Julia Creek Dunnart, Sminthopsis douglasi

The Julia Creek dunnart (Sminthopsis douglasi) is a marsupial that can be found in in the area between Julia Creek and Richmond in Queensland. It is thought that this dunnart may occur in the Mitchell Plateau in Western Australia. It prefers a habitat within riparian grasslands.

The Julia Creek dunnart can reach an average body length of up to 5.3 inches, with a tail length of up to 4.1 inches. It can weigh up to 2.4 ounces. Typically, healthy individuals from this species have a carrot shaped tail that contains stored fat. It bears a dark stripe on the top of the head, as well as a dark triangular marking above the eyes that extends to the tip of the nose.

This species will reside in cracks in the ground during the dry season, and in the rainy season, it will reside within vegetation. It is a nocturnal marsupial that will produce up to eight young in a litter after a pregnancy of up to 12 days.

The Julia Creek dunnart consumes most of its water from the food it eats, which consists of insects and small vertebrates. The prickly acacia plant, an invasive species of plant that kills the grass this marsupial lives in, has caused much habitat loss. Because of this, it appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Near Threatened”.

Image Caption: Julia Creek Dunnart. Credit: Australia Zoo/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)