Armadillo Biology

Reproduction

Young armadillos are born in a chamber within the burrow. Females produce 1 litter per year during March or April after 150 days of gestation. Litters always consist of identical quadruplets. Young are weaned in 3 to 4 months. Males are sexually mature 6 to 12 months, and females in 12 to 24 months.

Denning Cover

Armadillos usually dig burrows that are 7 or 8 inches in diameter and up to 15 feet in length. They use burrows for shelter and to raise young. Burrows are located under rocks or brush piles, around stumps, or in terraces around brush or dense woodlands. Armadillos often have several dens in 1 area.

Behavior

Armadillos primarily are active from twilight through early morning in the summer. They avoid activity during extreme temperatures. In winter, armadillos forage during the warmest part of the day. In summer, they forage during the evening, or earlier if the conditions are favorable. Male armadillos may be more active during mating season.

Habitat

Armadillos prefer dense, shady cover, such as brush, woodlands, forests, and areas adjacent to creeks and rivers. They prefer sandy or loamy soils that are loose and porous. Armadillos inhabit areas with cracks, crevices, and rocks that are suitable for burrows.

Food Habits

More than 90% of the diet of armadillos consists of insects, especially larvae. They also feed on earthworms, scorpions, spiders, and other invertebrates, including maggots and pupae in carrion. Armadillos eat fruits and vegetables, such as berries and roots. They eat lizards, small frogs, snakes and the eggs of upland birds.