Didelphis is a genus of New World marsupials. The six species in the genus Didelphis, commonly known as large American opossums, are members of the order Didelphimorphia. The genus is composed of cat-sized omnivorous species, which can be recognized by their prehensile tails and their tendency to feign death when cornered. The largest species, the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), is the only marsupial to be found in North America north of Mexico.

Large American opossums[1]
Didelphis albiventris (Lund, 1840) (3452477057).jpg
White-eared opossum Didelphis albiventris
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Didelphimorphia
Family: Didelphidae
Subfamily: Didelphinae
Tribe: Didelphini
Genus: Didelphis
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Didelphis marsupialis


Cladogram of living Didelphis[2][3]

D. virginiana

D. aurita

D. marsupialis

D. albiventris

D. imperfecta

D. pernigra


  1. ^ Gardner, A. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Upham, Nathan S.; Esselstyn, Jacob A.; Jetz, Walter (2019). "Inferring the mammal tree: Species-level sets of phylogenies for questions in ecology, evolution and conservation". PLOS Biol. 17 (12): e3000494. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.3000494. PMC 6892540. PMID 31800571.
  3. ^ Amador, Lucila I.; Giannini, Norberto P. (2016). "Phylogeny and evolution of body mass in didelphid marsupials (Marsupialia: Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)". Organisms Diversity & Evolution. 16 (3): 641–657. doi:10.1007/s13127-015-0259-x. S2CID 17393886.

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