sharing our knowledge.
Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Armadillo Hair

Armadillo Hair

This is a sample collected from a dead armadillo in Florida. The medulla shows a distinctive globular pattern.

Transmitted 20 Degrees Off Crossed Linear Polarized Light


This hair belongs to the group Dasypus novemcinctus, nine-banded armadillo. This is the only resident armadillo in the United States.

Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Armadillo hair is over 100 micrometers wide from the root to near the tip. It has a very distictive globular medulla. The cuticle pattern is imbricate flattened. Armadillo hair has a refractive index along its length of about 1.56 and perpendicular to its length of about 1.55. It has a birefringence of about 0.01 and a positive sign of elongation.

Associated Particles:


References with Photographs and/or Drawings

Hausman, Leon Augustus, "Structural charactreistics of the hair of mammals", THE AMERICAN NATURALIST, vol. 54, no. 635, pp.496-523,

Hausman, Leon Augustus, "Recent studies of hair structure relationships", THE SCIENTIFIC MONTHLY, pp. 258-277,

Glaister, John, A STUDY OF HAIRS AND WOOLS, Misr Press, Cairo, 1931.

FBI site for Animal Hair Identification:

Keys Only

Mayer, William V., "The hair of California mammals with keys to the dorsal guard hairs of California mammals", THE AMERICAN MIDLAND NATURALIST, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 480-512, 1952.

Stains, Howard J., "Field key to guard hair of middle western furbearers", JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT, vol. 22, no.1, pp. 95-97, January, 1958.

Mathiak, Harold A., "A key to hairs of the mammals of southern Michigan", JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 251-268, October, 1938.