North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Armadillo, Nine-banded

Scientific Name: Dasypus novemcinctus
Classification: Game
Abundance: Uncommon


Additional Armadillo Information:

Armadillos are mammals with hardened skin plates covering their bodies that give them an armored appearance. The Nine-banded Armadillo, also known as the Long-Nosed Armadillo, is found in South, Central, and southeastern North America. It has recently expanded its range into North Carolina.

(map of confirmed sightings in North Carolina).The Nine-banded Armadillo is a unique mammal, with its armor-like skin and long, scaly tail. It is named for the bands (usually 9, but ranges from 8-11) across its midsection. It has deer-like ears and a long, pig-like snout, and has been nicknamed “Armor pig” for this unusual appearance.

Nine-banded Armadillos have adapted to living in many types of habitat, including scrubland, prairie, and tropical rainforests. They prefer areas with dense vegetation cover near rivers and streams. They do not have a lot of body fat, so they are typically not found in areas with cold climates.

Nine-banded Armadillos are solitary animals. and mostly nocturnal, though they do forage in the daytime during cold weather. They dig for insects, bulbs, and other foods using their great sense of smell. They typically have 12 burrows within their territories.

Their natural predators include cougars, bears, coyotes, wolves, alligators, bobcats, and large raptors. Young armadillos are more susceptible to predation, because their skin hardens as they age. When frightened, they can jump straight up several feet, and can also run fairly quickly. They are also good swimmers.

The nine-banded armadillo is considered a small game species with no closed season or bag limit.

Armadillo hunting regulations

Armadillo trapping regulations


Armadillos are considered a nuisance species for burrowing in gardens, golf courses, and lawns, and depredating poultry eggs. Visit our "Have a Wildlife Problem-Tips for Coexisting with Wildlife" webpages for more information.