Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps


Echidna, Platypus

Compiler and date details

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

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

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

1988 - J.A. Mahoney


Reviser's Preface 2010

This revision updates the taxonomy of Australian Mammalia in line with that used in The Mammals of Australia edited by Steve Van Dyck and Ron Strahan (2008), and builds upon the database derived from the Zoological Catalogue of Australia (Walton 1988). The intention of this revision was to include all new species described since 1999 when the taxonomy was last revised by Barry Richardson, to add the mammals of Australia’s External Territories and to take account of changes in nomenclature resulting from taxonomic revisions during the intervening period. This revision, which includes all Australian mammals, terrestrial and marine, and covers nearly 390 species, which is up from the 368 recognised in 1999.

The original text of the Mammalia Catalogue (Walton 1988) was prepared by many authors and, although an excellent and much needed work, did not include many names and suffered from a deal of inconsistency. Though the taxonomy of this review was updated in a general sense by Van Dyck and Strahan (2008) there has been an urgent need to revise in detail the history and current taxonomy of all Australian mammals. A current major revision of that work is currently being completed by Stephen Jackson and Colin Groves (Australian National University). Some the information in the original work has also been restructured in order to accommodate the restrictions of an automated database report, hopefully without changing the original meaning. Helgen et al. 2012 note that a single specimen of the presumed extinct Zaglossus bruijnii was "… collected by John T. Tunney at Mount Anderson in the West Kimberley region of northern Western Australia in 1901, [is] now deposited in the Natural History Museum, London", and speculate on its possible presence in the Kimberley area even today.

The familial classification used in this work follows that of Kirsch (1997). 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.

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 deliberately concentrates 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.

Database Notes
The information on the Australian Faunal Directory site for the Prototheria initially was derived from the Zoological Catalogue of Australia database compiled on the Platypus software program. The original work was published on 13 April 1988 as (Walton 1988).

The database was updated by B.J. Richardson in 1999, incorporating additional data associated with the Census of Australian Vertebrate Species (CAVS), compiled by CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology (see also Stanger et al. 1998).

Minor changes were made by ABRS, following the new edition of CSIRO List of Australian Vertebrates (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 initially were based on the drainage systems of continental Australia, while marine terms were 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°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. For any recent additions to the database IBRA or IMCRA Regions are selected for teh distributions.

Distribution records, if any, outside of these areas are listed as free text. 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.

Clayton, M., Wombey, J., Mason, I.J., Chesser, R.T. & Wells, A. 1998. CSIRO List of Australian Vertebrates: A Reference with Conservation Status. Melbourne : CSIRO Publishing iv 162 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

Grützner, F., Gemmell, N. & Johnson, C. (eds) 2009. Beyond the platypus genome. Australian Journal of Zoology 57(3,4): ix 149-293

Helgen, K.M., Miguez, R.P., Kohen, J.L. & Helgen, L.E. 2012. Twentieth century occurrence of the Long-Beaked Echidna Zaglossus bruijnii in the Kimberley region of Australia. ZooKeys 255: 103-132

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.

Stanger, M., Clayton, M., Schodde, R., Wombey, J. & Mason, I. 1998. CSIRO List of Australian Verebrates: A Reference with Conservation Status. Collingwood : CSIRO Publishing iii 124 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)
15-Oct-2010 14-Jan-2013 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)