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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6

7. Podabrus crassicaudatus. — Thick-tailed Podabrus. — Mondellundellun (native name.)

page 11

7. Podabrus crassicaudatus.

Thick-tailed Podabrus.

Mondellundellun (native name.)

All the specimens of this species ever sent to Europe came from the West coast of this continent; but as I have obtained specimens from various parts of the Murray River, I doubt not that it inhabits the intervening country between the Swan River colony and New South Wales. I have never seen this handsome little Podabrus from the eastern part of Australia, though a species with a much longer tail (Podabrus macurus) occurs in the neighbourhood of Brisbane, and further north. I have kept several specimens alive for months, but always found it necessary to separate them on account of their ferocity. I have more than once lost a number of valuable Rodents through inadvertently adding a Podabrus, or any species of Antechinus to them; they fall upon the poor mice immediately, and kill many more than they can possibly eat. If not supplied with food, they attack and devour each other.

Females, which the natives brought in July and August, had from 6 to 9 young ones in the rather shallow pouch. The number of teats is 10; and, as I found several with the whole number in milk, I believe that as many as 10 young are brought forth at a birth.

All the species of the genus Antechinus are rather sensitive to cold; and, when the thermometer fell as low as 30° a great many perished.

Beyond a hoarse screech, I never noticed any voice. A singular peculiarity in all the Dasyuridæ is, that they carry their ears folded down, never erect, when alive: and, though I do not want to find fault with Gould's beautiful work, I must say, that, in this respect, the representations he gives of this tribe of the animals of Australia are not over true to nature.