Collection Highlights | Updated 9 years ago

Comparison of the tales of two Dasycercus
Tails of the Dasycercus
Image copyright of WA Museum

The Mulgaras, of which there are two species, are voracious predators that feed on other smaller mammals and reptiles.

There has been a long history of confusion when classifying Mulgaras and only recently has there been confidence in identifying the two species.

Identification of the species has been greatly assisted by detailed genetic and morphological studies of museum specimens. The most distinguishing feature in identifying the two species of Mulgara is the crest of hair on the tail.

The Crest-tailed Mulgara Dasycercus cristicauda has a crest of long black hairs on the upper side of the distal end of the tail, while the Brush-tailed Mulgara Dasycercus blythi has a brush of black hairs along the final two thirds of the tail.

The two species also have a slightly different dental formation, which is difficult to observe in live animals, and the Brush-tailed Mulgara has six nipples while the Crest-tailed Mulgara has eight. Mulgaras are distributed through the arid regions of Western Australia where they live in short burrows. The Crest-tailed Mulgara is listed as Vulnerable.

Mammalogy (Mammals) Collection