This species has been recorded in mountainous and desert habitats in a small part of central Peru. It has been captured from 300 to 3000 meters above sea level. (Giarla, et al., 2010)
Like other members of its genus, Thylamys tatei is notable for its incrassate (fattened) tail. The size of the tail varies by season in accordance with food availability. Although this species is a marsupial, females do not have a pouch. This species is tricolored, with darker dorsal fur, paler lateral fur, and a white ventral region. This species is broadly similar to other members of the Elegans Group (which includes T. elegans, T. pallidior, and T. tatei) as described by Giarla et al. (2010). A single specimen of this rare species examined by Giarla et al. (2010) was recorded with a head + body lengths of 109 mm and tail length of 118 mm. (Giarla, et al., 2010)
Little is known about the mating system in Thylamys tatei. For the closely related species Thylamys elegans, Palma (1997) reported that two adults have never been found in the same nest, suggesting that this species does not form monogamous breeding pairs. (Palma, 1997)
Little is known about the reproductive behavior of this species. No records of its behavior have been published.
Little is known about parental investment in Thylamys tatei. Like all marsupials, females nurse their highly altricial young. However, because members of the genus Thylamys lack a pouch (marsupium), the young must cling to their mother's venter. (Giarla, et al., 2010)
No record of this species' lifespan is available.
No published accounts of the behavior of Thylamys tatei are available. This species is likely solitary, as most small, insectivorous mammals are. As is the case for other members of this genus, Thylamys tatei is likely nocturnal and experiences daily torpor. Individuals of the closely related species Thylamys elegans build nests out of hair and leaves in rocks, trees, and abandoned rodent burrows (Palma 1997). (Palma, 1997)
The home range of this species is not known.
Because this species is small and nocturnal, communication between individuals is likely primarily olfactory in nature. Palma (1997) reports that the olfactory and visual regions of another Thylamys species' brain are especially well developed. (Palma, 1997)
Little is known about the food habits of this species. Like other Thylamys species, Thylamys tatei likely consumes insects and perhaps occasionally eats small vertebrates, leaves, fruit, seeds, and carrion (Palma 1997). (Palma, 1997)
Thylamys tatei likely acts as an important predator to many arthropod species and perhaps some small vertebrates. It is likely prey to both bird and medium-sized mammals, such as owls and foxes. It is also likely host to many ecto- and endoparasites. More specific information about the ecosystem role of Thylamys tatei is not presently available. (Palma, 1997)
There are no known positive impacts of Thylamys tatei on humans.
There are no known negative effects of Thylamys tatei.
There is not enough data to properly evaluate the conservation status of Thylamys tatei. As such, it is listed as "Data Deficient" by the IUCN.
Tom Giarla (author), University of Minnesota, Sharon Jansa (editor), American Museum of Natural History, Robert Voss (editor), American Museum of Natural History, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
Giarla, T., R. Voss, S. Jansa. 2010. Species Limits and Phylogenetic Relationships in the Didelphid Marsupial Genus Thylamys Based on Mitochondrial DNA Sequences and Morphology. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 346: 1-67.
Palma, R. 1997. Thylamys elegans. Mammalian Species, 572: 1-4.