name = PhalangeridaeMSW3 Groves | pages = 45-50]

image_width = 200px
image_caption = Common Brushtail Possum
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
subclassis = Marsupialia
ordo = Diprotodontia
subordo = Phalangeriformes
familia = Phalangeridae
subdivision_ranks = Genus
subdivision =

Phalangeridae is a family of nocturnal marsupials native to Australia and New Guinea, including the cuscuses, brushtail possums, and their close relatives. Considered a type of possum, most species are arboreal, and they inhabit a wide range of forest habitats from alpine woodland to eucalypt forest and tropical jungle.


Phalangerids are relatively large, compared with other possums. The smallest species, the Sulawesi Bear Cuscus, is cat-sized, averaging 34 cm in length, while the largest, the Black-spotted Cuscus is around 70 cm long, and weighs 5 kilograms. Besides the large size, other key features distinguishing phalangerids from other possums include the presence of bare skin on at least part of the tail, and low-crowned molar teeth. They have claws on the forefeet, but none on the hindfeet, although these do have an opposable first toe to help grip onto branches. Additionally, in all but one species, both the first and second digits of the forefeet are opposable. The fur is typically dense or woolly, and may be grey, black, or reddish-brown, often with spots or stripes.cite book |editor=Macdonald, D.|author= Dickman, Christopher R.|year=1984 |title= The Encyclopedia of Mammals|publisher= Facts on File|location=New York|pages= 850-855|isbn= 0-87196-871-1]

Most phalangerids are folivores, feeding primarily on leaves. Like some similar species, they have a large cecum to ferment this highly fibrous food and extract as much nutrition as possible. However, their teeth are not as highly adapted to this diet as in other possums, and they also eat fruit, and even some invertebrates. The only exception to these general rules is the Ground Cuscus, which is carnivorous, and is also less arboreal than other phalangerid species. The dental formula of phalangerids is:dentition||2.0.1-2.4

Gestation in phalangerids lasts 16-17 days in those species so far studied. The females have a well developed pouch, and typically raise only or two young at a time, less than many other possums. The adults are typically solitary, defending territories marked by scent glands, odiferous saliva, urine, or dung.


The Phalangeridae family consists of 6 genera and 28 species.

* Subfamily Ailuropinae
** Genus "Ailurops"
*** Talaud Bear Cuscus ("Ailurops melanotis")
*** Sulawesi Bear Cuscus ("Ailurops ursinus")
* Subfamily Phalangerinae
** Tribe Phalangerini
*** Genus "Phalanger"
**** Gebe Cuscus ("Phalanger alexandrae")
**** Mountain Cuscus ("Phalanger carmelitae")
**** Ground Cuscus ("Phalanger gymnotis")
**** Eastern Common Cuscus ("Phalanger intercastellanus")
**** Woodlark Cuscus ("Phalanger lullulae")
**** Blue-eyed Cuscus ("Phalanger matabiru")
**** Telefomin Cuscus ("Phalanger matanim")
**** Southern Common Cuscus ("Phalanger mimicus")
**** Northern Common Cuscus ("Phalanger orientalis")
**** Ornate Cuscus ("Phalanger ornatus")
**** Rothschild's Cuscus ("Phalanger rothschildi")
**** Silky Cuscus ("Phalanger sericeus")
**** Stein's Cuscus ("Phalanger vestitus")
*** Genus "Spilocuscus"
**** Admiralty Island Cuscus ("Spilocuscus kraemeri")
**** Common Spotted Cuscus ("Spilocuscus maculatus")
**** Waigeou Cuscus ("Spilocuscus papuensis")
**** Black-spotted Cuscus ("Spilocuscus rufoniger")
**** Blue-eyed Spotted Cuscus ("Spilocuscus wilsoni")
** Tribe Trichosurini
*** Genus "Strigocuscus"
**** Sulawesi Dwarf Cuscus ("Strigocuscus celebensis")
**** Banggai Cuscus ("Strigocuscus pelegensis")
*** Genus "Trichosurus"
**** Northern Brushtail Possum ("Trichosurus arnhemensis")
**** Short-eared Possum ("Trichosurus caninus")
**** Mountain Brushtail Possum ("Trichosurus cunninghami")
**** Coppery Brushtail Possum ("Trichosurus johnstonii")
**** Common Brushtail Possum ("Trichosurus vulpecula")
*** Genus "Wyulda"
**** Scaly-tailed Possum ("Wyulda squamicaudata")


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