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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6

13. Phalangista vulpina. — Vulpine or Brush-tailed "Opossum"—

13. Phalangista vulpina.

Vulpine or Brush-tailed "Opossum"—

So well known to everybody, that I shall not enlarge upon it; but merely remark that this species is the staff of life to the natives.

I often admired my native friends, when after a hard day's unsuccessful hunting they dropped in at the camp empty handed; how carefully they would examine the large flooded Gum-trees (Eucalyptus rostratus), fringing the river banks, how nimbly they would get a footing upon some hollow limb, and with what perseverance "Possum" was dislodged, and perhaps, accidentally dropped into the river, whence it had to be rescued by the black-fellow's better half: for it was the question of "to eat or not to eat."

How often the Phalangista vulpina produces young, I am not able to tell with certainty. I think, judging by the large numbers in every forest, several times a year. The female is provided with only 2 teats, and seldom carries more than one young one at the time.