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Hispaniolan Solenodon

Hispaniolan Solenodon

Hispaniolan Solenodon Range Map (Hispaniola, Caribbean)
Hispaniolan Solenodon Range Map
(Hispaniola, Caribbean)

Latin Name Solenodon paradoxus
Conservation Status Endangered
Location Caribbean
Colour Black - Reddish/Brown
Length 28 - 32 cm (11 - 12.5 inches)
Tail 17 - 26 cm (6.5 - 10 inches)
Weight 1 Kg (2.25 lbs)
Life Expectancy Up to 11 Yrs (in captivity)

Main Characteristics

The Hispaniolan Solenodon is a large shrew-like insectivore. They have a body length between 28 and 32 cms (11 - 12.5 inches), a tail length between 17 and 26 cms (6.5 - 10 inches) and they weigh in the region of 1 kg (2.25 lbs).

They are black to reddish/brown in colour with a paler underside. Their feet, nose, tail and upper ears are almost hairless and they have a long, mobile snout. Their claws are strong and powerful which they use for digging.

They have small eyes and their vision is not very good, however they have excellent senses of hearing, smell and touch.

Hispaniolan Solenodons are slow clumsy animals and they have an ungainly gait. Instead of running in a straight line they tend to take a zigzag course.

Hispaniolan Solenodons are only a handful of mammals that are venomous. The second lower incisor has a narrow groove through which a venomous saliva secreted by the submaxillary gland flows. They use their venom as a form of defence or to stun their prey.


Hispaniolan Solenodons are found in forests and brush country on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. They are nocturnal and during the day they hide away in their burrows, a hollow tree or hidden crevice.


The Hispaniolan Solenodon mainly feeds on insects, worms and lizards. They may also occasionally feed on fruit, roots and other vegetation. They probe the earth with their snout and dig or rip open rotten logs with their claws in order to locate their prey.


Hispaniolan Solenodons breed up to twice per year. Females will give birth to 1 - 3 young and at birth they weigh 40 - 55 g (1.4 - 1.9 oz). The young are weaned after approximately 75 days but they sometimes remain with their parents while subsequent litters are born and raised, making it possible that up to 8 animals share the same burrow.


The main predators of the Hispaniolan Solenodon are dogs, cats and mongoose.


There are two subspecies of Hispaniolan Solenodon:

Solenodon paradoxus paradoxus
They are found in northern Hispaniola

Solenodon paradoxus woodi
They are found in southern Hispaniola

Interesting Facts

The Hispaniolan Solenodon has been included as one of the 10 species to be investigated by the Zoological Society of London Edge of Existence Programme in 2007.

Solenodon is derived from the Greek meaning "grooved tooth".

To see video footage of a Hispaniolan Solenodon Continue>

Similar Animals

Cuban Solenodon

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