Silky shrew opossum

Caenolestes fuliginosus

TAXONOMY

Hyracodon fuliginosus (Tomes, 1863), Ecuador. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Ecuador shrew opossum; French: Caenolestidé d'Ecuador; German: Ekuador-Opossumaus; Spanish: Ratón musaraña de los Andes.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body 3.5-5.5 in (9-13 cm) long; tail 3.5-5.5 in (9-13 cm) long; fur brown, soft, and shaggy, toes bear small sharp claws.

DISTRIBUTION

Alpine regions of northern Colombia, Ecuador, and western Venezuela.

HABITAT

Cool, humid thickets in alpine forests and meadows.

BEHAVIOR

Nocturnal, terrestrial, fast-moving; an excellent climber. FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Mostly insect larvae, will also take young vertebrate prey and carrion.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Not well known, but young are probably born between June and September in litters of two to four.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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