Basic information on a range of Australian animals


Tiliqua rugosa, Shingleback lizard

Shingleback Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) close-up (10106730176)

TAXONOMY

Family: Scincidae skinks

Genus: Tiliqua blue-tongued skinks

Species: rugosa Shingleback

Common names: Two-headed lizard, Pinecone lizard, Sleepy lizard, Boggi, Bobtail, Bobtail goanna, Stump-tailed lizard, Stumpy lizard

Characteristics: Appearance tongue is dark blue broad blunt tail similar in shape to head covered with raised scales length 34 cms (13 in)

Habitat: arid regions of southern Australia

Diet: mainly herbivorous - favour flowers, berries, succulent leaves also eats spiders, insects, snails, carrion

Reproduction: breed in spring; same pairs form each year produce 1-4 but usually 2 live young

REFERENCES

Books


Perentie

Perentie at Sydney Wildlife World

TAXONOMY

Family: Varanidae

Goannas, forked tongue, Jacobson's organs to analyse the sensations experienced by the forked tongue, long slender neck, flattened head, strong tail, powerful legs with 5 clawed toes, numerous sharp curved backward-pointing teeth

Genus: Varanus goannas

Species: giganteus Perentie

Characteristics: Appearance: up to 2.5m (8 ft) in length; second largest lizard in the world

Habitat: occurs in desert regions rocky outcrops,shelter in large burrows

Prey: insects, birds, other reptiles, mammals, carrion track by sight or by sensing prey with their tongue forage actively and also 'sit and wait' for larger prey like rabbits

Reproduction: lay eggs

REFERENCES

  • Australia's Amazing Wildlife, 1985. Bay Books, Kensington NSW.
  • Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, Reader’s Digest Australia Pty Ltd, 1997. Reader’s Digest (Australia) Pty Ltd, Surrey Hills.
  • Wildlife Conservation, HJ Frith, 1979. Angus & Robertson, London.

  • Southern hairy-nosed wombat

    Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat

    TAXONOMY

    Family: Vombatidae wombats sturdy body, powerful limbs for burrowing

    Genus: Lasiorhinus Hairy-nosed wombats large square nose covered with fine hair

    Species: latifrons Southern Hairy-nosed wombat

    Nearest relatives: L. krefftii, Vombatus ursinus, Northern Hairy-nosed wombat, Common Wombat

    Characteristics:

    Distribution

    Appearance

    Lifestyle

    Senses: alert to slightest sound or unusual scent

    Status: common but restricted distribution often considered a pest by farmers due to their destruction of fences designed to keep out kangaroos, rabbits, and dingoes/wild dogs

    Feeding: grazing animals eating grasses cover 1-4 km per night over a 5-20 ha plot

    Reproduction

    REFERENCES

    Books Links

    Common Death Adder

    TAXONOMY

    Family: Elapidae venomous snakes, includes majority of land snakes of Australia

    Genus: Acanthophis

    Species: antarcticus

    Nearest relatives: A. pyrrhus, A. praelongus, Desert Death Adder, Northern Death Adder

    Characteristics:

    Distribution: the three species of Death Adder cover most of mainland Australia the Common Death Adder occurs in cooler areas and in higher rainfall areas

    Habitat

    Appearance

    Size: up to 1m (3ft) but usually about half that size

    Defence: positioning of the fangs at the front enables elapids to defend themselves against larger animals by injecting venom

    Method of feeding

    Prey: lizards, small mammals, birds

    Reproduction

    Parasites: ticks

    Predators: foxes, cats

    Problems: cane toads prey on young Death Adders or result in the death of adults that try to eat the toads secondary effect from eating mice poisoned with strychnine

    Status:some populations have been greatly reduced but still common

    REFERENCES

    Books Links

    Tasmanian Devil

    Tasdevil large

    TAXONOMY

    Family: Dasyuridae Dasyurids - carnivorous marsupials teeth are for biting and cutting

    Genus: Sarcophilus sarco-flesh -philus lover

    Species: harrisii

    Common names: Tasmanian devil, native devil

    Nearest relatives: native cats

    Characteristics:

