Saruê, also known as black-eared opossum or sarué ( Didelphis aurita ) is a species of opossum that can be found from Northeastern Brazil to Paraguay and Northern Argentina. In the capital of Bahia, the mammal is known as opossum.
Characteristics of the saruê
The saruê is a marsupial that can reach up to 90 centimeters in length and weigh up to 1.6 kg. It has two layers of hair: one internal, like a kind of rust-colored fluff; and an external one, with long black or gray hairs.
The belly of the saruê has a rust color, while the head has distinct black and rust marks. The black and naked ear inspires its popular name. The animal also has a gland that gives off an unpleasant odor in the region of the anus.
Sarués are marsupials and, as in the case of kangaroos, females have a pouch in the belly – the marsupium – which is formed by the skin of the abdomen where 13 breasts are found. The females of the saruês carry their young in a pouch in the womb, from birth to the first months of life. They are wild animals, non-domesticable and can bite when they feel threatened.
Gestation, food and habitat
The gestation of the saruê lasts about 13 days. The female has 8 puppies that are trapped in the mother’s teats for a period of 3 months, being able to give two offspring a year. The harlot feeds on practically everything it finds: insects, larvae, fruits, small rodents, eggs, snakes, etc. In rural areas, the animal usually attacks chicken coops. These marsupials inhabit forests, cultivated regions and urban areas and have nocturnal habits.