The Hispaniolan solenodon is nocturnal, secretive and rare, and so, unsurprisingly, is rarely seen and has not been widely studied (2). It is capable of climbing near-vertical surfaces but spends most of its time searching for food on the ground. It uses its flexible snout to explore cracks and crevices, and its massive claws to dig under rocks, bark and soil, for invertebrates such as beetles, crickets, insect larvae, earthworms and termites (2).
The Hispaniolan solenodon is also an opportunistic scavenger and may prey on amphibians, reptiles and small birds if or when the opportunity arises. Indeed, local people believe it to eat snakes and chickens (5), and such remains have been found in solenodon faeces, although this may be the result of scavenging dead animals (2). It lunges at its chosen prey, pinning it down with its strong forelimbs, and then scoops up the prey with its lower jaw. A bite from the solenodon injects the victim with toxic saliva from its lower incisors and renders the prey immobile (2). Potential animal predators of the Hispaniolan solenondon include boas and birds of prey (namely owls) (2) (7).
Solenodons have a long life span, possibly around 11 years, and a low reproductive rate. The female gives birth to one or two young in a burrow (2), which can be an extensive system of tunnels in which they forage and nest (3). During the first two months of life the young remain close to their mother and may accompany her on foraging excursions, hanging on to her elongated teats by their mouth (2).