Grey Four-eyed Opossum, Philander opossum

The grey four-eyed opossum (Philander opossum) is native to Central and South America. Its range extends from southern Mexico to Peru and from Bolivia to southwestern Brazil. It prefers a habitat within disturbed, primary, and secondary forests, typically at altitudes between sea level and 3,280 feet. In these habitats, it is most commonly found near water, although it can live in drier areas.

The grey four-eyed opossum derives its name from the distinct patch of white fur on its forehead that occurs above the eyes. The fur on the underbelly and frontal areas is typically cream colored, while the back fur is darker grey in color. Adults bear black ears that are lighter at the base. The long, prehensile tail is multi colored and bears no fur at the tip.

This species of opossum is nocturnal, and prefers to spend its time alone. It is slightly arboreal, but is also skilled at swimming. Territories for each possum are not well defined, and these areas often depend on resource abundance. The main diet of this species consists of vegetation like grasses and leaves, and small animals. Females are able to produce up to seven young, although litters between four and five are most common. The grey four-eyed opossum appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern”.

Image Caption: Gray four-eyed opossum, Philander opossum. Credit: André de Souza Pereira/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)