From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Large American opossums[1]
The white-eared opossum, Didelphis albiventris, lives in South America.
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Didelphimorphia
Family: Didelphidae
Subfamily: Didelphinae
Tribe: Didelphini
Genus: Didelphis
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Didelphis marsupialis

Didelphis is a genus of New World marsupials. The six species in the genus Didelphis, commonly known as Large American opossums, are members of the opossum order, Didelphimorphia.

The genus Didelphis is composed of cat-sized omnivorous species, which can be recognized by their prehensile tails and their tendency to feign death when cornered. The largest species, the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), is the only marsupial to be found in North America north of Mexico. The Virginia opossum has opposable toes on their two back feet.


Cladogram of living large American opossums, the genus Didelphis:[2][3]


Image Scientific name Distribution
Didelphis albiventris Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay
Didelphis aurita Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
Didelphis imperfecta Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana and Venezuela.
Didelphis marsupialis northeast of Mexico to Bolivia to the central coast of Peru, including Trinidad and Tobago
Didelphis pernigra Venezuela to Bolivia
Didelphis virginiana Central America and North America from Costa Rica to southern Ontario


  1. ^ Gardner, A. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Upham, Nathan S.; Esselstyn, Jacob A.; Jetz, Walter (2019). "Inferring the mammal tree: Species-level sets of phylogenies for questions in ecology, evolution and conservation". PLOS Biol. 17 (12): e3000494. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3000494. PMC 6892540. PMID 31800571.
  3. ^ Amador, Lucila I.; Giannini, Norberto P. (2016). "Phylogeny and evolution of body mass in didelphid marsupials (Marsupialia: Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)". Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 16 (3): 641–657. doi:10.1007/s13127-015-0259-x. S2CID 17393886.

External links[edit]