Best time to travel to Texas

Armadillo (Dasypodidae) in Texas

These cute creatures in strong armor continue moving to the North

Best time: April–October

Armadillo (Dasypodidae)
Armadillo (Dasypodidae)
Armadillo (Dasypodidae)
Armadillo (Dasypodidae)

Armadillos are medium size mammals and are quite adaptive. The main peculiarity of an armadillo is an armor-like skin, which is their primary defense from dogs, coyotes, and other predators. Hence comes the name which means “little armored one" from Spanish. They mostly feed on beetles, insects, snails, worms, and ants, but also berries and some other vegetation.

They are mainly nocturnal animals, and not so easy to come across them. The best places to spot some are near most sources of water, namely rivers, lakes, or in bushes and high grass where they search for bugs. They are excellent diggers and enjoy cooling in the mud, like pigs. They also like to cross the roads, so keep your eyes open and be ready.

Armadillos don't like cold weather; thus,​ you can usually find them from spring until autumn. In the summer, you can usually see them during warm but cloudy days. When days start to get colder you can spot an armadillo warming up in the sun. During the coldest times, they usually hide in some shelters and are rarely seen, yet it's still possible.

Originally from Mexico, armadillos appeared in Texas in the 1870s. Back then their range was restricted to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in the southern tip of Texas. In 20 years afterward, the critters were found as far as Austin. Nowadays, armadillos sightings are common around Dallas, namely in Sam Houston Trails Park, at Trinity Trail north of Brockdale Park, at Greenbelt Trail, Denton, and also around Arlington. Moreover, they've spread further north beyond Texas.

Texans adopted this unique animal as their mascot. You can easily find games, candles, toys, figurines, T-shirts, jewelry, or other things decorated with armadillos images or shaped like it.

Practical info

When do armadillos come out in Texas?

Armadillos are most active during warm and cloudy days from April to October. They avoid the cold weather and seek shelter in colder times. Armadillos tend to bask in warm patches of sun when the temperature drops. Therefore, the best chance of spotting an armadillo would be during spring to autumn or on a warm but cloudy summer day in Texas. Show more

In which locations of Dallas can you observe armadillos?

There are no specific locations in Dallas where armadillos can be seen. However, visitors can spot armadillos at Sam Houston Trails Park, Trinity Trails in the north of Brockdale Park, Greenbelt Trail, Denton, and Arlington. These armored animals are found in areas with water sources, including rivers, lakes, bushes, and tall grass, where they search for their primary diet, consisting mostly of insects. Show more

What is the armadillo's diet apart from insects?

Armadillos are omnivores and opportunistic eaters. They eat berries, some fruits, small reptiles, snakes, and amphibians in addition to insects. Armadillos are known to consume chickens and turkeys as well. While foraging for food, they uproot plants and dig into the soil. Armadillos are diet generalists and have an exceptional feeding strategy, ensuring they obtain their meals. Show more

How has the range of armadillos expanded in Texas over time?

Although not originally from Texas, armadillos made an appearance in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the 1870s. Within two decades, they had moved as far north as Austin and are now common in Dallas. Their range now extends beyond Texas, and they are found further north. Despite the changing environment, these adaptable armored creatures still thrive in their new habitats. Show more

What armadillo-themed souvenirs are available in Texas for tourists?

Armadillos are heavily embedded in Texas culture and make for popular souvenirs. You can easily find armadillo-themed products like games, candles, toys, figurines, T-shirts, hats, keychains, pens, jewelry, and trinkets across Texas. Tourists can also purchase armadillo-themed items like leather bags and paintings in souvenir shops throughout the state. These souvenirs are great mementos for visitors to take home. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych