We are very excited to see a Dusky Antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii) in our August ‘Who’s living on my land?’ survey in Berry! Dusky Antechinus are one of few marsupial carnivores.
It is the largest Antechinus species with males weighing about 65 grams (average) and females up to 45 grams (average). The diet of a Dusky Antechinus includes a range of insects, lizards, worms, small birds and vegetable matter. This nocturnal species is often active throughout the day and is highly territorial (which is unusual for an Antechinus). They are also unusually vocal with hissing and chattering, compared to the other Antechinus species.
The Dusky Antechinus is mostly found on the coastal regions of mainland Australia. Suitable habitats include alpine heath, tall open forest, moist sclerophyll forest, and rainforests with a thick understorey. A Dusky Antechinus uses eucalypt leaves to construct nests which is either balled up in tree hollows or placed on ground vegetation among thick understorey.
This species mate vigorously for a short time and the male individuals “die-off” soon after. The “die-off” occurs due to high stress levels and severe injuries sustained during the mating frenzy.
Native mammal we found in Berry
Twelve of the fourteen properties participating in the survey found a native mammal species on their property, with the Swamp Wallaby and Common Wombat being the most ubiquitous.