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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 55(5)

Diet of the western pygmy possum, Cercartetus concinnus Gould (Marsupialia: Burramyidae), at Innes National Park, South Australia, and evaluation of diet sampling methods

Angela J. L. Pestell A B, Sophie Petit A C

A School of Natural and Built Environments, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, SA 5095, Australia.
B Current address: Department for Environment and Heritage, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: sophie.petit@unisa.edu.au
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The diet of a population of western pygmy possums, Cercartetus concinnus Gould (Marsupialia: Burramyidae), at Innes National Park, South Australia, was examined using faecal and fur pollen swab samples in relation to monthly plant phenological data. Eucalyptus pollen was the most abundant in both faeces and in fur swab samples, followed by Melaleuca pollen; plant exudates could not be examined by this study. Moth scales were found in 26% of the scat samples. Faecal samples comprised most plant species identified (15 of 17), but up to 25% of plant species recorded from fur pollen swabs were not recorded from faeces. The relatively high frequencies of plant species represented in fur pollen swabs indicates that this method is valuable for supplementing faecal analysis used to determine plant visitation by nectarivorous animals.

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