The Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

Baby Opossums

The following question was sent to the P&PDL diagnosticians here at Purdue University:

Question: Oppossum line drawingMy wife and I have been trying to find out if there is a special name for a baby opposum. We have looked everywhere and when we found your home page we thought that since this is a university that if a special name exists that maybe you could let us know what it would be OR that there is not one. Thanks very much for your time and I hope that you can help us.

Answer: Opossums, like kangaroos, are marsupials. But unlike kangaroo babies (called joeys), there is no special designation for baby opossums. They are simply referred to as young. In Mumford's book Mammals of Indiana, he does refer to "pouch young' to indicate the very early development stages that take place in the pouch, but once the baby opossums have developed toes and fur, they are simply called young. While researching this question, I did receive some interesting suggestions as to what baby opossums should be called: pups, papooses, larvae, and (my favorite) grubs. Newborn opossums do sort of look like pink grubs.

Photo courtesy of AAAnimalControl.com - See more pictures of baby opposums

-- Judy S. Loven,USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services


Information listed is valid only for the state of Indiana.

The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. Any person using products listed assumes full responsibility for their use in accordance with current direction of the manufacturer. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access institution.

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service