Rufous spiny bandicoot

Echymipera rufescens


Perameles rufescens (Peters and Doria, 1875), Kei Islands, Indonesia.


English: Long-nosed echymipera, spiny bandicoot, rufescent bandicoot; German: Dickkopf-Stachelnasenbeutler; Spanish; Echimipera Narizona.


Head and body length is 11.8-16.1 in (300-410 mm); weight is 17.6-70.5 oz (500-2,000 g). Very elongate snout. Red-brown-black coarse, spiny dorsal fur, white ventrally. Short, almost naked black tail.


Subspecies E. r. rufescens is found in the lowlands of northern, eastern, and southern New Guinea, Aru Islands, and Kei Islands. E. r. australis is confined to Cape York, Australia.


In New Guinea is found only below 3,940 ft (1,200 m). Prefers rainforest but tolerates disturbed areas and grasslands. Australian subspecies occurs in closed forest including mesophyll vine forest, notophyll vine forest, and gallery forest, but also is found in eucalypt grassy woodland, coastal closed heath, and low layered open forest.


Nocturnal. Possibly uses burrows rather than nests for daytime shelter, at least in New Guinea.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET Omnivorous, although prefers to eat insects.


In New Guinea, pouch young have been recorded between March and October, but in Australia breeding may be more seasonal, with an estrus in the dry season. Possibly has lower fertility than seen in other species of the genus. Litter sizes from one to three are reported. Probably promiscuous.


Generally uncommon, but may be locally abundant in New Guinea; common in its limited range on Cape York, Australia.


Eaten by indigenous humans in New Guinea. ♦

Common name /

Scientific name/


Habitat and


Other common names






Golden bandicoot

Mix of blackish brown and orange or

Arid deserts and adjacent


Termites, ants, centi-


Isoodon auratus

yellows, underparts are yellowish gray,

semi-arid areas and wood

pedes, moths, insect

Spanish: Bandicut de hocico

yellowish brown, or white. Head and

lands. Two to four young per

larvae, small reptiles,


body length 9.4-19.3 in (24-49 cm), tail

litter. Generally sleeps during

roots, and tubers.

length 3.1-7.8 in (8-20 cm), weight

the day, hidden in a nest of

9.2-23.1 oz (260-655 g).

twigs, grass, leaves, and

other ground litter.

Southern brown bandicoot

Blackish brown with hints of orange or

Prefer dense ground cover,


Soil invertebrates and

Not threatened

Isoodon obesulus

yellow, under side is light brown, gray,

tall grass, and low shrubbery.

insects as well as fruits,

English: Short-nosed bandicoot;

or white. Pouch runs along stomach and

They live near swamps and

seeds, fungi, and some

Spanish: Bandicut castaño

opens backwards behind legs. Short,

rivers as well as in thick

plant fibers.


rounded ears, sharp claws. Head and

scrub in drier areas. Generally

body length 11.9-13.8 in (30-35 cm),

solitary, except during

weight 2.2 lb (1 kg).

breeding season. Females

carry young in pouch for 50



Common name /

Scientific name/


Habitat and


Other common names






Western barred bandicoot

Light brown-gray above, underparts are

Islands in dune scrub sys

Two islands off the

Small insects, fruit, and


Perameles bougainville

white. Longish snout and large erect ears.

tems. Occupies nest during

northwest coast of


French: Babdicoot de

Head and body length up to 9.3 in

day. Nocturnal.

western Australia.

Bougainville; German:

(23.6 cm), tail is half the length of the


body. Weight up to 10.1 oz (286 g).

Spanish: Tejon marsupial


Desert bandicoot

Light brown, underparts are white. Head

Mainly in spinifex grasslands.

