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Brush-tailed phascogale Facts

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TAXONOMY

Phascogale tapoatafa (F. Meyer, 1793), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Tuan, frequent wambenger, black-tailed phascogale.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Length 5.8–10.three in (148–261 mm). Uniform grizzled grey above, cream to white under, with massive, bare ears, and conspicuous black brush tail with hairs up to 2.1 in (55 mm) lengthy.

DISTRIBUTION

Mesic coastal and hinterland areas of southeastern and south-western Australia (P. t. tapoatafa). Monsoonal northern Australia (P. t. pirata).

HABITAT

Dry eucalypt forest and woodlands with open under-story in temperate and tropical Australia.

BEHAVIOR

One of most arboreal of the dasyurids; very agile hunter aboveground. Nesting and mating in tree hollows.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Nectar, massive bugs, spiders, and small vertebrates. Forages by tearing away bark and probing into crevices.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Semelparous with full male die-off after a synchronized three-week mating season. Probably promiscuous.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk (Least Concern: P. t. tapoatafa and Near Threatened: P. t. pirata).

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