Pink Fairy Armadillo Classification Essay


Taxonomy [top]


Scientific Name:Chlamyphorus truncatus Harlan, 1825
Common Name(s):
EnglishPink Fairy Armadillo, Lesser Fairy Armadillo, Lesser Pichi Ciego, Pichiciego
Taxonomic Notes:Three subspecies have been described (Yepes 1932).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published:2014
Date Assessed:2013-10-02
Assessor(s):Superina, M., Abba, A.M. & Roig, V.G.
Reviewer(s):Loughry, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s):Superina, M.
Chlamyphorus truncatus is listed as Data Deficient because there is little information on the population status of this species, and its biology and ecology are poorly known. Throughout its range there is extensive habitat degradation, especially from cattle and goat ranching, but the actual effect on the population is not well understood. Collection of individuals to keep them as pets or sell them on the black market are increasingly threatening the species, as it does not survive in captivity. The species remains a priority for further survey work, as the availability of additional information may well show that the species requires listing as Near Threatened or in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This smallest of all armadillo species is endemic to central Argentina, where it is found in the provinces of Buenos Aires (southern part only), Catamarca, Córdoba, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Neuquén, Rio Negro, San Juan and San Luis (Borghi et al. 2011, Abba et al. 2012). It occurs from sea level to 1,500 m Asl.
Countries occurrence:


Argentina (Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Córdoba, La Pampa, La Rioja, Mendoza, Neuquén, Rio Negro, San Juan, San Luis)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This smallest of all armadillos may be relatively rare, but nothing is known about its population size or trend. Records are very isolated from each other.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:UnknownPopulation severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This poorly known, nocturnal species is found in dry grassland and sandy plains with shrubby vegetation, always on sandy soils.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is illegally collected to be kept as a pet, although it does not survive long in captivity.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat conversion due to agriculture (plowing of fields) and cattle ranching (compaction of soil) are probably the predominant threats this species is facing, but predation by domestic cats and dogs is also contributing to its decline. Furthermore, the species is illegally collected to be kept as a pet or with the intention to sell it on the black market, but the large majority of specimens removed from the wild die within 8 days (M. Superina pers. comm. 2013).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The pink fairy armadillo is present in a number of protected areas including Lihué Calel National Park in La Pampa (9,905 ha) and some provincial protected areas in Mendoza, such as Bosques Telteca and the MAB Reserve Ñacuñán. Nevertheless, distribution models suggest that in Argentina, this is the armadillo species with the lowest percentage of its range (1.7%) within National Parks (Tognelli et al. 2011).
There is national and provincial legislation specifically in place for its protection, such as Provincial Law 6,599 Mendoza. Further studies into the population status, demography and ecology of this species are needed.

Are you on the lookout for some strange animals? Why not start with something really cute and adorable? We have all heard of armadillos – those big armored animals (you will recognize if you see one) but have you ever heard of Pink Fairy Armadillo? Pink because it is pink (sometimes, less pinkish and more of brownish and yellowish) but yes, pink! This armadillo is pink (not entirely though). Fairy? We don’t know why it is called fairy but it definitely doesn’t have wings or halo. It is simply cute. Honestly, the creature is very weird. In this article, let us learn some Pink Fairy Armadillo facts and find out more amount this amazing animal with incredible fashion sense. But before we start, let us quickly look at some important facts:

Scientific NameChlamyphorus truncates
Life Span5 years to 10 years
LifestyleSolitary, fossorial, nocturnal and subterranean
Size3.5 inches or 90 millimeters to 4.5 inches or 115 millimeters
Skin TypeHard shell
ColorPale Rose or Pink
HabitatDandy plains and dry grasslands
Favorite foodAnts
Weight120 grams
Primary preyAnts, plant material and worms
PredatorsDogs (especially domestic dogs)
Litter size (average)1
Special characteristicsLarge front claws, hard shell, shielded head, butt plat for compacting dirt
Conservation statusIn 2006, it was put on ICUN’s Red List and was categorized as near-threatened. In 2008, it was moved to the category ‘data deficient’.

Now let us begin…

Interesting Pink Fairy Armadillo Facts: 1-5

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo is an armadillo species. It is smallest of all known armadillos.

2. Known by the name – Pichiciego, it is found in Central Argentina. Its habitats include scrubby grasslands, dunes and sandy plains.

3. Their body length, excluding their tail, ranges between 90 mm and 115 mm.

4. Of all armadillo species, this is the only armadillo, whose dorsal shell is totally separate from its body. It is connected to the body with only a thin membrane, which runs right along its spine.

5. The pink color of the shell comes from the underlying blood vessels, which show through the shell. It is the blood in the blood vessels that create the pale rose or pink hue.

Interesting Pink Fairy Armadillo Facts: 6-10

6. The shell is actually fragile and pretty flexible. This means that the shell is not used as a protective armor. Scientists think that the shell is more for thermoregulation.

7. The color of the shell can actually change depending on the environment in which the animal is put it. Based on the environmental factors, irrigation of blood into the blood vessels can actually increase or decrease and thereby lead to change in color.

8. When more blood flows into the shell or the carapace, the temperature of the creature’s body falls and draining blood out of the shell helps the Pink Fairy Armadillo to retain its body heat.

9. Beneath the carapace or the shell is silky fur which is yellowish-white in color.

10. Now, the pink and white combination may sound weird in the dessert setting because those colors can attract predators. Pink Fairy Armadillo however, is subterranean and barely stays above the ground for a few moments. So, the pink and white is just fine.

Interesting Pink Fairy Armadillo Facts: 11-15

11. This armadillo is actually a wonderful burrower or digger and remains 6 inches underneath the ground. It is such an excellent digger that it is often said that it is a sand-swimmer just like the famed sandfish (which is actually a lizard).

12. Weirdly, the Pink Fairy Armadillo doesn’t really dig through sand. It actually digs through comparatively firm earth. The reason for it being such an efficient digger is that it actually has enormous front claws. The claws are so big that it can barely walk on any hard surface.

13. This armadillo is one of the very few mammals out there that doesn’t have visible external ears.

14. This armadillo is strictly nocturnal. It is very elusive and can be rarely seen on ground.

15. The armor of the Pink Fairy Armadillo has 24 bands, allowing the mammal to easily curl up and take the shape of a ball. One really interesting Pink Fairy Armadillo fact is that at the rear end of the animal, its armor is flattened.

30 Interesting Pink Fairy Armadillo Facts was last modified: December 28th, 2017 by Sankalan Baidya

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