Tuesday, July 1, 2014

There's an Antechinus in my Kitchen 26/06/14

After discovering some traces in my pantry up to 22ml long, that were clearly not from a house mouse, I realized that one we had a little native visitor hiding inside somewhere and that it was in-fact a rarely seen Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes).  I set the "catch them alive trap" with peanut butter and placed in the pantry overnight and sure enough, in the morning we found a very unhappy female Yellow-footed Antechinus inside.  I have heard before about antechinus' coming inside during winter, but this is a first for us and I must admit she was far more welcome than a traditional house mouse!  After taking a couple of photos through the cage trap, she was released back outside in a thickly grassed area where there are plenty of hollow logs on the ground and she happily scampered into one.  This is only the second time we have been able to photograph one, although we have witnessed one previously running down a tree trunk and into a hollow log on the ground.  See previous post here.

Yellow-footed Antechinus have a diet of Insects, flowers, nectar, rodents and even small birds at times.  They breed from late winter to spring and the male's die after mating!  They have a grey head with a white eye-ring and orange-brown coloured sides and have a poorly developed pouch.  (see previous post that shows pouch and pouched young).  They are mainly nocturnal and their biggest threats are cats.  Droppings of adults are long, pointed and up to 22mm by 3mm wide (see image below).

(INFORMATION SOURCE:  Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - A Queensland Museum Guide, Field Guide to Australian Mammals by Cath Jones & Steve Parish.)


B & J

Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes)

Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) The pouch skin folds could be seen under the antechinus but are not obvious in this photo.

Yellow-footed Antechinus (Antechinus flavipes) (You can just see the white rings around it's eyes in this image)

Antechinus Evidence in the Pantry  (easily distinguished from a house mouse scat)

4 comments:

  1. you needed to pick that little rascal up of course; glad you could do it so easily and relocate...interesting find!

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    1. Thanks Carole for your comments - yes its always good to be able to let something go back where it belongs - I think it was quite relieved to be out of that cage poor thing!

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  2. I'm always pleased to see publicity for turdology.

    When we lived in Tanzania it was important to check the samples found on the floor in the morning.

    If they had white tips, this is uric acid and the scat indicates you have a gecko (and thus less flies and mozzies),

    If there was no white tip the most probable suspect is a black rat. How does a rat get inside- in our experience in that country, by biting a hole through the fly screen and thus you get more flies and mozzies!

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    1. Ha ha.. "Turdology", I love that new term! Yes I did think twice about adding the photo, but it was part of the story and was how I worked out that we didn't actually have a mouse inside, but a native animal! Yes the gecko evidence is similar here actually we have the Robust Velvet Geckoes that often sneek inside and leave there mark on the walls just like you said. Thanks for your comment and we are glad not to have the flies and mozzies during the winter!

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