Virginia Opossum

The Virginia opossum’s coloration is typically gray but may be tinted red, brown, or black, and varies based on location, being light gray in the north and dark gray in the south.

The Virginia opossum’s pelage is typically grayish, but it may range in color from a reddish, brownish, or even blackish hue. Within their fur, this species has long, white-tipped guard hairs. The fur of the face tends to be lighter than the rest of the body and is typically pale grayish-white.

The Virginia opossum’s coloration may vary based on the range of the population and tends to be light gray in the north and a dark gray in the southern part of its range.

Northern populations tend to have lighter guard hairs, thicker under fur, and a more grizzled appearance. The denser underfur serves a thermoregulatory function and tends to be white, but may have dark coloring on the tips.

Southern populations generally appear darker and have thinner under fur. The guard hairs tend to be darker, giving the animal a darker overall appearance.

Albinism has also been reported in this species.

Sources: (Burnie, Wilson, & Clutton-Brock, 2001; Christiansen, 2006; Gipson & Palmer, 2001; Hoffmeister, 2002; Hossler, McAninch, & Harder, 1994; McManus, 1974; McRuer & Jones, 2009; Siciliano, 2013; Wilemon, 2008; Wright, Burt, & Jackson, 2012)
Image: Christa R.


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