Virginia Opossum

Virginia Opossum
Virginia Opossum

Alden M. Johnson, California Academy of Sciences


Natural History: The Virginia Opossum is a nocturnal and omnivorous marsupial. It primarily eats carrion and insects, but fruits, berries and grains, green vegetation, earthworms, and fungi may also be important. It builds nests of leaves and other material in hollow snags, logs, rocks, piles of brush, or in the burrows of other animals. Its breeding season is January-February and June-July in California. This mammal is highly adaptable and very tolerant of humans.

General Distribution: Native to the southeastern U.S., this species was introduced to California in 1910. It has since spread throughout the state west of the Sierra. This species may occur in all parts of the Presidio.

Frequency: Within the Presidio this species is uncommon.

Identifying Characteristics: The opossum can be distinguished large, rat-like body with moderately long gray to silver fur. It has a long scaly, prehensile tail.


Last updated: January 8, 2018

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