Virginia Opossum
Didelphis virginiana

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Marsupialia
FAMILY: Didelphidae

SIZE:
30 - 37 inches long; weight 6 -10 pounds

RANGE:
Eastern United States and adjacent Canada, west to central Texas and south to Central America

HABITAT:
Prefers wooded areas but will come near houses and gardens

DIET:
Wild - Insects, fruit, berries, vegetables, birds, eggs
Zoo - Fruit, vegetables, and meat

DESCRIPTION:
Opossums have long, dense fur that is white with black ends and is interspersed with white guard hairs giving them a grayish appearance. The face is white with black eyes and a small dark central line; the dark ears are hairless; and the nearly naked tail is prehensile. The inner toe on the hind foot is clawless and opposable. Females have an abdominal pouch for carrying the young.

FACTS:

  • Nocturnal
  • Play dead when threatened.
  • Will scavenge for food when necessary.

YOUNG:
Young are born naked and extremely immature and crawl to the hair-lined pouch to suckle and continue developing.

STATUS:
Not threatened; can live among humans.

REFERENCE:
The Mammals of Louisiana and its Adjacent Waters, George H. Lowery Jr.