Petrogale mareeba Click to enlarge image
HJB-36503.tif Image: Hans & Judy Beste
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    penicillata
    Genus
    Petrogale
    Family
    Macropodidae
    Order
    Diprotodontia
    Class
    Mammalia
    Phylum
    Chordata
  • Size Range
    58.6 cm

Dark brown, rufous rump and grey neck and shoulders, pale cheek stripe and dark dorsal stripe on head.

Identification

A large dark brown shaggy rock-wallaby, with a rufous rump and a grey neck and shoulders. Paler ventrally (belly) with some individuals having a distinct white blaze on the chest. Pale cheek stripe and dark dorsal stripe on head. Long tail dark brown to black with a prominent terminal brush. Feet and paws dark. Black auxiliary patch extends into an indistinct side stripe in some individuals.

Habitat

Rocky outcrops, boulder piles, cliffs, gorges and steep rocky slopes in sclerophyll forest and woodland.

Distribution

Eastern Australia.



Feeding and diet

A social species typically living in small colonies in steep and rocky terrain. They are highly agile and also ascend trees. Daylight hours are usually spent in a specific rocky shelter, which they defend. Towards evening they emerge to sun themselves, especially in the cooler months, and then to feed on grasses, forbs and browse. Seeds, fruit and flowers will also be eaten. Home ranges varies from 2 to 30 ha, with males occupying a larger area than females.

Breeding behaviours

It breeds throughout the year, with a peak of births in late summer and autumn in southern areas. A single young is born after approximately 32 days gestation and attaches to one of four teats in the mother’s pouch, where it spends the next 6-7 months. Sexual maturity is reached at 12-24 months. Now rare, having disappeared from many sites especially in the west and south of its distribution.