipedia

Screaming hairy armadillo

The screaming hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus) is a species of armadillo also known as the small screaming armadillo, crying armadillo or the small hairy armadillo.[3][4] It is a burrowing armadillo found in the central and southern parts of South America.[2] The adjective "screaming" derives from its habit of squealing when handled or threatened.[4]

Taxonomy[edit]

The animal was first described by Dr J. E. Gray in 1865 from a specimen in the British Museum collected from Santa Cruz de la Sierra in eastern Bolivia as Dasypus vellerosus.[5]

Description[edit]

Image of the screaming hairy armadillo by Joseph Wolf provided in its first description by Edward Gray[disambiguation needed] in 1865.

This is one of the smallest and most slender species of the genus Chaetophractus, but it has longer ears than others in its genus. The male armadillo has a length ranging from 328 to 400 mm (12.9 to 15.7 in) with an average length of 376 mm (14.8 in), while the length of the female ranges from 265 to 419 mm (10.4 to 16.5 in) with an average length of 368 mm (14.5 in). The male weighs between 543 to 1,329 grams (19.2 to 46.9 oz), with an average of 860 grams (30 oz), while the range of weight for the female is 257 to 1,126 grams (9.1 to 39.7 oz), with average weight as 814 grams (28.7 oz).[4]

The animal was initially described by Gray as follows:[5]
"The forehead convex, with many polygonal shields; the dorsal shield covered with abundant elongated bristly hairs; the underside of the body covered with close hairs. Toes 5/5, the outer and inner hinder small."

These armadillos have more hair growth than other armadillo species. The armadillo has 18 bands of which six to eight are movable bands.[6] The hair on the dorsum is light brown in colour.[4]

Subspecies[edit]

Two subspecies of Chaetophractus vellerosus are known but taxonomic confirmation is required:[2]

  • C. v. vellerosus (Gray, 1865)
  • C. v. pannosus (Gardner, 2007)

Range and habitat[edit]

The screaming hairy armadillo is a burrowing armadillo of arid areas from low to high altitudes.[4] It is found in parts of the Gran Chaco and Pampas areas of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. An isolated population is found in eastern Buenos Aires Province in Argentina.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, temperate shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, temperate grassland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, hot deserts, temperate desert, arable land, pastureland, and plantations.[2] It is absent in rocky areas where the armadillo would not be able to burrow. The average annual rainfall in its main range is 200 to 600 mm (7.9 to 23.6 in), while the rainfall averages 1,000 mm (39 in) annually in the area of the Buenos Aires population.[4]

Behaviour[edit]

The armadillo is nocturnal by summer and diurnal in winter. It can subsist for long periods without water. It often burrows at the base of bushes and shrubs. It has multiple burrows in its range, and each burrow may have more than one entrance. A burrow may be 8 to 15 in (200 to 380 mm) in diameter and may be several metres long. The home range of an armadillo is recorded to consist of a minimum area of 3.4 ha (8.4 acres). The animal does not build a nest in its burrow which it seals during occupation.[4]

Diet[edit]

When not in its burrow, the animal spends most of its time foraging. The armadillo is omnivorous; its diet consists of insects, vertebrates and plant material (especially pods of Prosopis), varying considerably depending upon the season. The animals increase their weight by up to 10% in winter, forming a layer of subcutaneous fat 1 to 2 cm (0.39 to 0.79 in) thick. Vertebrates form a significant part of an armadillo's diet, ranging from 27.7% by volume in summer to 13.9% in winter, the most common prey species being lizards, birds, frogs, and the mice species Eligmodontia typus and Phyllotis griseofulvus. This armadillo ingests a lot of sand while feeding, and it may occupy as much as 50% of the volume of its stomach at a time.[4]

Reproduction[edit]

The gestation period of the armadillo is 60–75 days. The armadillos become sexually mature at 9 months and produce two litters per year.[6]

Human interaction[edit]

This armadillo is heavily hunted for its meat in parts of the Chaco region in Bolivia. It is at times considered an agricultural pest and killed by hunting dogs. The disjunct population of coastal Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, is adversely affected by mining activities. The carapace is particularly sought for making charangos, a South American musical instrument akin to a lute.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gardner, A. L. (2005). "Order Cingulata". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Abba, A.M.; Superina, M. (2009). "Chaetophractus vellerosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  3. ^ Luaces, JP; Ciuccio M, Rossi LF, Faletti AG, Cetica PD, Casanave EB, Merani MS (2011). "Seasonal changes in ovarian steroid hormone concentrations in the large hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) and the crying armadillo (Chaetophractus vellerosus)". Theriogenology 75 (5): 796–802. doi:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2010.09.029. PMID 21247625. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Eisenberg, John Frederick; Redford, Kent Hubbard (1999). Mammals of the Neotropics: The central neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil (illustrated ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-226-19542-1. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Gray, Dr J. E. (1865). "Revision of the Genera and Species of Entomophagous Edentata founded on the examination of the specimens in the British Museum". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (Zoological Society of London): 376. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Armadillo". Wildlife at Animal Corner. www.animalcorner.co.uk. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
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