Loricatus matacus (Desmarest, 1804), Argentina. OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Tatou a trios bandes du Sud; German: Kugel Gürteltier; Spanish: Bolita.
Length 12.4 in (31.4 cm); weight 2.4 lb (1.1 kg). Dentition: 9/9. Three bands. Thick carapace. Short tail. Walks on tips of claws on forelimb.
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. HABITAT
Grassland and open plains.
When threatened, rolls up into a ball, exposing only its carapace and tail and head shields. Diurnal. Does not dig burrows but uses those built by other species. Individuals found sleeping together in winter (also the breeding season).
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on ants and termites obtained by digging shallow pits.
Pairing occurs during the breeding season. Captive males solicit females by gently touching their dorsal side. Gives birth to one offspring per year in spring or summer but in captivity birthing occurs year round.
Lower Risk/Near Threatened. Another species, Tolypeutes tricinc-tus, thought to be extinct in wild, was rediscovered in Brazil.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Used for food. ♦
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