#CreatureFeature – Pseudantechinus woolleyae (Woolley’s False Antechinus)

After recent images were captured of Woolley’s False Antechinus in the Hughes Block remnant in Perenjori, you may find yourself keen to learn more about this rarely-seen creature!

Citizen science volunteers Nic Dunlop and Alison Goundrey were elated to find their motion-sensitive camera had captured images of woolleyae while monitoring the Hughes Block remnant, a listed Threatened Ecological Community. You can read more about their success here!

Pseudantechinus woolleyae, also known as Woolley’s fake antechinus or Woolley’s pseudantechinus was recognised as its own species in 1988, after long being categorised with Pseudantechinus macdonnellensis. Since its distinction 30 years ago, wolleyae has remained something of an enigma, so rarely sighted that it has not been allocated a common name, and any studies conducted are very limited.

A small carnivorous marsupial, Woolleyae is a member of the Dasyuridae family, and is primarily found in the Pilbara, Ashburton and Murchison regions of Western Australia. They inhabit arid regions, and prefer habitat consisting of rocky hillsides with vegetation like acacia grass and spinifex grass.

Woolley’s false antechinus are brown in colour. The top of their body, like their back and head are a rich brown colour, and lighter toward the underneath of their body. Behind the ears, their coat is chestnut in colour, and the tail is flat in shape.

Woolleyae is a seasonal breeder, with a breeding life of two or more years. Their offspring are born from around late July to early October, and are sexually mature by approximately 7-10 months of age. It is predicted that both males and females have the capacity to breed during more than one year.

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