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Australian Wildlife

  Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus)





Numbat | Myrmecobius fasciatus photo
Numbat Perth Zoo, Western Australia

Image by Martin Pot - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



NUMBAT FACTS

Description
The Numbat is a red-brown marsupial with six or seven vertical white bars on the back. It has a black stripe along the head. The snout is pointed , and they have a small mouth and a long, sticky tongue . The long bushy tail resembles a bottlebrush

Other Names
Banded Anteater, Walpurti

Size
Head and body length 17cm - 27cm. Tail length 13cm - 17cm. Weight 280g - 550g.

Habitat
Eucalypt forest where termites are plentiful.

Food
They feed on ants and termites. Termites are picked up by the long sticky tongue and swallowed whole.

Breeding
Gestation takes about 14 days and four young are usually born between January and March. The Numbat has no pouch and the young cling to mother's fur for first few weeks. Once they have grown fur the young are left in underground nest at end of a burrow until they can feed independently at age of about 8 months.

Range
small area of south-west Western Australia

Notes
Numbat have been affected by land clearing which removes the habitat of their food source (termites). They have also been reduced by predators such as foxes, cats, domestic dogs, and dingos.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "vulnerable".

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Dasyuromorphia
Family:Myrmecobiidae
Genus:Myrmecobius
Species:fasciatus
Common Name:Numbat