Mulgara

Dasycercus cristicauda

SUBFAMILY

Dasyurinae

TAXONOMY

Dasycercus cristicauda (Krefft, 1867), South Australia, Australia, probably Lake Alexandrina. Two subspecies described.

OTHER COMMON NAMES English: Crest-tailed marsupial mouse.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Length 4.9-8.7 in (125-220 mm). Light brown above, pale below with crest of long black fur distal two-thirds of short tail; short, rounded ears; stores fat in the base of the tail.

DISTRIBUTION

Inland central and western Australia. HABITAT

Found in arid, sandy regions. BEHAVIOR

Lives solitarily in burrows it digs in flats between or on lower slopes of sand dunes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Generalized insectivore, takes small vertebrates.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Quite long-lived for a dasyurid. Breed for up to six years and produce up to eight young. Probably promiscuous.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable. Decline possibly a result of predation by introduced foxes and cats, and changes in fire regimes. Susceptible to decline because of larger body size and restricted habitat.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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