This marsupial belongs to the group of American opossums, which are related to Australian opossums by the type of reproduction. This opossum is a very rare and little-known species. The animal reminds a dormouse by its appearance. No wonder the scientific name of the species is 'glironia', where the Latin word 'glir' means dormouse and 'venusta' - graceful or charming. The long, pointed nose of the animal has long tactile hairs. This marsupial has keen sense of hearing; the large ears of the opossum are blackish in color, oval-shaped and naked. The tail of the opossum is bushy, covered with thick fur. The coat of the animal is grey to buffy-white below while fawn or cinnamon-brown on top. The fur ranges greatly from soft and velvety to dense and woolly.
These marsupials inhabit Amazon and Paraguay Basins in South America (Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; Peru), occurring in dense, humid, tropical forests as well as semi-deciduous, dry seasonal sub-montane forests.
Presently, the Bushy-tailed opossum is quite a rare and insufficiently explored species. The animal is thought to be nocturnal and is likely to live solitarily. The big toe of the animal is large and opposable, which enables us to conclude that this marsupial is an arboreal animal that spends most of the time in the trees. In addition, some specimens of this opossum have been captured in pitfall trips, located on the ground, which allows to presume, that from time to time, the animal uses lower parts of the forest and sometimes comes down to the ground, probably in order to catch insects.
Presently, the diet of this marsupial is unknown, though the species has many similarities with genus Marmosa, which allows the researchers to presume that the Bushy-tailed opossums are omnivorous and may have the same diet as Marmosa species, namely, insects, eggs, seeds as well as fruits.
Currently, there is no information on the mating system of this marsupial, though species of the family Didelphidae are mainly polygynous. Rarity of their population numbers does not allow deeper study of the species. In general, however, opossum males compete for mating rights while communicating with each other through a wide variety of clicking calls. Opossums normally do not have any courtship rituals or pair bonds. Offspring of all opossum species are born altricial or poorly developed. Newborn babies climb to the pouch of their mother, staying there for weeks. Coming out of the pouch, the young are carried by their mother for another several weeks, after which they are weaned.
Currently, the opossum greatly suffers from the alteration of its forest habitat to agricultural areas, which, in turn, leads to sharp decline in the numbers of the species. Remaining forestlands are now being destroyed, logged, fragmented and turned to cattle pastures.
According to IUCN, the Bushy-tailed opossum is rare, although has a widespread distribution but no overall population estimate is available. However, the species is currently classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
This opossum is thought to have the same diet as Marmosa species, namely, Robinson’s mouse opossum, which acts as seed disperser of various plants and fruits it feeds upon.