|Distribution of the fawn antechinus|
The fawn antechinus (Antechinus bellus) is a species of small carnivorous marsupial found in northern Australia. It is the only Antechinus to be found in the Northern Territory and has a patchy, restricted range.
The earliest collection of a fawn antechinus was made by John T. Tunney, and first described in 1904 by the renowned biologist Oldfield Thomas, who gave it the species name bellus, meaning beautiful. It has never been confused with other species.
The fawn antechinus is unique among antechinuses, being considerably paler than many of its relatives. It is a light grey colour and is distinguished from the only other similar species in the area where it lives (the sandstone dibbler and the red-cheeked dunnart) by its larger size and paler colouring. It is insectivorous and, like many of its relatives, all of the males die after the breeding season .
The fawn antechinus has a breeding season during August. Young are born in September-October in litters of up to ten, and are usually weaned by January.
Distribution and habitat
- Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 29. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.
- Woinarski, J. & Oakwood, M. (2008). Antechinus bellus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- Kristofer M. Helgen, Roberto Portela Miguez, James Kohen and Lauren Helgen (2012). "Twentieth century occurrence of the Long-Beaked Echidna Zaglossus bruijnii in the Kimberley region of Australia". ZooKeys 255: 103–132. doi:10.3897/zookeys.255.3774.
- Calaby, J.H. (1995). "Fawn Antechinus". In Strahan, Ronald. The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books. pp. 85–86.
- Menkhorst, Peter (2001). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press. p. 54.