Are There Armadillos in Florida?
The nine-banded armadillo is a well-known mammal that can be found all over Florida.
As a nocturnal animal, it is often seen foraging in residential areas or crossing roads and ponds.
With its unique appearance and habits, the armadillo has become a common sight in the state.
Despite its prevalence, many people may not know much about this fascinating creature.
In this article, we will delve into the world of the nine-banded armadillo, exploring its behavior, habitat, and other interesting facts.
By the end, readers will have a better understanding of this iconic Florida animal.
11 Facts About The Nine-Banded Armadillo in Florida
Florida is home to the only armadillo species found in North America, the nine-banded armadillo.
These small mammals are known for their unique appearance and behavior. Here are some interesting facts about the nine-banded armadillo in Florida:
1. Predators and Prey
Nine-banded armadillos have a wide-ranging diet that includes worms, bugs, seeds, snakes, lizards, and fruit.
However, their poor eyesight can make them vulnerable to predators in Florida.
Common predators of armadillos are coyotes, large birds, cougars, black bears, and alligators.
Armadillos can also be considered pests in residential areas because they routinely dig up their food.
2. Scientific and Common Name
The scientific name for the nine-banded armadillo found in Florida is Dasypus novemcinctus Linnaeus.
They are also known by the common name of armadillo, no matter where in North America they are spotted.
3. They have thick armor and sharp claws
The nine-banded armadillo found in Florida has a protective armor-like shell that is their best defense against predators.
However, it is a myth that this kind of armadillo is able to roll up into a ball.
Instead, they will leap high into the air if surprised.
They also have sharp and long claws that can be used for defending themselves or digging for food.
4. Florida’s armadillos are impressive jumpers
Florida’s nine-banded armadillo has an impressive ability to leap straight into the air, reaching about four or five feet high.
This jump is usually enough to scare away potential predators, but it gets them into trouble when they are seen crossing the road.
5. They can live up to 20 years in the wild
In Florida, the nine-banded armadillo has a lifespan that can be anywhere from seven to twenty years long when in the wild.
In captivity, these armadillos can get even older, with one captive armadillo reaching twenty-three years old.
6. Female armadillos always give birth to 4 babies
When armadillos give birth, they will have four live babies at once.
Females always have quadruplets, and these young are extremely vulnerable to predators.
It takes a few weeks for their armor to be completely developed, and until then baby armadillos will stay with their mothers.
7. Armadillos actually carry leprosy!
Armadillos are known to carry leprosy, which is one of the reasons the animals cannot be sold as pets.
These animals have been known to infect humans as well.
Armadillos and humans are the only mammals known to be able to carry leprosy.
8. They have a wide range in Florida
The nine-banded armadillos are one of the most common mammals found in Florida and can be spotted in every county in the state.
They are most likely to be seen wandering around at night because they are nocturnal.
9. Nine-banded armadillos are often considered nuisance animals
Since armadillos are so common in Florida and frequently forage for food in yards and gardens, many residents consider them to be a nuisance.
They have been known to cause extensive damage by digging up dirt and plants.
However, it is hard to remove armadillos because of how many there are, so Florida residents instead have to work on deterring them completely.
10. They’re related to anteaters
Nine-banded armadillos originally came from South America, and they are related to anteaters and sloths.
There is only one kind of armadillo found in North America, with several other types being found in South America.
11. Armadillos are good swimmers
Armadillos found in Florida are good swimmers.
They can hold their breath for six minutes and walk across the bottoms of ponds or creeks.
These animals can also swallow enough air to help them swim across the top of the water.
Overall, the nine-banded armadillo in Florida is a unique and interesting species.
While they can be considered pests in residential areas, they play an important role in the ecosystem and are an important part of Florida’s wildlife.