Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Didelphimorphia > Didelphidae > Didelphis > Didelphis virginiana

Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum)

Synonyms: Didelphis marsupialis virginiana
Language: French; Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), commonly known as the North American opossum, is the only marsupial found in North America north of Mexico. In the United States, it is typically referred to simply as a possum. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat. It is a successful opportunist. It is familiar to many North Americans as it is often seen near towns, rummaging through garbage cans, or as roadkill.
View Wikipedia Record: Didelphis virginiana


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 19.92
EDGE Score: 3.04


Adult Weight [1]  3.086 lbs (1.40 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  .16 grams
Female Weight [2]  4.189 lbs (1.90 kg)
Male Weight [2]  6.173 lbs (2.80 kg)
Weight Dimorphism [2]  47.4 %
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Herbivore
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  20 %
Diet - Plants [3]  20 %
Diet - Scavenger [3]  30 %
Diet - Vertibrates [3]  30 %
Forages - Scansorial [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [4]  6 months 4 days
Male Maturity [4]  8 months 3 days
Gestation [4]  12 days
Litter Size [4]  15
Litters / Year [2]  2
Maximum Longevity [4]  7 years
Nocturnal [5]  Yes
Snout to Vent Length [1]  16 inches (40 cm)
Speed [2]  4.474 MPH (2 m/s)
Weaning [4]  3 months 12 days


Protected Areas

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Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands Mexico, United States No
Mesoamerica Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama No

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap

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Range Map

External References

NatureServe Explorer


Attributes / relations provided by
1Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
2Didelphis virginiana, John J. McManus, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 40, pp. 1-6 (1974)
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
6Study of Northern Virginia Ecology
7Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
8Phenology, seed dispersal, and recruitment in Cecropia peltata (Moraceae) in Cost Rican tropical dry forest, Theodore H. Fleming and Charles F. Williams, Journal of Tropical Ecology (1990) 6:163-178
9Myotis austroriparius, Clyde Jones and Richard W. Manning, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 332, pp. 1-3 (1989)
10Sciurus niger, John L. Koprowski, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 479, pp. 1-9 (1994)
11Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
12International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 Wildfinder Database
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0