Small and mouse-like, these nocturnal marsupials are related to the quoll and Tasmanian Devil. Their diet consists of crickets, beetles, spider larvae, small reptiles, amphibians, earthworms and slugs. They consume their own body weight in food every night and when food is scarce can use fat stores in their carrot-shaped tail. They do not need to drink. Mainly living in grassland and open shrubland, they forage in cracks of drying earth.
They nest communally beneath logs or rocks in grass nests, huddling with house mice in cold weather. Females have two litters of 7 to 8 young per year who stay in her pouch for 70 days. Males live up to 15 months and females 18 months.
Size: Body length 60-90mm, tail 40-70mm
Vic Conservation Status: Near threatened
Illustration: Mark Trinham. Photo: Annette Aboltins