Southern Northern

Small insects, fruit, and


Perameles eremiana

and body length 15.7 in (40 cm), tail

Generally nocturnal. Also

Territory, northern


German: Wüsten-

length 5.1 in (13 cm).

develops pouch and holds

South Australia, and

Langnasenbeutler Spanish:

young for 50 days.

southeastern Western

Bandicut desértico


Long-nosed bandicoot

Fur is grayish brown, creamy under

Rainforest, wet and dry

Eastern coast of

Mainly insectivorous,

Not threatened

Perameles nasuta

parts. Muzzle and ears are long and

woodlands, and sometimes


although it also eats

German: Langnasenbeutler;

pointed. Hairy tail, no barring on rump.

in more open areas with little

some plant material,

Spanish: Bandicut de hocico

Pouch opens to rear. Head and body

ground cover. Mainly solitary

and will occasionally eat


length 12-16.7 in (31-42.5 cm), tail

and nocturnal.

worms, mice, and

length 4.7-6.1 in (12-15.5 cm), weight


1.8-2.5 lb (850-1,100 g).

Spiny bandicoot

Upperparts are bright reddish brown,

Rainforests from

New Guinea, Bismarck

Small insects, fruit, and

Not threatened

Echymipera kaluba

dark coppery brown, black mixed with

0 to 5250 ft (0-1,600 m).

Archipelago, and


yellow, or black interspersed with tawny.

Solitary and highly intolerant

Mysol Island.

Underparts are buff or brown. Head and

of their own kind.

body length 7.9-19.7 in (20-50 cm), tail

length 1.9-4.9 in (5-12.5 cm).

Large-toothed bandicoot

Upperparts are bright reddish brown,

Hill forests from 985 to 5,575

Northern Irian Jaya and

Small insects, fruit, and

Data Deficient

Echymipera clara

dark coppery brown, black mixed with

ft (300-1,700 m). Generally



German: Japen-

yellow, or black interspersed with tawny.

nocturnal and solitary.

Stachelnasenbeutlers; Spanish:

Underparts are buff or brown. Head and

Echimipera de Clara

body length 7.9-19.7 in (20-50 cm), tail

length 1.9-4.9 in (5-12.5 cm).

Mouse bandicoot

Dark gray, lighter underparts. Feet have

Moss forests at an altitude of

Weyland Mountain of


Data Deficient

Microperoryctes murina

scattered white hairs, tail is dark fuscous.

6,230 to 8,200 ft (1,900-

western New Guinea

German: Der Mausnasenbeutler;

Head and body length 1.9-6.9 in (15-

2,500 m). Semifossorial

and Vogelkop

Spanish: Bandicut ratón

17.5 cm), tail length 4-4.3 in (10.5-

existence. Little known about

Peninsula at extreme

11 cm).

behavior and sexual cycles.

tip of the island.

Giant bandicoot

Dark brown with reddish buff flanks,

Lowland rainforest up to

Southeastern New

Consists mainly of

Data Deficient

Peroryctes broadbenti

underparts are near white. Head and

6,560 ft (2,000 m) or more.


vegetable matter

Spanish: Bandicut gigante

body length 6.9-7.9 in (17.5-20 cm),

Terrestrial, nocturnal, and

weight 11 lb (5 kg).

generally solitary. Twins have

been observed only once.

Striped bandicoot

Reddish brown or pale brown speckled

Upland forests from 3,280 to

Central Range of New

Consists mainly of

Not threatened

Peroryctes longicauda

with black above, dark middorsal line,

14,763 ft (1,000-4,500 m).


vegetable matter.

Spanish: Bandicut rayado

paired lateral rump stripes, and/or dark

Terrestrial, nocturnal, and

eye stripes, underparts are rufous or

generally solitary.

buff. Head and body length 9.4-12 in

(23.9-30.3 cm), tail length 5.5-10.2 in

(14.1-25.8 cm).

Papuan bandicoot

Upperparts dark with a prominent black

Highland forests. Nocturnal,

Southeastern Papua

Consists mainly of

Not threatened

Peroryctes papuensis

middorsal line, dark lateral rump stripes

terrestrial, and generally

New Guinea.

vegetable matter.

German: Mura-

and eye stripes. Head and body length



6.8-7.8 in (17.5-20 cm), tail length

Spanish: Bandicut papá

5.5-6.1 in (14-15.5 cm).

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