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Little mountain monkey

Dromiciops gliroides


Is a diminutive marsupial native only to southwestern South America (Chile and Argentina). It is the only extant species in the ancient order Microbiotheria, and the sole New World representative of the superorder Australidelphia (all other New World marsupials are members of Ameridelphia). The species is nocturnal and arboreal, and lives in thickets of South American mountain bamboo in the Valdivian temperate rain forests of the southern Andes,aided by its partially prehensile tail. It eats primarily insects and other small invertebrates, supplemented with fruit.


Monitos del monte mainly live in trees, where they construct spherical nests of water resistant colihue leaves. These leaves are then lined with moss or grass, and placed in well protected areas of the tree. The nests are sometimes covered with grey moss as a form of camouflage. These nests provide the monito del monte with some protection from the cold, both when it is active and when it hibernates. It stores fat in the base of its tail for winter hibernation. It lives in the dense, humid forests of highland Chile and Argentina.


Body length is 11–12.5 cm. Tail length is 9–10 cm.

No species ID suggestions


Michael Weymann
Michael Weymann 5 years ago

Sure, there's a story! This marsupial was found by a cat toyed with. A friend saw this and rescued the monkey. Keeps stored to release come spring nearby Nahuelbuta National Park in Chile.

KarenL 5 years ago

Fun fact! The monito del monte or “little mountain monkey”, is not a primate at all, but a marsupial. Scientists suspect that this and other South American marsupials were the ancestors of the Australian species, dating from when the two continents were connected via Antarctica during the early Cenozoic Era.

KarenL 5 years ago

Hi Michael, awesome spot - is there an interesting story about your encounter that you can share with us?

Michael Weymann
Michael Weymann 5 years ago

Thanks Sergio. I was very lucky!

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 5 years ago

Wonderful spotting, Michael. I didn't know them yet!

Cañete, VIII Región del Biobío, Chile

Lat: -37.86, Long: -73.37

Spotted on Aug 10, 2013
Submitted on Aug 15, 2013

Spotted for mission


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