Alexandria false antechinus

The Alexandria false antechinus (Pseudantechinus mimulus), also known as the Carpentarian false antechinus or Carpentarian pseudantechinus, is a small carnivorous marsupial, found only in a number of small, isolated localities in northern Australia. It is the smallest and rarest of the false antechinuses.[3]

Alexandria false antechinus[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Dasyuromorphia
Family: Dasyuridae
Genus: Pseudantechinus
Species:
P. mimulus
Binomial name
Pseudantechinus mimulus
(Thomas 1906)
Alexandria false antechinus range

Taxonomy

The Alexandria false antechinus has had a long history of confusion with the fat-tailed false antechinus (P. macdonnellensis) ever since it was first described by Oldfield Thomas in 1906. W.D.L. Ride suppressed the species in 1971, placing it with the fat-tailed false antechinus, but it was restored by D.J. Kitchener in 1991. Its scientific name means "little mimic of false-antechinus".[4]

The P. mimulus is classified as an endangered specie due to the decline in habitat quality and extent as a result of fire, introduced predators, and mining.[2]

Description

The Alexandria false antechinus is coloured buff brown above and greyish white below. Its main distinguishing feature from other false antechinuses is its small size.[4] The behaviour of this species has not been described.[3]

Habitat

This species is found only in five localities: near Mount Isa in northwestern Queensland; Alexandria Station on the Barkly Tableland in the Northern Territory; and three small islands in the Sir Edward Pellew Group, in the north-east of the territory. In 2009 it was recorded from Pungalina-Seven Emu Sanctuary in the Northern Territory.[5] It inhabits stony hillsides with woodland and spinifex grass.[3]

The P. mimulus is endemic to Australia. More specifically they are restricted to Sir Edward Pellew Group (Northern Territory), Centre and Southwest Islands, and two locations near Queensland. In the 1988 census of the territories the species was found in the Centre and South West Islands, but in the 2003 census it was not located. It is believed that the P. mimulus still resides within that area, but is yet to be confirmed.[6] In addition, the habitat in which the species resides in is a rocky one with scattered trees and wood.[2]

Conservation status

The Alexandria false antechinus has a very limited distribution, which has resulted in its classification by the IUCN as endangered. On the offshore islands it inhabits, it is fairly common; however, it is rare and, in 1995, had not been seen on the mainland since 1905, when it was discovered.[4]

Diet

While a lot of details about the species diet is unknown, it is believed that they eat mostly invertebrates as well as some small vertebrates.[6]

References

  1. Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. Woinarski, J.; Burbidge, A.A. (2016). "Pseudantechinus mimulus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T18447A21945496. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T18447A21945496.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  3. Menkhorst, Peter (2001). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press. p. 60.
  4. Johnson, K.A.; Langford, D.G. (1995). "Carpentarian Pseudantechinus". In Strahan, Ronald (ed.). The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books. pp. 77โ€“78.
  5. Anon (2009). "Pungalina-Seven Emu" (PDF). Wildlife Matters (Spring 2009): 6โ€“10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25.
  6. "Pseudantechinus mimulus โ€” Carpentarian Antechinus".
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