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Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 5:25 EDT

Yellow-footed Antechinus

The Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes), also known as the Mardo, is a shrew-like marsupial found in Australia. The Yellow-footed Antechinus is found from around the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia to around Eungella in Queensland, with the exception of most of coastal New South Wales and Victoria. Isolated populations occur in northeastern Queensland and in southwestern Western Australia. The Yellow-footed Antechinus occupies a variety of habitats, including dry arid scrubland and sclerophyll forest. In the north, it also inhabits coastal heaths, swamps and woodland; in the far north it is found in tropical vine forest.

The Yellow-footed Antechinus has a variable fur color, but is generally somewhat grayish. Other notable features include a white eye-ring and a black tip to the tail. In size and body shape this species is fairly typical of its genus. One notable feature of the species is its unusual sexual behavior. The male Yellow-footed Antechinus engages in such frenzied mating that it commonly dies of sexual stress.

The Yellow-footed Antechinus differs from its relatives in its comparatively diurnal habits. The mating season lasts for two weeks either in August, for southern animals; in October, for animals from southern Queensland; or in June-July, for north Queensland animals. The diet is invertebrates, eggs, nectar and sometimes small vertebrates.

Yellow-footed Antechinus