Nine-banded Armadillo

The Nine-banded Long-nosed Armadillo or just Nine-banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus, is a species of armadillo. It is from North, Central and South America. It is the most widespread member of the group.

The Nine-banded Long-nosed Armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal. It is found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an omnivorous animal, but feeds basically on ants, termites and other insects.

Range within the United States

The Nine-banded Armadillo has been rapidly expanding its range both north and east within the United States. The armadillo crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico prior to the 20th century; by 1995 the species had become well-established in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. It has been sighted as far as Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. A decade later, the armadillo has become established in all of those areas and continued its migration. It has been sighted as far north as southern Nebraska, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky.

The primary cause of this rapid expansion is explained simply by the existence of few or no natural predators of the armadillo within the United States. There is little desire on the part of Americans to hunt or eat the armadillo. It has a high reproductive rate. It is speculated that the northern expansion of the armadillo will continue until the species reaches as far north as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Further northward and westward expansion will probably be limited by the armadillo’s inability to tolerate harsh winters. There is little body fat to protect it from the cold.