Southern Dibbler

Southern Dibbler

name = Southern DibblerMSW3 Groves|pages=26]
status = EN
status_system = iucn3.1
status_ref = IUCN2006 | assessors = Australasian Marsupial & Monotreme Specialist Group | year = 1996 | title = Parantechinus apicalis | id = 16138 | downloaded = 2006-08-15]

regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
subclassis = Marsupialia
ordo = Dasyuromorphia
familia = Dasyuridae
tribus = Dasyurini
genus = "Parantechinus"
genus_authority = Tate, 1947
species = "P. apicalis"
binomial = "Parantechinus apicalis"
binomial_authority = (Gray, 1842)

The Southern Dibbler ("Parantechinus apicalis"), also known as the Freckled Antechinus, the Speckled Marsupial Mouse and simply as the Dibbler, is a member of the Dasyuromorphia order. It is an inhabitant of southwest Australia.


The Southern Dibbler is the only member of its genus, "Parantechinus", which indicates that it is an "antechinus-like (animal)"Citation|last=Woolley|first=P.A.|contribution=Southern Dibbler|title=The Mammals of Australia|year=1995|publisher=Reed Books|pages=72-73|editor-first=Ronald|editor-last=Strahan] . The species name, "apicalis", means "pointed". This genus formerly included the Sandstone Dibbler, now placed in the genus "Pseudantechinus".

The Southern Dibbler was first described in 1842 by John Edward Gray, who placed it in the genus "Phascogale". The genus "Parantechinus" was created for the species in 1947 by George Henry Hamilton Tate. The species has sometimes been assigned to the genus "Antechinus".


The Southern Dibbler is 10-16cm long with a 7.5-12.0 cm tail; it weighs 40-125g. The distinctive features of this dasyurid include a white eye-ring, gray-brown fur flecked with white hairs, and a short tapering tail. It has strong jaws and large canine teeth for killing prey, which include small vertebrates such as mice, birds and lizards, as well as insects and other invertebrates. The breeding season for the species is March-April.

The Southern Dibbler is a solitary, mostly nocturnal species.


The Southern Dibbler is confined to the south-western corner of Western Australia, where it inhabits mallee heath. It is also found on Boullanger Island and Whitlock Island off Jurien Bay.cite book|first=Peter|last=Menkhorst|year=2001|title=A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia|publisher=Oxford University Press|pages=58]

Conservation status

The Southern Dibbler was believed to have become extinct until it was rediscovered in 1967 at Cheyne Beach on the south coast of Western Australia after a gap of 80 years. It remains an endangered species.


External links

* [ Southern Dibbler] World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

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