Brown antechinus

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Brown antechinus[1]
Brown Antechinus.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Dasyuromorphia
Family: Dasyuridae
Genus: Antechinus
Species: A. stuartii
Binomial name
Antechinus stuartii
Macleay, 1841
Brown Antechinus area.png
Brown antechinus range

The brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), also known as Stuart's antechinus and Macleay's marsupial mouse, is a species of small carnivorous marsupial of the family Dasyuridae. The males dying after their first breeding season, the species holds the world record for being the world's smallest semelparous mammal.[3]

Description[edit]

Antechinus stuartii is mostly light brown above, including the upper surfaces of its feet, and a lighter brown below and on its tail. Its body length is 93–130 mm (3.7–5.1 in) and its tail 92–120 mm (3.6–4.7 in), and it weighs 16–44 grams (0.5–1.5 oz). Unlike in other members of Antechinus, there is no pale-coloured eye ring. Antechinus agilis is similar in appearance and difficult to distinguish except by its distribution. [4]

Taxonomy[edit]

The brown antechinus was only the third in its genus to be described and as such has, until recently, included species such as the agile antechinus (Antechinus agilis), the subtropical antechinus (Antechinus subtropicus) and the tropical antechinus (Antechinus adustus).[4] It has also been included itself with the yellow-footed antechinus as the subspecies burrelli.[5] It was described in 1841 by the entomologist William Sharp Macleay, who named the species in honour of his friend and fellow naturalist James Stuart who had discovered the animal at Spring Cove (North Head) in 1837 while working as surgeon in charge of the Quarantine Station.[6]

Behavior[edit]

The brown antechinus is mostly nocturnal and is arboreal, and females build large communal nests shared by many individuals. Like all antechinuses, the males die after their first breeding season (which lasts two weeks) as a result of stress and exhaustion.[4] Female brown antechinuses do not possess a pouch; the young must attach themselves to the teats (of which there are usually eight). Its diet includes beetles, spiders, amphipods and cockroaches, although it is an opportunistic feeder.[5] The litter size is 6 to 7 young.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The brown antechinus is found east of the Great Dividing Range in Australia, from southeastern Queensland to around Kioloa, New South Wales.[5] It is mostly found in forested habitats.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 30. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Burnett, S. & Dickman, C. (2008). Antechinus stuartii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
  3. ^ Records, Guinness World (2013). Animal Life: GWR 2013. Guinness World Records. 
  4. ^ a b c Menkhorst, Peter; Knight, Frank (2001). A field guide to the mammals of Australia (1 ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press. pp. 56–57. ISBN 019550870X. 
  5. ^ a b c d Braithwaite, R. W. (1995). "Brown Antechinus". In Strahan, Ronald. The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books. pp. 94–97. ISBN 0-7301-0484-2. 
  6. ^ Manly Quarantine Station (2007). "Manly Council Review". QS Conservation Plan 2000. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 

External links[edit]