Dasypus novemcinctus - Linnaeus, 1758
Nine-banded Armadillo
Other English Common Names: nine-banded armadillo
Other Common Names: Tatu-Galinha
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus, 1758 (TSN 180103)
Spanish Common Names: Armadillo Narizón Común, Cusuco, Mulita,
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100467
Element Code: AMADA01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Other Mammals
Image 7639

© Larry Master

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Cingulata Dasypodidae Dasypus
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Dasypus novemcinctus
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly included in the order Edentata; included in the order Xenarthra by Jones et al. (1992) and Gardner (in Wilson and Reeder 1993).
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Nov1996
Global Status Last Changed: 05Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Sep1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S4), Kansas (S4), Louisiana (S5), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (SNR), New Mexico (S1), Oklahoma (S4), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S3), Texas (S5)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Southern South America (northern Argentina) north through Central America and much of middle and eastern Mexico to New Mexico, southern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, Alabama, ad South Carolina (Mayer 1989, Platt and Snyder 1995). Has expanded its U.S. range considerably in the last century from Texas to much of southeastern U.S. Introduced into Florida and has since expanded. Occurs also in Grenada (Lesser Antilles) and Trinidad and Tobago (Gardner, in Wilson and Reeder 1993).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: Southern South America (northern Argentina) north through Central America and much of middle and eastern Mexico to New Mexico, southern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, Alabama, ad South Carolina (Mayer 1989, Platt and Snyder 1995). Has expanded its U.S. range considerably in the last century from Texas to much of southeastern U.S. Introduced into Florida and has since expanded. Occurs also in Grenada (Lesser Antilles) and Trinidad and Tobago (Gardner, in Wilson and Reeder 1993).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, GA, KS, LA, MO, MS, NM, OK, SC, TN, TX

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; Sechrest, 2002

Ecology & Life History
Reproduction Comments: Mating occurs in summer; fertilization delayed until Nov. Delayed implantation of blastocyst. True gestation 4-5 months or more. Litter of 4 (usually one sex) born in advanced condition; litter derived from single fertilized ovum. Usually only 1 litter per year. Sexually mature after about 1 year. Storrs et al. 1989 reported that females experience an embryological diapause that may last up to over 2 years; one female gave birth 32 months after the estimated breeding date; some females produced litters in successive years without exposure to males between the first and second litters.
Ecology Comments: Density estimates range from less than one to 7.5 per acre (Kalmbach 1943).

Home range is 2-20 ha (see Loughry and McDonough 1998). Mean home range size of 12 individuals in Florida was 5.7 hectares (Layne and Glover 1977). In Florida, distance moved between successive sightings of individuals was less than 200 m both within and between years (Loughry and McDonough 1998).

Cannot survive prolonged freezing weather. Suffers high mortality due to being struck by cars. Most juvenile mortality may be due to predation; prolonged drought may result in increased adult mortality (McDonough and Loughry 1997).

Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Prefers brushy areas with loose soil; also common in pinelands and hardwood uplands. Individuals make several burrows, often placed at side of creek.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Depends chiefly on beetles, their larvae, and other insects and invertebrates. Plants, eggs, and various small vertebrates generally comprise less than 10% of diet, though fruits may be locally important in summer. In Missouri, diet includes carpenter ants, beetle larvae, snakes, and lizards (see Figg 1993). Forages on and in ground; relies heavily on a keen sense of smell and powerful digging claws while searching for food.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Predominantly nocturnal, frequently seen feeding in broad daylight, especially in winter. Can undergo torpor with reduced metabolic rate (Caire et al. 1989).
Length: 80 centimeters
Weight: 7700 grams
Economic Attributes
Economic Comments: One of the few species, besides humans, susceptible to infection by MYCOBACTERIUM LEPRAE, the bacillus that causes Hansen's Disease (leprosy); critical in research aimed at developing cure (Maugh 1982, Moncrief 1988). Digging sometimes damages lawns and gardens. May distract hunting dogs (that would rather chase armadillos than raccoons) (see Figg 1993).
Management Summary
Monitoring Requirements: Road kills provide a representative picture of adult demography, but information on overall population age structure is misleading (Loughry and McDonough 1996).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Major, deep waterbodies (arbitrarily set at 500 meters wide) without bridges may function as barriers. However, these armadillos can swim across some rivers and can walk across certain rivers during periods of low flow (see Frutos and Van Den Bussche 2002).
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Loughry and McDonough (1998) studied the spatial pattern of nine-banded armadillo populations over a 4-year period in Florida. They reported mean movement within and between years to be less than 200 m. Home ranges were small, 2-20 hectares (Loughry and McDonough 1998). In Florida, mean minimum size of 12 home ranges was 5.7 hectares (range 2-14 ha); one young female made a straight-line move of 1.9 km (Layne and Glover 1977). However, these studies did not focus on emigration or dispersal. Given the documented range expansion of this species in the United States, it is clear that dispersal capability is substantial. Additionally, genetic data from Paraguay are consistent with long-distance dispersal by females (Frutos and Van Den Bussche 2002). It seems unlikely that locations separated by a gap of less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent independent occurrences over the long term.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .27 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on an average home range size of 5.7 hectares (radius of 135 meters) (Layne and Glover 1977).
Date: 11Mar2005
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 31Jan1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

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