Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps



Compiler and date details

October 2010 - Updated by Stephen M. Jackson, c/- Queensland Museum, Brisbane, following Van Dyck & Strahan (2008)

2006 - Updated by ABRS, following publication of Clayton et al. (2006), see Database Notes below

31 December 1998 - Updated by Barry J. Richardson (1999), Centre for Biostructural and Biomolecular Research, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury, NSW, Australia

1988 - D.W. Walton and B.J. Richardson


Reviser's Preface

The aim of this revision was to revise the taxonomy of Australian Mammalia in line with that used in The Mammals of Australia edited by Steve Van Dyck and Ron Strahan (2008). This revision also included ordering the taxonomy in line with Van Dyck and Strahan (2008) and updating the references used for each species in that publication. This review also endeavored to remove as many errors as possible from the list though a more thorough review is needed.

The original text of the Mammalia Catalogue (Walton 1988) was an excellent and much needed work, however it did not include many names and suffered from a deal of inconsistency due to being prepared by a number of authors. Though the taxonomy of this review was updated in a general sense to bring it up to that used by Van Dyck and Strahan (2008) there is an urgent need to revise in detail the historic and current taxonomy of all Australian mammals, including the ranks above genus.

The familial classification used in this work follows that of Kirsch (1997) and Novak and Paradiso (1983) except for the addition of the Potoridae (Archer & Bartholomai 1978). All species known to be present in Australia at the time of European settlement, plus any introduced species established as self-perpetuating feral populations in Australia, are included in this work.

Out of respect for the original authors, I have made changes only where clear new evidence was available, otherwise the original authors' opinions have been retained. As part of the process, the ecological and distributional data were updated.

The bibliographies have also been updated to provide entry to the literature for the reader. The coverage, as with the previous edition, is not intended to be exhaustive in any sense and I have deliberately concentrated on references of relevance to those interested in the general biology of these species. The highly specialised literature, for example in genetics, microanatomy, physiology, has not been included.

The bulk of the literature on Australian mammals can be found in less than a dozen journals and the excellent series of symposia organised by the Australian Mammal Society and the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Extending the coverage beyond these sources is difficult and in doing so one cannot fail to be impressed with the quality and thoroughness of the bibliographic work of John Calaby whose lists of current literature, published by the Australian Mammal Society for so many years, is close to exhaustive. These can be found in the publications of the Australian Mammal Society, particularly Australian Mammalogy.

John’s death during 1998 was a great loss to Australian mammalogy, and to his friends and admirers. As the first edition of the mammal volume of the Zoological Catalogue was dedicated to Jack Mahoney, it is proper, and my privilege, to respectfully dedicate this revision to that master of the literature, John Calaby.

Then we knew the man before us was a Master of our callin’;
One of those great lords of language gone forever from Outback;
Heroes of an ancient order.
‘An Old Master’ C.J. Dennis

The skill and hard work of the Australian Biological Resources Study group in Canberra in transferring chnages to the database are acknowledged.

Database Notes
The information on the Australian Faunal Directory site for the Marsupialia was derived initially from the Zoological Catalogue published on 13 April 1988 as Walton, D.W. (ed.) (1988).

The database was updated by B.J. Richardson in 1999, incorporating subspecies names, common names and the CAVS biocode derived from the ABRS Census of Australian Vertebrate Species (CAVS). Some additional distribution data has also been included. Further changes were incorporated following publication of Clayton et al. (2006).

Limital Area
Distribution data in the Directory is by political and geographic region descriptors and serves as a guide to the distribution of a taxon. For details of a taxon's distribution, the reader should consult the cited references (if any) at genus and species levels.

Australia is defined as including Lord Howe Is., Norfolk Is., Cocos (Keeling) Ils, Christmas Is., Ashmore and Cartier Ils, Macquarie Is., Australian Antarctic Territory, Heard and McDonald Ils, and the waters associated with these land areas of Australian political responsibility. Political areas include the adjacent waters.

Terrestrial geographical terms are based on the drainage systems of continental Australia, while marine terms are self-explanatory except as follows: the boundary between the coastal and oceanic zones is the 200 m contour; the Arafura Sea extends from Cape York to 124 DEG E; and the boundary between the Tasman and Coral Seas is considered to be the latitude of Fraser Island, also regarded as the southern terminus of the Great Barrier Reef.

Distribution records, if any, outside of these areas are listed as extralimital. The distribution descriptors for each species are collated to genus level. Users are advised that extralimital distribution for some taxa may not be complete.


General References

Archer, M. 1984. The Australian marsupial radiation. pp. 633-808 in Archer, M. & Clayton, G. (eds). Vertebrate Zoogeography & Evolution in Australasia — Animals in Space & Time. Carlisle : Hesperian Press.

