Nine-Banded Armadillo

Nine-Banded Armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus

Type of Animal:

Forest, grasslands, brushland, woodlands, scrubland, semidesert, scrub brush, savanna near wooded areas, riparian areas, shrubland, scrub forest, suburban areas, agricultural areas, open prairie, tropical savanna, desert, streamsides, creeks, waterholes, salt marshes, golf courses, parks, cemeteries, grass prairies, coastal dunes, roadsides, pastures, plant nurseries, cropland

All South America (range expanding) except for W Bolivia, all of Argentina except for NE, Chile, & S Peru, Central America, Mexico except for center & NW, US (range expanding)-C US all the way to S Nebraska/Kansas/Missouri, SE Colorado, E New Mexico, SE US, far S Illinois, W Kentucky, extreme SW Indiana-range slated to include all SE US, C US all the way to S Nebraska & far S Iowa, SE Colorado, E New Mexico, Mid-Atlantic region, S Midwest, SE New York, & S New England. Also found on Trinidad, Tobago, & Grenada.

Very armored mammals, long nose, pointy ears, elongated claws on middle toes of forefeet, gray to brownish-gray body, 9 narrow jointed armor bands (varies from 7-11), large shoulder/rump plates, small pointy head, softer belly

Insects, insect larvae, worms, arachnids, millipedes, snails, grubs, centipedes, small reptiles, amphibians, eggs, fruit, seeds, fungi, berries, baby mammals, carrion, tubers, vegetables

Status in Wild:

Not applicable


Additional Info:

Male: Boar/Lister
Female: Sow/Zed
Young: Pup
Group: Solitary

Male: 12-17 lbs
Female: 8-13 lbs
Young: 2 lbs

4 months

Life Span:
12-15 years

Male: 9.8 in
Female: 5.9 in

Body Length:
Male: 1.75-2.5 ft
Female: 1.25-1.45 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 1.5-1.75 ft
Female: 1-1.5 ft

Main predators of adults are felids, bears, crocodilians, canids, raccoons, & raptors. Feral pigs & smaller raptors eat young.
Litters almost always have 4 pups, all same sex.
Armor provides protection from predators.
Make homes in underground burrows w/ multiple entrances-they stay here in cold weather.
Range only expanded to US in late 1800s.
Official state small mammal of Texas.
Despite range expanding into cold areas, they don’t hibernate but become less active. Most perish due to lack of insulating hair & need to eat everyday.

Fun Fact(s):
When startled/scared, they can jump 4-5 ft high.
They’re such common roadkill victims that they’re also called Hillbilly Speed Bumps.
Surprisingly good swimmers, being able to hold breath for up to 6 minutes & walk underwater to cross streams.
Sometimes called “Poor Man’s Pork” due to pork-like taste, especially during Great Depression. Also called Hoover Hogs by people who blamed US President Herbert Hoover for Great Depression.
They can carry leprosy & spread it from themselves to humans. This can happen if someone eats undercooked meat or handles them.

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