Four-eyed Opossum Philander opossum
Head and body length of P. opossum is 250-350 mm, tail length
is 253-329 mm. Adult weights range from 240-400 grams. The short,
straight fur is gray to black and the underparts vary from yellowish
to buffy white. There is a white spot above each eye, frolm
which P. opossum derives its common name of Four-eyed opossum.
The black prehensile tail is furred about 40-50 mm beyond the
rump, and then becomes hairless. The end of the tail is white
with a pink tip. The ears are also naked, and the body is slender.
P. opossum has a large head with a conical muzzle. Females have
a distinct pouch with between 5 and 9 mammae.
The mainly terrestrial P. opossum inhabits forested areas, often
near swamps and streams, and is also adept at climbing and swimming.
The nests are globular, approximately 30 cm. In diameter. It
is believed that they are mostly nocturnal, but have been observed
to be just as active during the day in Surinam (Husson, 1978).
The diet of P. opossum includes small mammals, birds and their
eggs, reptiles, amphibians, insects, freshwater crustaceans,
snails, earthworms, fruits, and probably carrion. In some areas,
damage to fruit crops and corn fields has given them a bad reputation.
Depending on its locale, P. opossum may breed seasonally or
throughout the year. Litter size ranges from 3-7 young, with
the larger number of young occurring in northern populations.
P. opossum is found in Tamaulipas, Mexico, through
Central and South America to Bolivia and SC Brazil.