Purple-necked rock-wallaby

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Purple-necked rock-wallaby[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Petrogale
Species: P. purpureicollis
Binomial name
Petrogale purpureicollis
(Le Souef, 1924)
Purple-necked Rock Wallaby area.png
Purple-necked rock-wallaby range

The purple-necked rock-wallaby (Petrogale purpureicollis) was first classified in 1924 by Albert Sherbourne Le Souef, then director of the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, who noted a strange purple colouration around the neck as well as skull differences separating it from other rock-wallaby species. The species has undergone taxonomic upheaval for decades and has variously been classified as an unadorned rock-wallaby, brush-tailed rock-wallaby, and black-flanked rock-wallaby. Le Souef and others have asserted that it was a new species, and this has been affirmed by a 2001 paper in the Australian Journal of Zoology.

The purple colouration was thought by some sceptical scientists to be due to the animal rubbing against a dye, but the animal does in fact secrete the purple pigment. The pigment is known to wash off in the rain and fade away after death, causing some possible confusion with other rock-wallaby species.


  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. 68. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ McKnight, M. (2008). Petrogale purpureicollis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

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