cingulata

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Pink Fairy Armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus)

Also known as the lesser fairy armadillo, the pink fairy armadillo is a unique species of small armadillo found only in Central Argentina. Pink fairy armadillos are the smallest known armadillo, with the largest individual growing to around 4 inches long. They are primarily nocturnal and burrow near anthills, as their main food item is ants, however they will eat worms, snails, plants and roots as-wells. Like a golden mole or a marsupial mole the pink fairy armadillo navigates its surroundings via “sand swimming” using its powerful claws to move through the sand as if it was water, its pink back/head plates shield it from debris. Although the pink fairy armadillo is listed as ‘data-deficient’ by the IUCN it suffers from habitat destruction as cattle farms are taking over its natural range. 

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Mammalia-Cingulata-Dasypodidae-Euphractinae-Chalmyphorus-truncatus

Image Source(s)

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Glyptodonts and Armadillos in AMNH.
The giant one is a Panochthus, a badly photographed skull of Glyptotherium (in second image), the small Propalaehoplophorus and a modern armadillo, the six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus).

Gliptodontes y Armadillos en el AMNH.
El gigante es un Panochthus, luego esta un cráneo mal fotografiado de Glyptotherium (en la segunda imagen), el pequeño Propalaehoplophorus y un armadillo moderno, el tatú peludo (Euphractus sexcinctus).

Armadillos have four babies at a time, always all the same sex. They are perfect quadruplets (the fertilized cell split into quarters, resulting in four identical armadillos). Some female armadillos who were captured for research gave birth long after being captured (up to 2 years later). These odd delayed births are a result of the female’s ability to delay the implantation of the fertilized egg during times of stress. This is a result of a reproductive tactic and is a reason why armadillos can easily populate new areas.

On average, an armadillo gets 18 ½ hours of sleep a day. Armadillos are the ONLY animal other than humans that can get leprosy. There are 20 different species of armadillos, and if the sex organs are disconnected from the animal they are still active. When frightened, armadillos have been known to jump strait up in the air.

Armadillos don’t require a lot of oxygen. Even when they burrow they can stop breathing for up to 6 minutes just by storing air in their tracheas. The regulation of the body temperature of about 32°C is a big problem. Armadillos don’t survive long periods of frost, except the fairy armadillo that lives in Patagonia and hibernates.

The three-banded armadillo hardly digs a burrow; it protects itself by rolling up like a hedgehog. The only opening is covered by the shields of the head and the tail, so that even a dog can’t open this ball. As the body fat would disturb while rolling up, the fat moved to the dorsal part of the animal during evolution.


Image source

Six-banded Armadillo - Euphractus sexcinctus 

Also known as Yellow Armadillo in English, Gualacate in Spanish, and Tatu Peba in Portuguese, Euphractus sexcinctus (Cingulata - Dasypodidae) is one of the several species of South American armadillos. 

On average, an adult measures 406mm from head to body and has a tail 2/3 as long. These armadillos are distinguished by their pointed and flattened heads, which are covered by large plates arranged in a distinctive pattern. Their body consists of 6-8 movable bands, which are covered with thin grey-brown hair. They have 5 toes, and their claws are well developed for digging and constructing burrows.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Eric Henrique | Locality: Pirajuí, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2013)

Nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus: Heavily armored diggers with slow metabolisms, these remarkable creatures are related to extinct pampatheres and glyptodonts (some of which grew as large as small cars and had huge, clubbed tails). Their closest living relatives are the sloths and anteaters.

Six-banded Armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus)

Also known as the Yellow Armadillo, the six-banded armadillo is a species of armadillo (Dasypodidae) which occurs in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Isolated populations occur in Suriname as well. Six-banded armadillos are solitary and unlike other armadillos is chiefly diurnal rather than nocturnal. They will inhabit a wide range of habitats from forests to grasslands but prefer open areas where they will feed on a range of plants and invertebrates.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Mammalia-Cingulata-Dasypodidae-Euphractinae-Euphractus-E. sexcinctus

Image: Exlibris

Cabassous unicinctus | ©Renato Gaiga   (Itiquira, Mato Grosso, Brazil)

The Southern naked-tailed armadillo or Cabasú de orejas largas,  Cabassous unicinctus (Cingulata - Dasypodidae) is a small armadillo from South America.

This species is found east of the Andes from northern Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, through to Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname in the north, to the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil) in the south [1].

