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Australian Wildlife

  Spotted Cuscus (Spilocuscus maculatus)





Spotted Cuscus | Spilocuscus maculatus photo
Cuscus eating star fruit.

Photograph copyright: Michael Thirnbeck - all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Spotted Cuscus | Spilocuscus maculatus photo
Common Spotted Cuscus (Spilocuscus maculatus) Iron Range National Park, north Queensland, Australia

Image by www.aviceda.org - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



SPOTTED CUSCUS FACTS

Description
The Spotted Cuscus has thick woolly fur and is variable in colour. The female is a creamy color and the male ranges from creamy-grey to orange-rust colour with irregular spots. Some juveniles are white. The skin is yellowish pink. It has very small ears and rim round the eyes. The strong claws are used for climbing.

Other Names
Common Spotted Cuscus, Spotted Phalanger

Size
head and body 35-45cm. Tail 32-43cm.

Habitat
Tropical rainforest, palm forest, also seen in dense freshwater mangroves. It is mostly nocturnal and makes a platform to rest during the day by pulling some twigs together.

Food
fruit, flowers, leaves. Captive animals eat some meat such as dog food.

Breeding
Usually one young reared. The young is carried on the mothers back for a few months once it leaves the pouch

Range
Far north of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. It is quite uncommon in Australia, but abundant in Papua New Guinea.

Notes
These animals are a food source for some tribes in Papua New Guinea. The cuscus is cooked on an open fire and eaten. In Australia the Aborigines used to hunt cuscus but this is rarely done now.



Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Diprotodontia
Family:Phalangeridae
Genus:Spilocuscus
Species:maculatus
Common Name:Spotted Cuscus

Relatives in same Genus
  Black-spotted Cuscus (S. rufoniger)