Archer, M & Bartholomai, A. 1978. Tertiary mammals of Australia: a synoptic review. Alcheringa 2: 1-19

Baverstock, P.R., Archer, M., Adams, M. & Richardson, B.J. 1982. Genetic relationships among 32 species of Australian dasyurid marsupials. pp. 641-650 in Archer, M. (ed.). Carnivorous Marsupials. Sydney : Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales Vol. 2 i-iv, 407 pp.

Cooper, D.W., Johnston, P.G., Vandeberg, J.L. & Robinson, E.S. 1990. X-chromosome inactivation in marsupials. Australian Journal of Zoology 37: 467-479

Geiser, F. 1994. Torpor in marsupials : a review. Australian Journal of Zoology 42: 1-16

Hinds, L.A. 1990. Control of pregnancy, parturition and luteolysis in marsupials. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 2: 535-552

Hume, I.D. 1982. Digestive Physiology and Nutrition of Marsupials. Melbourne : Cambridge Univ. Press ix 256 pp.

Iredale, T. & Troughton, E. le G. 1934. A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Memoirs of the Australian Museum 6: i-xii 1-122

Janke, A., Xu, Xiufeng & Arnason, U. 1997. The complete mitochondrial genome of the wallaroo (Macropus robustus) and the phylogenetic relationship among Monotremata, Marsupialia, and Eutheria. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 94: 1276-1281

Julien-Laferriere, D. 1994. Catalogue des types de mammifères du Muséum National D'Histoire Naturelle. Ordere des marsupiaux. Mammalia 58: 1-39

Kirsch, J.A.W. 1977. The comparative serology of Marsupialia, and a classification of marsupials. Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series 52: 1-152

Kirsch, J.A.W., Lapointe, F-J. & Springer, M.S. 1997. DNA-hybridisation studies of marsupials and their implications for metatherian classification. Australian Journal of Zoology 45: 211-280

Lee, A.K. & Cockburn, A. 1985. Evolutionary ecology of marsupials. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press 274 pp.

Marshall, L.G., Case, J.G. & Woodburne, M.O. 1990. Phylogenetic relationships of the families of marsupials. pp. 433-505 in Genoways, H.H. (ed.). Current Mammalogy. New York : Plenum Press Vol. 2.

Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A.A. & Morris, K. 1996. The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Canberra : Wildlife Australia 234 pp.

McKay, G.M. 1984. Cytogenetic relationships of possums and gliders. pp. 9-16 in Smith, A. & Hume, I. (eds). Possums and Gliders. Sydney : Surrey Beatty & Sons, Australian Mammal Society 598 pp.

Nowak, R.M. & Paradiso, J.L. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press Vol. 1 4 (rev.).

Padykula, H.A. & Taylor, J.M. 1982. Marsupial placentation and its evolutionary significance. 95-104 in Heap, R.B. , Perry, J.S & Weir, B.J. (eds). Placenta. Structure and Function. Journal of Reproduction and Fertility 31(Suppl.)

Renfree, M.B. 1992. The role of genes and hormones in marsupial sexual differentiation. Journal of Zoology, London 226: 165-173

Renfree, M.B. 1993. Diapause, pregnancy and parturition in Australian marsupials. Journal of Experimental Zoology 266: 450-462

Russell, E.M. 1982. Patterns of parental care and parental investment in marsupials. Biological Reviews 57: 423-486

Russell, E.M. 1984. Social behaviour and social organisation of marsupials. Mammal Review 14: 101-154

Saunders, N.R. & Hinds, L.A. (eds) 1997. Marsupial Biology: Recent research, new perspectives. Sydney : University of NSW Press 413 pp.

Sherwin, W.B. & Murray, N.D. 1990. Population and conservation genetics of marsupials. Australian Journal of Zoology 37: 161-180

Simpson, G.G. 1945. The principles of classification and a classification of mammals. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 85: 1-350

Smith, A. & Hume, I. (eds) 1984. Possums and Gliders. Sydney : Surrey Beatty & Sons, Australian Mammal Society 598 pp.

van Dyck, S. & Strahan, R. 2008. The Mammals of Australia. Sydney : Reed New Holland 887 pp.

Walton, D.W. (ed.) 1988. Zoological Catalogue of Australia Volume 5. Mammalia. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service x 274 pp. [Date published 13 April 1988: publication date established from Iredale, T. & Troughton, E. le G. 1934. A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: i–xii 1–122]

Walton, D.W. & Richardson, B.J. (eds) 1989. Fauna of Australia. Mammalia. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service Vol. 1B 827 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
01-Nov-2010 MODIFIED