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Dromiciops gliroides; Chilean name Monito de Monte        Images © Mark A. Chappell

This charming little marsupial is the size of a mouse, lives in cool, wet Chilean forests, and feeds on fruits and insects.  The Chilean name, Monito de Monte, means 'little mountain monkey', and is quite appropriate.   Monitos are agile, prehensile-tailed, and arboreal, favoring thickets of the native bamboo, or quila.   Like the Chilean black snail Macrocyclis laxata that shares its habitat, the monito is under some threat from habitat distruction.   These were found in native forest in the hills above Valdivia; I photographed them with electronic flash to stop their rapid movements.   They gave me time for only a few shots.

  • digital captures; Canon 1D3, 70-200 f4 IS zoom with extension tube, electronic flash (2009)