    General: largest of the surviving carnivorous marsupials

    Distribution: Tasmania; also existed on the Australian mainland before the arrival of the dingo - bones have been found in Victoria and in Arnhem Land

    Habitat: dry eucalypt forests and woodlands of Tasmania; also seen around the suburbs

    Appearance

    Voice: use vocal repertoire to signal level of displeasure ranging from champing of the jaws to indicate mild aggression through a range of growls culminating in yells that end in a blood-curdling scream with widely-gaping jaws close to the rival

    Disposition: somewhat belligerent, wary fight and squabble among themselves; often older animals are scarred from these encounters

    Lifestyle

    Mortality rates

    Senses: acute sense of smell

    Locomotion: run on all 4 legs with elevated tail; awkward slow lope not exceeding 13km/hr

    Feeding

    Reproduction:

    REFERENCES


    Bandicoot

    Bandicoot TAXONOMY

    FAMILY Peramelidae

    GENUS SPECIES COMMON NAME OTHER COMMON NAMES
    (B=bandicoot)
    Isodon

    short-nosed

    auratus Golden B northern golden B, northern golden-backed B, windaru, wintaroo, nyulu
    obesulus Southern Brown B short-nosed B, southern short-nosed B, brown B, quenda
    macrourus Northern Brown B brindled B, giant brindled B, long-tailed short-nosed B, large northern B
    Parmeles

    long-nosed

    gunnii Eastern Barred B Tasmanian barred B, Gunn's B, striped B
    bougainville Western Barred B barred B, eastern barred B, Shark Bay B, WA striped B, SA striped B, NSW striped B, marl, little marl, nyemmel
    nasuta Long-nosed B none

    FAMILY Peroryctlidae (Papua New Guinea bandicoots)
    GENUS SPECIES COMMON NAME OTHER COMMON NAMES
    Echymipera rufescens Rufous Spiny B spiny B, rufescent B

    CHARACTERISTICS

    General: rat-sized to rabbit-sized, elongated feet, coarse fur, strong forepaws, long snout, lots of pointed teeth

    Lifestyle

    Locomotion: run on all 4 legs, occasionally sit up on their haunches to look for predators (dingos)

    Feeding: eat insects, worms, seeds, berries snout used to find food, forepaws used for digging in the leaf litter and earth for food

    Reproduction

    Distribution: all species considered together, bandicoots tend to be found around the coastline

    Nearest relative: greater bilby

    Status: 2 species have become extinct in the last 200 years 4 of the remaining species have experienced reductions in range and number

    Size Head/body length mm (inches) Tail length mm (inches)
    Golden Bandicoot 223 (8.8) 100 (3.9)
    Long-nosed Bandicoot * 370 (14.5) 135 (5.3)
    Eastern Barred Bandicoot 305 (12) 85 (3.3)
    Western Barred Bandicoot 245 (9.6) 90 (3.5)
    Northern Brown Bandicoot * 375 (14.7) 150 (5.9)
    Southern Brown Bandicoot * 315 (12.4) 115 (4.5)

    *males bigger then females

    REFERENCES

    Bilby

    Macrotis lagotis - bandicut conejo

    TAXONOMIC CLASSIFICATION

    Family: Peramelidae

    SubFamily: Thalacomyinae

    Genus: Macrotis large eared

    Species: lagotis

    GENERAL

    Common names: Greater Bilby, Rabbit-eared Bandicoot, Rabbit Bandicoot, Pinkie, Ninu, Walpajirri, Dalgyte

    Nearest relatives: bandicoots

    Size: similar to a rabbit; male 2.5 kg; female about half the male

    Features: long rabbit-like ears; long nose, tail, and legs;

    Habitat: mulga shrublands, spinifex grassland, mitchell grassland

    Distribution: south-western Queensland, Northern Territory, north Western Australia - restricted

    Status: vulnerable to extinction; some captive breeding programs; plans to reestablish a colony in national parkland near Charleville, Qld.

    Food: insects and their larvae, seeds, bulbs, fruit, fungi

    Lifestyle: feed at night; rest in burrows during the day; live singly or in pairs

    REPRODUCTION

    Frequency: 1 or 2 young in each litter; may be 4 litters in a year in favourable conditions

    Sexual maturity: 6 months

    REFERENCES