Australian Wildlife After Dark

Paperback - April 2016 - AU $35.00

eBook - April 2016 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

Beautifully illustrated account of rarely seen night-time fauna in Australia.

Australia is a land of many unique animals, some of which are active only during the cooler evening and night-time and so are rarely seen. These are the after dark animals so widespread yet so little noticed by humans, whether in our backyards, the arid desert, woodlands or rainforest. + Full description

Australian Wildlife After Dark brings this hidden fauna into the light. The after dark fauna includes a surprising diversity of familiar (and some not-so-familiar) species, from cockroaches, moths and spiders through to bandicoots, bats and birds – and then some.

Each example is described in a unique, friendly style by Martyn Robinson, familiar to many Australians through his frequent media appearances on ABC Radio and in Burke’s Backyard magazine, and Bruce Thomson, an internationally renowned wildlife photographer and bat researcher. The book includes stunning photography and boxes that highlight selected topics, such as the ‘windscreen wiper’ eyelids of geckoes and the strategies used by night-time plants to attract pollinators. Also included are practical tips on finding nocturnal wildlife, a glossary of scientific terms and a short bibliography.

The book will appeal to a general family audience, wildlife enthusiasts, bushwalkers, amateur naturalists, national parks lovers, natural history museum visitors, libraries, gift book buyers and international visitors to Australia.

- Short description


"Well-written and packed full of stunning, large-format colour photographs, this book is engaging and easy to read... Cleverly, the book minimises dense text but instead centres on short, yet comprehensive, stories about specific animals. The reader can pick up the book at any page, become engaged with a wildlife story, and then put the book down again having learnt something new."
Deborah Metters, Land for Wildlife South East Queensland 11(1), January 2017, p. 13

"Australian Wildlife After Dark makes for a great resource for any budding spot-lighter. Ultimately, this is where Robinson and Thomson have succeeded, constructing a book that is informative and accessible enough to hopefully inspire more people to get to know our unique wildlife."
William Geary, Wild Melbourne (blog), 9/5/16

"This book will be a good starting point for those who might be unfamiliar with spotlighting techniques and the ecology of the fauna that you're likely to encounter... Most of the chapters are organised according to the senses by which different animals navigate their world. This is a perceptive innovation and one that I think may help many to hone their field-craft and more successfully find their target species."
Chris Watson, Australian Birdlife 5(1), March 2016, pp 80
Chris Watson, The Grip (blog), 11/4/16

"This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Australia's nocturnal fauna, whether it is winged or otherwise."
Talking Birds, May 2016, pp 25

"Australian Wildlife After Dark is an insightful introduction to the quirky nature of nocturnal Australian wildlife. Full of beautiful colour photos and interesting facts, it will suit a varied audience from families with inquisitive children to wildlife enthusiasts and experienced naturalists."
Christine Connelly, Park Watch, No 265, June 2016, pp 38

"this book would be an appropriate 'encyclopaedia' type present for an inquiring young reader, and perhaps a relatively portable souvenir for overseas visitors."
Ian Fraser, Natural History Book Reviews, #22, July 2016

"an excellent introduction to the incredible diversity of Australian fauna.
With beautiful photography by Bruce Thomson, and engaging, non-technical text by Martyn Robinson, the book would make a great birthday or Christmas gift for wildlife enthusiasts of all ages."
Steve Page, WA Naturalists' Club: The Naturalist News, August 2016, pp 13-14

"The book has information and illustrations of the surprising number of species you can encounter in all types of habitat, from rainforest jungle to arid desert. I believe you would be amazed at the number and diversity of the species that are active at night, and would enjoy reading this book."
Gil Porter, Warbler, September 2016, pp. 23-24

"In addition to the engaging writing and spectacular images, the wildlife that is depicted ranges broadly, from snails and arthropods to saltwater crocodiles and gliding marsupials... this is a very engaging and informative book that will have much appeal for general readers who are curious about Australia’s diverse but largely nocturnal wildlife."
Chris R. Dickman, Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2017, p. 345


Paperback | April 2016 | $ 35.00
ISBN: 9781486300723 | 160 pages | 270 x 210 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs

ePDF | April 2016
ISBN: 9781486300730
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | April 2016
ISBN: 9781486300747
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Brilliant wildlife photography that reveals both common and unusual animals not often seen.
  • Knowledgeable, lively narration that engages the reader.
  • Interesting cross-section of animal groups represented, not just possums and owls.
  • Practical information to get you started spotting animals in your urban backyard, then to venture out to other environments.


Preface and acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Evening and dawn
Chapter 3: The night shift
Chapter 4: When vision fails, there’s always sound
Chapter 5: Then there is smell
Chapter 6: And touch
Chapter 7: And senses we can’t imagine...
Chapter 8: How to watch dusk-to-dawn wildlife


Martyn Robinson has worked at the Australian Museum (Sydney) for more than 30 years, providing wide-ranging expertise on exhibitions, education and science. He has a broad interest in natural history and has published and illustrated a number of scientific papers and books including A Field Guide to Frogs, The Secret Social Bees that Live in Lantana and the Green Guide to Dangerous Creatures, and written natural history articles for popular magazines. He was also involved in the New South Wales Frog Watch Program and the Frog and Tadpole Study Group.

Bruce Thomson first started photographing Australian wildlife back in the late 1970s when living on his parents' country property near Goulburn, NSW. With equipment donated by an enthusiastic and very patient uncle, his first photographic subjects were insects and the local birds that frequented the garden. Today his nature photography covers a diverse range of wildlife subjects and his images are widely recognised and sought after.