Learn more about the Central American woolly opossum – with amazing Central American woolly opossum photos and facts on Arkive. Caluromys derbianus. Central American Woolly Opossum Uwe Speck Panama. Photo by Uwe Speck. The Central American Woolly Opossum is a medium-sized . Central American Woolly Opossum – Caluromys derbianus The Central American Woolly Opossum is without a doubt one of the cutest opossums in Drake Bay.

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In comparison to other opossums, it is rather cute, with a thick coat of fur, gray in color with extensive reddish or brownish patches and creamy white underparts. It has large, pinkish ears, large brown eyes that give off a bright red eyeshine, and a stripe on its gray face that runs from its forehead down toward its nose. The Central American Woolly Opossum has a very long prehensile tail longer than its body lengthdistinctly furred at the base for half its length, then naked to the tip.

The midsection of the tail is mottled dark brown with white, and the tip is completely white. The white tip of the tail and pinkish ears distinguish this species from other opossums. Its body length is 22 to 30 cm, and its tail is 38 to 45 cm, giving an overall length of 60 to 70 cm, and it weighs grams. The members of this genus also have the largest brain size of all the opossums. It is found in the lowlands up to the lower highlands, from sea level to m elevation. Uncommon to locally common, the Caluromys derbianus lives in primary and secondary growth forests, and frequents forest edges and dense vine tangles.


Central American Woolly Opossums are strictly nocturnal, active well after dark and during the darkest parts of the night. They are completely arboreal, rarely venturing down to the ground, and are fast runners, moving quickly along tree branches and from tree to tree.

They use their prehensile tail for grasping branches and assisting with balance during their arboreal pursuits. They have very sharp vision, and their prominent, forward-facing eyes give them binocular vision — they have well-developed depth perception and excellent hand-eye coordination, an important adaptation for arboreal mammals.

Their diet consists of insects, fruits, nectar and sometimes small vertebrates. The Caluromys derbianus’ diet is varied seasonally depending on the availability of foods — in the derbiqnus season, they feed on nectar, taking on an important role of pollinator for the trees.

Canopy Family Panama

Likewise, when consuming fruit, they are efficient seed dispersers — the derbiianus are eaten and pass through their gut unharmed, being displaced and fertilized in another location. Central American Woolly Opossums are solitary, and roost during the day in nests made up of leaves in dense vine tangles.

They have small home ranges in comparison to other mammals their size, usually staying within a single square kilometer. Several island populations are reportedly diurnal. Ocelots are known predators of Central American Woolly Opossums.

Woolly Opossum (Caluromys derbianus) – The Night Tour – Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Like all other opossums, the Central American Woolly Opossum is a marsupial. Litter size caluroys typically between 1 and 6 young. After this point the young slowly wean, and become independent around days of age.


Females only have a pouch when carrying young; when not breeding, the pouch regresses to small folds. Young are slightly grayer than adults.

In Panama, they breed during the dry season from January to April, but are known to breed year-round in other parts of their range.

The Neotropical marsupials are generally polygynous. However, populations in Mexico and Ecuador are declining due to deforestation and habitat loss. The Caluromys derbianus used to be hunted for its fur, but that is no longer in demand.

Derby’s woolly opossum

Our ecotourism awards include being on the list of the 14 top hotels in the Los Angeles Time, Travel Section, March 14, Canopy Family’s first butterfly tour was an exciting and memorable week at the Canopy Lodge and Canopy Tower. The butterflies were abundant and we saw dozens of metalmarks, brushfoots, hairstreaks and skippers – species were found during the tour, including three species of jewelmarks seen on the first day!

The world of butterflies and skippers is fascinating, and we were happy to share it with our guests in Panama! Eliecer was born in Penonome on Caluroms 20th, After school he started work in at the Canopy Adventure Return to Species Database.