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Possum Ring-tailed444.jpg
Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Pseudocheiridae
Subfamily: Pseudocheirinae
Genus: Pseudocheirus
Ogilby, 1837

Pseudocheirus is a genus of ringtail possums (family Pseudocheiridae). It includes a single living species, the common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) of Australia, as well as the fossil Pseudocheirus marshalli from the Pliocene of Victoria.[1]

Other species have previously been included in this genus. Most other ringtails—the lemur-like ringtail (Hemibelideus lemuroides), the rock-haunting ringtail (Petropseudes dahli), and the various species of Pseudochirulus and Pseudochirops—were classified in Pseudocheirus until the 1980s or 1990s.[2] A second ringtail from the Victorian Pliocene, Petauroides stirtoni, was originally named as a Pseudocheirus, but is now considered to be more closely related to the greater glider (Petauroides volans).[3]

The genus was erected by William Ogilby in 1837, the same author later using then correcting the spelling Pseudochirus that is now regarded as a nomenclatural synonym used in error by authors such as Oldfield Thomas.[4]

Taxonomic opinion favours treatment of the western population, Pseudocheirus peregrinus occidentalis, as a separate species (Pseudocheirus occidentalis), though the contradictory evidence from current studies have prevented this recommendation being published.[5]


  1. ^ Turnbull et al., 2003, p. 533; Groves, 2001, p. 51
  2. ^ Groves, 2001, pp. 50–53
  3. ^ Turnbull et al., 2003, p. 533
  4. ^ "Genus Pseudocheirus Ogilby, 1837". Australian Faunal Directory. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Pseudocheirus occidentalis — Western Ringtail Possum". Species Profile and Threats Database. Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Retrieved 3 November 2010.

Literature cited[edit]

  • Groves, C.P. 2005. Order Diprotodontia. Pp. 43–70 in Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols., 2142 pp. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0
  • Turnbull, W.D., Lundelius, E.R., Jr. and Archer, M. 2003. Dasyurids, perameloids, phalangeroids, and vombatoids from the Early Pliocene Hamilton Fauna, Victoria, Australia. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 279:513–540.