A nocturnal marsupial which uses its elongated fourth finger and large incisors to extract grubs from under tree bark. Like a skunk, it also emits a distinctive odour.
25-27cm long, with a tail 31-34cm long; weighs 245-390g
A distinctive marsupial possum, with striking black and white stripes running along its body. Its long tail is black on top and white underneath, with a white tip, its ears are rounded and pink, and it has black patches around its eyes. Its fourth finger on each hand is longer than the others, used for winkling grubs out of holes just like that of the Madagascan aye-aye. It also has large forward-pointing incisors, which it uses to chisel away at tree bark.
Northern Queensland and lowland New Guinea
Tropical lowland rainforests.
Social and other wood-boring insects, with occasional fruits, leaves and honey.
Striped possums are nocturnal, and appear to live mainly solitary lives, with females being dominant and agressive to males except when they are sexually receptive. They forage amongst the branches for insect grubs, which they then chisel out of the wood using their front teeth and elongated fourth finger. They are very noisy when feeding. During the day, the animals sleep in individual nests.
The young are carried in the pouch for about 2 months, before being ejected into the mother's nest. Its breeding habits are otherwise little known.
Vocalisations are reported at dawn, and there are a number of hisses and growls used as distress calls.