BRUSH-TAILED PHASCOGALE – [Phascogale tapoatafa]

Physical characteristics: The brush-tailed phascogale has gray col-

ored fur on its back and white or creamy fur on the underside of its

body. Its brush tail is black with long, 2-inch (5.5-centimeter) hairs.

Its body is 5.8 to 10.3 inches (14.8 to 26.1 centimeters).

Geographic range: Brush-tailed phascogales live in coastal areas of

Australia.

Habitat: These animals live in dry eucalyptus forests and

woodlands with an open understory—not a lot of smaller plants

growing under the tallest trees—in temperate and tropical areas of

Australia.

Diet: Brush-tailed phascogales feed on nectar (sweet liquid produced

by plant flowers), large insects, spiders, and small vertebrates, animals

with a backbone. They tear the bark off of trees to look for food.

Behavior and reproduction: This animal spends much of its time up

in trees, and is nocturnal, or active at night. Brush-tailed phascogales

make their nests in tree holes or forks, and also mate there. Females

give birth to about eight young, who are attached to her nipples, feed-

ing, for about forty days. After that, they stay in the nest until they’re

five months old.

Brush-tailed phascogales and people: These animals occasionally

eat poultry raised by humans, but they also eat mice and insects,

which humans may appreciate.

Conservation status: The brush-tailed phascogale is not currently

threatened.