In 2011 the first specimens of Cabassous unicinctus squamicaudis from Paraguay were documented, extending the known distribution of the species approximately 270 km south-southwestward in the cerrado eco-region [2].

Southern Long-nosed Armadillo (Dasypus hybridus)

…a species of armadillo (Dasypodidae) which inhabits the grasslands of northern Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil, and Paraguay. Like other armadillos southern long-nosed armadillos will construct and reside in small underground burrows and feed mainly on invertebrates, but they will also eat plant matter as well.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Mammalia-Cingulata-Dasypodidae-Dasypodinae-Dasypus-D. hybridus

Image: Patricia Carabelli

Megarian (Mediterranean) Banded Centipede - Scolopendra cingulata

This amazing centipede is Scolopendra cingulata (Scolopendromorpha - Scolopendridae), the commonest scolopendromorph species in the Mediterranean area.

It is a relatively large centipede growing up to 12 cm in body length. The body is flattened and comprised of many segments, each with a pair of legs. The posterior legs are spiny to ward off predators, while the anterior legs have been modified into maxillipeds that bite and include venom glands.

Like most centipedes, Scolopendra cingulata has adapted to being primarily a nocturnal organism. It is carnivorous and preys on any organism smaller than it. If threatened it will not hesitate to administer its toxic bite to the organism causing the disturbance before fleeing. 

The venom is extremely toxic to prey and causes paralysis or death. Although this venom is not fatal to humans, unless the victim suffers an allergic reaction, S. cingulata venom will cause painful symptoms in the bite region. These symptoms include severe pain, redness and swelling of the bite region, itching, and possible headaches. 

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Adam Gor | Locality: Csákberény, Fejér, Hungary (2014)

The carved tooth, Glyptodon (1839)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Superorder : Xenarthra
Order : Cingulata
Family : Glyptodontidae
Genus : Glyptodon
Species : G. clavipes, G. elongatus, G. euphractus, G. munizi, G. reticulatus

  • Pleistocene (2 Ma - 10,000 years)
  • 3 m long and 2 000 kg (size)
  • South America (map)

One of the most distinctive–and comical-looking–creatures of prehistoric times, Glyptodon was essentially a dinosaur-sized armadillo, with a huge, round, armored carapace, stubby, turtle-like legs, and a blunt head on a short neck. As many commentators have pointed out, this prehistoric mammal looked a bit like a Volkswagen Beetle, and tucked up under its shell it would have been virtually immune to predation (unless an enterprising predator figured out a way to flip it onto its back and dig into its soft belly). The only thing it lacked was a clubbed, spiked tail, a feature evolved by its close relative Doedicurus.

Glyptodon survived well into early historical times, only going extinct about 10,000 years ago, along with most other megafauna of the Ice Age (such as Diprotodon and Castoroides). This huge, slow-moving armadillo was probably hunted to extinction by early humans, who would have prized it not only for its meat but also for its roomy carapace–there’s evidence that the earliest settlers of South America sheltered from the snow and rain under Glyptodon shells!

Glyptodon skeleton

Amber Mocking Worm

Native to the rainforests of South America, the Amber Mocking Worm is known to mimic the chirps and whistles of birds in order to draw in the animals which it then kills with its poison. It’s skill with mimicry has led to its carapace and eggs sometimes being used in voice-altering potions, though many wixes find the creature distasteful enough not to keep it. Thus ingredients from it are extremely uncommon.

Also a scavenger, the Amber Mocking Worm lays its eggs in lizard carrion and is known to grow to more than a metre in length. Its eggs have hallucinogenic properties when consumed on their own, and its poison is an essential part of making the anti-venom to the Indonesian Axetail Dragon’s own venom. Generally ingredients from the creature are rare enough to be fairly expensive, however there are no restrictions, currently, on the trade of the creature or its parts.


(Image Source)

(Image is, I think, of Scolopendra cingulata, the Megarian banded centipede. I hate that I have to include this but PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THE IMAGE SOURCE OR MY CAPTION.)

Blue Banded Bee (Amegilla cingulata) on Flickr.

I have been becoming increasingly fascinated with these little pretty native bees. This one was photographed sleeping on a Pandorea jasminoides vine at the days end just as I was about to start my frog surveys.
I have seen them collect nectar from a few different plant species. Some of them include Commelina cyanea, Hibbertia scandens and the Pandorea jasminoides. Hopefully if I plant a few of these species around I can get them visiting my backyard!
www.gumnutnaturalist.com