Fawn Antechinus, Antechinus bellus

The fawn antechinus (Antechinus bellus) is a species of marsupial that is native to northern areas of Australia and it is the only member of its genus, Antechinus, to reside in the Northern Territory. It prefers a habitat within open tropical forests and holds a limited range. Oldfield Thomas, who gave it the scientific name bellus, first described the species in 1904. The fawn antechinus appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Although the fawn antechinus shares its genus with eight other species, it is distinct in appearance so is not typically confused with its relatives. It is light grey in color and larger than the red-cheeked dunnart and sandstone dibbler that share its range. The breeding season of this species occurs during the month of August, after which time the males will die. Young are typically born between the months of September and October and are typically weaned by the month of January.

Image Caption: Fawn Antechinus (Antechinus bellus) in Territory Wildlife Park, Northern Territory, Australia. Credit: XiscoNL/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)