Virginia opossums have short lifespans with females living longer than males and captive ones living longer than wild individuals at 3-4 years compared to 1.5-2 years, but records top 10 years.
Virginia opossums have a fairly short lifespan. Females may live slightly longer than their male counterparts; however, they are no longer reproductively viable after 2 years of age.
Wild individuals typically only survive about 1.5 to 2 years. Captive individuals typically have a longer lifespan and generally survive to be 3 to 4 years old. However, there are reports of captive Virginia opossums surviving until they are 8 to 10 years old.
Among adult animals, the vast majority of deaths occurred during the cold season.
Sources: (Christiansen, 2006; Gipson & Kamler, 2001; Harmon, et al., 2005; Hossler, McAninch, & Harder, 1994; McManus, 1974; McRuer & Jones, 2009; O’Connell, 2006; Siciliano, 2013; Woods II & Hellgren, 2003)
Image: Ambra Galassi