Linnaeus’s Mouse Opossum

Linnaeus’s Mouse Opossum (Marmosa murina), also known as the Common or Murine Mouse Opossum, is a South American marsupial of the family Didelphidae. Its range includes Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, and eastern Bolivia.

The Linnaeus’s Mouse Opossum has a body length of approximately 4.25-5.75 inches (11-14.5 cm), with a tail of approximately 4.75-5.25 inches (13.5-21 cm) long. It is pale beige to grey on its stomach with short, smooth fur. Its face appears to have a black mask. Its eyes catch attention, and its ears are very upright. The tail, which females use to carry leaves, is much longer than the rest of its body.

This opossum is most commonly sighted near forest streams and human habitation. It eats insects, spiders, lizards, bird’s eggs, chicks, and fruits. It is a nocturnal creature. It sleeps during the day in a mesh of twigs on a tree branch, a tree hole, or an old bird’s nest.

The Linnaeus’s Mouse Opossum has a development period of approximately 13 days, and gives birth to 5-10 young.

PHOTO CREDIT: Smithsonian Institution – Biological Dynamics Forest Fragment Project Photo by: Laurie Minor-Penland Date: 1996