The mammals is a solitary, diurnal species that shelters in burrows excavated with its muscular limbs and long claws (2) (6). It mainly relies on invertebrates, but also ingests plant material, vertebrates and spiders, whenever these items are available (2) (5) (7). If confronted by a threat far from its burrow, the usual reaction of the pichi is to draw its limbs under the edges of its armour so that it lies flush with the ground. Alternatively, it will escape to its burrow where it uses the serrated edges of the carapace to anchor itself firmly to the surrounding soil or sand (2). The pichi enters hibernation over winter, a strategy not known in any other armadillo, and one which is probably critical to its survival in the southernmost parts of its range (6).
The pichi breeds immediately after emerging from hibernation in spring. One to two (rarely three) young are born following a gestation period of 60 days. The young are fully weaned at six weeks, at which point they leave the burrow for the first time, and become sexually active after nine months to a year (2) (5) (8)