Chlamyphorus truncatus, Harlan, 1825

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson, 2018, Chlamyphoridae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 8 Insectivores, Sloths and Colugos, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 48-71 : 68-69

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.6623975


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Chlamyphorus truncatus


5. View Plate 2: Chlamyphoridae

Pink Fairy Armadillo

Chlamyphorus truncatus View in CoL

French: Tatou tronqué / German: Kleiner Glrtelmull / Spanish: Pichiciego menor

Other common names: Lesser Fairy Armadillo, Lesser Pichiciego

Taxonomy. Chlamyphorus truncatus Harlan, 1825 View in CoL ,

“Mendoza...interior of Chili, on the east of the Cordilleras, in lat. 33°25’ and long. 69°47’, in the province of Cuyo.” Identified by A. Cabrera in 1958 as Rio Tunuyan, 33°25’ S, 69°45’ W, Mendoza, Argentina. This species is monotypic.

Distribution. C Argentina (from S Catamarca S to N Rio Negro and SE to S Buenos Aires provinces). View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 110-150 mm, tail 25-35 mm, hindfoot c¢.31 mm; weight 100-115 g. The Pink Fairy Armadillo is the smallest species of armadillo. It is subterranean and mole-like, with fusiform body shape. Carapace is pinkish and only attached to body by thin membrane along dorsal midline from head shield to vertical rump plate;it is free of body along sides and has 24-25 movable transverse bands. Digging claws are enlarged, and tip of tail is diamond-shaped. Abundant white, silky hair covers ventral and lateral parts of body, extending under carapace. Eyes and ears are greatly reduced in size; ears are not visible. The Pink Fairy Armadillo walks on tips of front claws, and hindfeet are directed inward. Diploid number is 2n = 58.

Habitat. Xeric habitats with shrubby vegetation, dry grasslands, always on sandy soils with limited vegetation, from sea level to elevations of ¢.1500 m.

Food and Feeding. The Pink Fairy Armadillo is probably a generalist insectivore that mainly eats invertebrates such as beetles, ants, insect eggs and larvae, worms, and snails, and perhaps some plant material.

Breeding. Female Pink Fairy Armadillos probably give birth to single young in spring or early summer.

Activity patterns. The Pink Fairy Armadillo is subterranean, nocturnal, and rarely observed. It emerges only occasionally, walks a few meters, and digs into the ground again. It is presumed to use its carapace for thermoregulation. It digs large, sinuous, unbranched, cylindrical burrows 5-15 cm below the ground’s surface. It usesits tail as a fifth limb for increased support while standing on its hindlegs and digging with its strong front claws; it backfills tunnels by compacting sand with its vertical rump plate.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. The Pink Fairy Armadillo is presumed to be solitary. There is no information about home range, population sizes, and density due to difficulty in finding and studying it in the wild. The Pink Fairy Armadillo can emit a high-pitched scream when frightened.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Data Deficient on The IUCN Red List. There is a lack of scientific information on its natural history and population status. Field sightings are rare, incidental, and less common than a few decades ago. The Pink Fairy Armadillo is mainly threatened by habitat conversion due to agriculture and cattle ranching but also predation by domestic cats and dogs. It seems to be highly susceptible to stress and sudden changes in environmental conditions. The Pink Fairy Armadillo is illegally collected as a pet or to be sold on the black market; however, most individuals removed from the wild die within c.8 days.

Bibliography. Abba & Superina (2010), Cabrera (1958), Delsuc et al. (2012), Melchor et al. (2012), Meritt (1985b), Minoprio (1945), Redford (1985a), Roig (1995), Superina (2006, 2011), Torres et al. (2015), Wetzel (1985b), Wetzel et al. (2008).














Chlamyphorus truncatus

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson 2018

Chlamyphorus truncatus

Harlan 1825
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