Notodelphys halli (Thomas, 1921), Santa Cruz, Argentina. OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Opossum de Patagonie; German: Patagonien-Beutelratten; Spanish: Comadrejita patagónica.
Length 5-6 in (13-15 cm). The dorsal hair is dense and soft, dark grayish brown with paler sides. Males have an orange patch on the throat. The face is paler than the rest of the body. There are dark patches on shoulders and hips, and the underparts, hands, and feet are white. The tail is clearly shorter than the head and body, and seasonally it appears thick from fat reserves. Tail furry only at the base and covered with fine hairs the rest of its length. Canine teeth are relatively long.
Occurs in a relatively small region of southern Argentina in the provinces of Río Negro, Neuquén, Santa Cruz, La Pampa, Mendoza, and Chubut.
It has been reported from the South American steppe grasslands (pampas), and also from shrublands; often associated with streams and other water bodies.
Seems to be a primarily terrestrial species. It is solitary and active at night.
A specimen was captured in a trap baited with a dead bird. This species is considered a carnivore but more likely it is insectivorous. Its diet may also include fruit, eggs, and small vertebrates.
Polygamous, but nothing else is known.
The distribution is restricted to a small region of southern Argentina. Classified as Vulnerable. Some portions of its habitat have been modified.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦
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