Short-tailed Opossum

Short-tailed Opossums

Monodelphis domestica

Overview of Short-tailed Opossum

The short-tailed Opossum is part of the Didelphidae family of opossums and is a marsupial. In the wild it is found in areas of Boliva, Brazil and Paraquay. It is around 4-6 inches long with a prehensile, hairless tail. Males tend to be slightly bigger than females. Lifespan is about 5 years.

They are solitary in the wild and have clearly marked territories so in captivity must be kept alone.

Short-tailed opossums are marsupials, but do not have the pouch that is usually typical. Young are born hairless and must climb up to the mothers nipples to attach themselves.

Short-tailed opossums are naturally arboreal and need a habitat with plenty of climbing opportunities.

Dietary needs include fruit, protein and insects. This can be quite involved, so needs some careful planning to avoid selective feeding.

Since fights over territory or during breeding can be serious and even fatal, breeding them in captivity can be extremely difficult. It is best attempted only be experienced keepers.

They can be tamed if handled from a young age. Some keepers have had success with using bonding pouches for young animals to help them get familiar with your scent. Although essentially nocturnal can have some periods of activity during the day. They are quite inquisitive and need a variety of enrichment in their home. Live food such as crickets and mealworms can give them an excellent opportunity to hunt and forage.