Meet NA's only Marsupial

The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
is North America's ONLY marsupial –
& they're native to Indiana!

Conservation Status:
least concern

 Find a nearby, permitted wildlife rehabilitator  here.

IMG-2087.png

Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana)

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:
Phylum:

Subphylum:
Class:
Subclass:
Infraclass:
Order:
Family:
Genus:
Species:

Animalia [animals]
Chordata [chordates]

Vertebrata [vertebrates]
Mammalia [mammals]
Theria [live-bearing mammals]
Metatheria [marsupial mammals]
Didelphimorphia [American marsupials]
Didelphidae [American opossums and opossums]
Didelphis [common opossums]
Didelphis virginiana [Virginia opossum]

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES

  • free pest & animal control by eating pesky insects, rodents, & carrion (roadkill)

  • natural seed dispersers

HABITAT

  • forests – woodlands & wetlands near riparian areas (streams, swamps)

  • human structures

THREATS

  • cars (humans)

  • predators (dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes, owls)

  • habitat loss (fragmentation, deforestation)

  • climate change (severe & frequent changes in weather patterns)

  • pollutants (use of pesticides & herbicides)

  • harmful myths and misinformation (opossums do NOT carry rabies!)

DIET

  • omnivores

  • feeds on a wide variety of prey; an adaptable, opportunistic feeder

  • consumes carrion (roadkill)

TRAITS

  • 50 teeth (more than any other Indiana mammal!)

  • nocturnal (active at night)

  • black, hairless ears with white or pink tips

  • scaly, hairless tails

(OPE!) CHECK BACK LATER FOR MORE INFO

Hi there! I'm working on new opossum illustrations to help us learn more species facts. Until then, find & download the coloring page here!


And, visit the resources + helpful links below I used to keep learning: