This species inhabits a number of different dryland habitats, including the high Andean steppe (Puna grassland), the Monte desert and dry Chaco of Argentina, and the Sechura Desert of Peru. For much of its range, it is found in high-elevation habitats of the Andes. At the southern extreme of its distribution, it can be found in lowland areas. (Braun, et al., 2010; Giarla, et al., 2010)
- Range elevation
- 0 to 3750 m
- 0.00 to 12303.15 ft
- Range mass
- 13 to 39 g
- 0.46 to 1.37 oz
- Average mass
- 19 g
- 0.67 oz
- Range length
- 170 to 222 mm
- 6.69 to 8.74 in
- Average length
- 204 mm
- 8.03 in
Little is known about the mating system in Thylamys elegans adults (a closely related species) have never been found in the same nest, suggesting that this species does not form monogamous breeding pairs. (Palma, 1997). Palma (1997) reports that two
Little is known about the general reproductive behavior of (Braun, et al., 2010). Anecdotal evidence from the early 20th century (reviewed in Braun et al., 2010) suggests that this species and other small opossums breed one to three times per year. Juvenile animals tend to be captured early in the calendar year, with only adult specimens being captured in the last few months of the year.
Braun et al. (2010) note an account of (Braun, et al., 2010)from the early 20th century wherein a captured juvenile survived for 1.5 years in captivity, tripling in size over its life span.
- Range lifespan
- 1.5 (high) years
- Range lifespan
Little is known about the behavior of (Braun, et al., 2010). This species is likely solitary, as most small, insectivorous mammals are. As is the case for other members of this genus, is nocturnal and experiences daily torpor. Individuals build nests out of grass, hair, feathers, and leaves in rocks, trees, and under shrubs (Braun et al., 2010). This species is primarily terrestrial but is also skilled at climbing bushes and small trees.
No studies have examined the home range of.
Communication and Perception
Because this species is small and nocturnal, communication between individuals is likely primarily olfactory in nature. Palma (1997) reports that the olfactory and visual regions of the brain of Thylamys elegans, a closely related species, are especially well developed. (Palma, 1997)
Albanese et al. (2010) examined the feces of wild Thylamys species have been observed consuming small vertebrates (e.g. rodents, lizards), so it is possible that also feeds on those prey items (Palma, 1997) (Albanese, et al., 2011; Giarla, et al., 2010; Palma, 1997)individuals and found that its diet primarily consisted of arthropods. Other dietary components include leaves, fruit, and seeds. Other
- Animal Foods
- Plant Foods
- seeds, grains, and nuts
Like other small mammals, (Braun, et al., 2010)is likely well adapted to avoiding predators by being nocturnal and inconspicuous. This species has been noted as a prey item for two owl species.
- Anti-predator Adaptations
- Known Predators
- Magellanic horned owls (Bubo magellanicus)
- common barn owls (Tyto alba)
- Craneopsylla minerva wolffhuegeli
- Acanthochela chilensis
- Marmosopus peruvianus
- Pterygodermatites kozeki
- Mathevotaenia sanmartini
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
There are no known positive impacts ofon humans.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known negative effects of.
This species is listed as "Least Concern" by the IUCN.
- IUCN Red List
- Least Concern
Tom Giarla (author), University of Minnesota, Sharon Jansa (editor), American Museum of Natural History, Robert Voss (editor), American Museum of Natural History, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
Found in coastal areas between 30 and 40 degrees latitude, in areas with a Mediterranean climate. Vegetation is dominated by stands of dense, spiny shrubs with tough (hard or waxy) evergreen leaves. May be maintained by periodic fire. In South America it includes the scrub ecotone between forest and paramo.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
- desert or dunes
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
Albanese, S., M. Dacar, R. Ojeda. 2011. Unvarying diet of a Neotropical desert marsupial inhabiting a variable environment: the case of Thylamys pallidior. Acta Theriologica: 1-4. Accessed (Date Unknown) at http://www.springerlink.com/content/k2m00n431u06801t/fulltext.html.
Braun, J., N. Pratt, M. Mares. 2010. Thylamys pallidior (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae). Mammalian Species, 42(856): 90-98.
Giarla, T., R. Voss, S. Jansa. 2010. Species Limits and Phylogenetic Relationships in the Didelphid Marsupial Genus Thylamys Based on Mitochondrial DNA Sequences and Morphology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 346: 1-67.
Palma, R. 1997. Thylamys elegans. Mammalian Species, 572: 1-4.