Southern Three-Banded Armadillo

Tolypeutes Matacus

Scientific Name

Southern Three-Banded Armadillo:  
Tolypeutes Matacus

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Three-banded armadillo is a species from South America. It is found in parts of northern Argentina, southwestern Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia, at elevations from sea level to 2,500 feet.

Natural Habitat

This armadillo lives in tropical forests on chalky grounds. They are also found in grassy or marshy areas between scattered forestland.

Physical Characteristics

  • Three-banded armadillos are blackish brown in color. Most animals have three moveable bands, although some possess only two, and others may have four. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th toes of the hind foot are grown together, almost like a hoof. The 1st and 5th toes remain separate. The three-banded armadillo has four toes on the fore foot.

Quick Facts

  1. They are the only armadillos that can completely enclose themselves in their own shell by rolling into a ball.

  2. This animal does not appear to dig its own burrows, but instead uses abandoned anteater burrows as shelter.

  3. They are primarily solitary, although groups of up to 12 have been observed sharing the same den site during cold spells.


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Conservation Status

Least Concern: The Southern Three-Banded Armadillo is common or abundant and is likely to survive in the wild.

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Three-banded armadillos principally eat beetle larvae, although ants and termites are an important portion of their diet during the dry season (July to November). Insects are obtained by burrowing into ground nests or under the bark of rotting trees. The animals also include a significant amount of fruit in their diet during the wet season.