Green Wednesday: The Kultarr!!

on 05 Sep 2012 

The Kultarr (Antechinomys laniger), also known as the Jerboa-marsupial, the Jerboa Pouched-mouse, the Wuhl-wuhl or the Pitchi-pitchi, is a member of the Dasyuromorphia order. It is the only species in the Antechinomys genus. Native to central and southern Australia, it lives in a range of habitats including scattered woodland and scrubby semidesert.  The Kultarr usually measures 7-10cm, with a 10-15cm tail. It weighs 20-30g; males are larger and heavier than females. The most distinctive features are the large four-toed hind legs, enabling a hopping motion, and prominent ears. It is coloured fawn grey to sandy brown above, with a white chest and darker eye-ring.

The Kultarr is a solitary carnivore, feeding mostly on terrestrial invertebrates including cockroaches, spiders and crickets. Mating occurs in winter and spring, with young being born around August-November. The species nests in soil cracks or utilises abandoned burrows of other species.  The Kultarr is an uncommon species found throughout much of arid Australia, although its range has decreased in recent years.  Isolated populations at Cedar Bay in Queensland and in southern New South Wales are believed to be extinct.

Kultarrs are found in arid gibber plains, claypans and sandy desert; isolated populations have inhabitated salt marsh.  A dead Kultarr was found on Naree!