Planigale tenuirostris Click to enlarge image
Narrow-nosed Planigale u000d Endangered Image: R & A Williams
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    tenuirostris
    Genus
    Planigale
    Family
    Dasyuridae
    Order
    Dasyuromorphia
    Class
    Mammalia
    Phylum
    Chordata
  • Size Range
    Up to 7.5 cm

Flattened, triangular-shaped head, thin tail, brown to reddish-brown in colour.

Identification

Flattened triangular-shaped head and a thin tail, roughly the same length or slightly shorter than the slender body. The fur is brown to reddish-brown on the back, merging to pale grey underneath and white on the chin. The caramel-coloured claws help distinguish it from other Planigale species in Australia.

Habitat

Tussock grasslands, low shrublands, woodlands, gibber plains and river floodplains.

Distribution

Eastern Australia.



Feeding and diet

Prey includes centipedes, spiders, grasshoppers, moths, beetles and other insects and small lizards.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Among the world’s smallest marsupials, weighing less than 10 g, this tiny carnivorous marsupial inhabits arid, semi-arid and some humid sub-tropical areas of eastern Australia. It is nocturnal, sheltering during the day in crevices formed in cracking clay soils. At night it hunts either on the surface or within these cracks, often clinging to the vertical sides.

Breeding behaviours

Breeding occurs from July to mid-January and females give birth to an average of 6 young per litter, with some females producing 2 litters per year. Gestation last around 19 days; the young migrate to the pouch and remain attached to the teats for around 40 days. Young are weaned at 95 days of age and may live for 1-2 years in the wild.

Conservation status

Population densities tend to fluctuate from year to year. Despite some declines in distribution, this species appears stable at present.