Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo

(Cabassous chacoensis)

other common names


Order: Cingulata
Family: Chlamyphoridae
Subfamily: Tolypeutinae


With a head-body length of 30–35 cm, a tail of 9–10 cm and a body weight of 1–2.4 kg, the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo is the smallest species of the genus Cabassous. It can also be distinguished from the other Cabassous species by its tiny ears. A characteristic of all Cabassous species is that their tail lacks the armor found on the tails of all other armadillos, although there may be some scattered, small osteoderms (bony plates).


This is an insectivorous species that feeds primarily on ants and termites, but sometimes also eats seeds and fruits. 


Cabassous chacoensis has been recorded from the Gran Chaco of western Paraguay and north-central Argentina. 

Population trend


curious facts

When feeling threatened, the Chacoan naked-tailed armadillo can grunt like a pig.


This species is threatened by habitat degradation from agricultural activity, subsistence hunting for food by local people, as well as predation by dogs.


This largely fossorial, nocturnal species is restricted to Dry Chaco (thorn forest) habitats. There is little available information on its life history and other biological characteristics. The generation length of another armadillo species, the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), has been estimated to be 5 years. The generation length for C. chacoensis is suspected to be similar. The abundance of C. chacoensis is not known. In general it is rarely sighted. 


No information exists on the reproduction of this species. It probably gives birth to a single young per litter.

conservation status

Cabassous chacoensis is listed as Near Threatened given an inferred population decline as a result of habitat loss and hunting, which may have approached 20-25% over the last three generations (suspected to be around 15 years). It almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A2cd.