Degus in the Wild

The common degu (O. degus) lives in the Chile Matorral region, with dry summers and rainy winters. Their habitat overlaps with the moon-toothed degu (O. lunatus).

O. degus is not a threatened species, and are considered "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List. They are also the most well known and researched degu species.

Degus are diurnal (awake during the day) and will often explore the area in search of food. They are strictly herbivorous, and will eat mostly grasses, leaves, and seeds. However, they are highly intolerant of sugars even those found in natural foods. This is likely due to the lack of foods with sugars in them in their wild environment as they've evolved.

Wild degus always have brown fur with lighter colored fur around the eyes and belly. Their hairs are actually "agouti" which feature bands of multiple colors.

Degus are highly social and live in large communal burrows! Female degus have even been seeing nursing eachother's young.

Distribution of Octodontid rodents in central Chile

Distribution of Octodontid rodents in central Chile, B. Saavedra, J. Simonetti
Three O. degus, Fabrice Schmitt