Naked Tail Armadillo: Cabassous Centralis

Image of naked-tailed armadillo leaving a burrow

Description Of The Naked Tail Armadillo

The naked-tail armadillo is called Cabassous centralis because its tail lacks the protective, keratinous plaques found on its body. The body ranges from 30 cm to 71 cm for Cabassous centralis. The tail varies between 10 and 18 cm. For the number of bands that make up their armor, they are also called eleven-banded armadillos.

In the spaces between the bands, on the limbs, and on the body’s ventral surface, some hair can be found. On both the forefeet and hindfeet, large claws are adapted for digging. The middle claw is particularly sickle-shaped and large.

With yellow lateral areas and a yellow-gray underside, the coloration is dark brown to almost black. With a short, broad snout and well-separated ears, the head is broad. On its forefeet and its hindfeet soles, this species walks on the tips of its claws. It is capable of running quickly to escape danger over short distances. 1Go To Source -“Cabassous centralis northern naked-tailed armadillo”

Learn More: Destructive Armadillo Species 

Naked Tail Armadillo Behavior & Reproduction

This armadillo is rarely seen and maybe rare or distributed patchily. It is a solitary insectivore, feeding primarily on termites and ants. It’s one of the most fossorial of all armadillos and will spend most of its time in underground tunnels. This species will unusually rotate its body like an auger as it digs using its fore-feet and sharp claws.

Low growling sounds and gurgling squeals were reported to be made during a research capture. This armadillo urinated/defecated to discourage its captors.

Mothers give birth to just one young person at a time. The offspring are born blind, hairless, and deaf, with soft pink skin (although the scutes are already visible). They are reported to have a lifespan of more than seven years. 2Go To Source -“Northern Naked-tailed Armadillo (Cabassous centralis)”

Habitat Of Naked Tail Armadillos

It lives in various habitats, including grasslands, lowlands, uplands, semi-arid and moist, and riversides. In general, they will dig burrows close to an embankment in open ground or near the base. They are not known to construct nests.

Naked Tail Armadillo Range & Distribution 

From Central America, southern Mexico, to western Colombia, north-western Ecuador, and north-western Venezuela, the northern naked-tailed armadillo extends. It only occurs west of the Andes, from sea level to around 3,000 m asl.

Diet Of Naked Tail Armadillos

Naked-tailed armadillos, eating primarily ants and termites, are mostly myrmecophagous. To dig holes into insect mounds or rotting stumps, they use their large claws on the third digit, then use their long, sticky tongues to remove prey from their tunnels.

Naked-tailed armadillos may also consume incidental invertebrates discovered during foraging and soil during feeding on ants and termites. 3Go To Source -“Cabassous tatouay greater naked-tailed armadillo”


  1. Chang, J. 2000. “Cabassous centralis” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 28, 2021 at
  2. “Northern Naked-Tailed Armadillo (Cabassous Centralis).” INaturalist, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.
  3. Zajic, L. 2006. “Cabassous tatouay” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 28, 2021 at