Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Field Observations on the Common Striped Possum (Dactylopsila Trivirgata) in North Queensland.

KA Handasyde and RW Martin

Wildlife Research 23(6) 755 - 766
Published: 1996


Habitat utilisation and foraging behaviour by the common striped possum (Dactylopsila trivirgata) was investigated by means of spotlighting and radio-tracking at Shiptons Flat, far north Queensland. Vine forest was the primary habitat of D. trivirgata; however, animals were also observed in open eucalypt (Eucalyptus tereticornis) woodland. Information collected on foraging behaviour suggests that D. trivirgata are generalist insectivores consuming some fruit and other foodstuffs, such as honey. Radio-tracking data were used to calculate the home-range areas of two subadult males. The home range of the smaller male (body weight 290 g) was 5.2 ha (by the 95% harmonic mean (HM) method) or 6.5 ha (by the minimum convex polygon (MCP) method), and that of the larger male (body weight 415 g) was 21.2 ha (95% HM) or 21.3 ha (MCP). Large trees with hollows, which are utilized for denning, appear to be an important feature of the habitat for this species. D. trivirgata exhibits a pronounced degree of sociality and may breed seasonally. Observations suggest that amethystine pythons (Morelia amethistina) may be major predators of D. trivirgata at Shiptons Flat.


© CSIRO 1996

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