Numbat Myrmecobius fasciatus

Type of Animal:

Eucalypt-dominated areas, woodlands, forests, spinifex sandplains, open areas near shrub cover, spinifex grassland, semiarid/arid grassland, shrubland, sand dune terrain, Mediterranean scrub, savanna, desert

Once found throughout southern Australia, from Western Australia to W New South Wales. Now only found in small pockets of former range.

Small creature w/ noticeable long bushy tail, soft gray to reddish-brown to rusty orange coloration w/ prominent striping on back, finely pointed snout, small round-tipped ears, & cream/light gray underside

Termites & ants

Status in Wild:

Reintroductions into areas of former range. Numbat Recovery Team established in 1993. Perth Zoo established breeding/reintroduction program in 1987 (only zoo in world captive breeding numbats).


Additional Info:

Young: Joey
Group: Solitary
Male: 0.89-1.65 lbs
Female: 0.45-1.425 lbs

2 weeks 

Life Span:
5 years

Male: 7 in
Female: 5 in

Body Length:
Male: 8.7-11.4 in
Female: 7.9-10.5 in
Young: 3 in

Tail Length:
4.7-8.2 in, same for both sexes

Main predators are foxes, cats, dingos, dogs, predatory birds, snakes, & monitor lizards.
Endangered due to habitat fragmentation/loss & introduced predators (cats/foxes/dogs).
Active during the day (diurnal).
Also called noombat, walpurti, banded anteater, & marsupial anteater.
Breed in February & March, w/ females producing 1 litter averaging 4 joeys a year.
Primarily uses scent to find food.
Highest visual acuity of any marsupial.
Numbat joeys stay attached to mom for 5-6 months & leave mom at 10-12 months old.
Burrows/logs/tree hollows very important to these animals.
Only member of family Myrmecobiidae.
These animals less active in cooler months, sometimes sleeping for 15 hours a day.
Strong-clawed forefeet come in handy for digging.
Long sticky tongues come in handy for eating termites.
Females mature at a year old, males mature at 2 years old.

Fun Fact(s):
They can run almost 20 mph if disturbed.
Faunal emblem of Western Australia.
These marsupials can easily eat 20,000 termites a day.
Only marsupial known to lack pouch, w/ joeys fusing to nipples & clinging to mom.
1st became known to Europeans in 1831.

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