Perameles nasutalong-nosed bandicoot

Last updated:

Geographic Range

Long-nosed bandicoots are found on the east coast of Australia from Wilson's Promontory north to just South of Cooktown, with discontinuous populations being found further north. Historically this species maintained a similar geographic range. (Lunney, et al., 2012; Price, 2005)

Habitat

Long-nosed bandicoots are found in a wide variety of habitats such as open, scrub brush, forest, heath, swamp, and urban settings. (Chambers and Dickman, 2002)

  • Range elevation
    0 to 1400 m
    0.00 to 4593.18 ft
  • Average elevation
    <1000 m
    ft

Physical Description

Long-nosed bandicoots are marsupials with reddish brown to sandy colored pelage. They have underbellies of white to cream, with a rear facing marsupium and 8 nipples. They have an elongated rostrum and a large and slightly cleft upper lip. The rear legs are about 2 inches longer than the front legs. They have 5 toes on the front with the 1st and 5th digit being diminished. The rear feet are syndactyl, with the 1st digit being diminished. Male skull length is 82.99 +/- 0.73 mm and female skull length is 79.11 +/- 0.4 mm, they have 48 teeth with a dental formula of 5/3, 1/1, 3/3, 4/4. The average overall length is 50.8 cm with a tail length of 15.24 cm. They exhibit sexual dimorphism, with males averaging 897 g and females averaging 706 g. ("AnAge entry for Perameles nasuta", 2001; Grant, 1832; Lyne, 1982)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • male larger
  • Range mass
    706 to 897 g
    24.88 to 31.61 oz
  • Average length
    50.8 mm
    2.00 in
  • Average basal metabolic rate
    0.002733 W/g cm3.O2/g/hr
  • Average basal metabolic rate
    1.763 W
    AnAge

Reproduction

Little is known about breeding behavior in the wild but it has been observed in penned enclosures. In enclosures the mating process starts with the male following the female for a period of a few hours and then is terminated by a period of less than an hour in which multiple copulations take place, with each interaction lasting only a few seconds. (Lyne, 1964; Rose, et al., 1997; Stodart, 1966; Thompson, 1987)

The female will only mate with one male per reproductive period and typically will not become reproductively active until after the young are weaned. Females have an average of 4 litters per year with a 66 day interval between birth and weaning. ("AnAge entry for Perameles nasuta", 2001; Lyne, 1964; Rose, et al., 1997; Scott, et al., 1999; Stodart, 1966; Thompson, 1987)

  • Breeding interval
    Long-nosed bandicoots have an inter-litter interval of 53 days.
  • Breeding season
    Breeding occurs year round in long-nosed bandicoots.
  • Average number of offspring
    2.44
  • Average number of offspring
    2.7
    AnAge
  • Average gestation period
    12.5 days
  • Average gestation period
    12 days
    AnAge
  • Average weaning age
    63.5 days
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    3 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    Sex: female
    135 days
    AnAge
  • Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    4 to 6 months

In long-nosed bandicoots, males are only associate with females during mating periods. This results in the female providing all pre-natal and post-natal care for the offspring. Upon birth, after a 12.5 day gestation period, the offspring continue development in the pouch almost to the point of weaning. Parental care ends before offspring reach maturity at 3 months. (Lyne and Hollis, 1976; Lyne, 1964; Scott, et al., 1999; Stodart, 1966)

  • Parental Investment
  • altricial
  • female parental care
  • pre-fertilization
    • provisioning
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • female
    • protecting
      • female
  • pre-independence
    • provisioning
      • female

Lifespan/Longevity

In captivity long-nosed bandicoots can live to be 5.6 years old. While there is not sufficient data on life span in the wild, in a study area in Sydney Harbor National Park, less than 58% of the mortality was attributed to animal-vehicular collision and greater than 37% was attributed to predation by non-native mammals (cats and fox). ("AnAge entry for Perameles nasuta", 2001; Scott, et al., 1999)

  • Range lifespan
    Status: captivity
    5.6 (high) years
  • Average lifespan
    Status: captivity
    5.6 years
    AnAge

Behavior

As nocturnal marsupials, long-nosed bandicoots spend the night hours foraging for invertebrates, small vertebrates, plant roots, and fungi. Their day time hours are primarily spent resting in burrows. They are primarily solitary animals and only have extensive interaction during breeding periods when females are receptive. (Lyne, 1964; Scott, et al., 1999; Stodart, 1966; Stodart, 1977)

  • Range territory size
    0.017 to 0.044 km^2

Home Range

Home range is different between sexes, with males having a range of 0.044 +/- 0.08 square kilometers and females having a home range of 0.017 +/- 0.002 square kilometers. (Scott, et al., 1999)

Communication and Perception

There is little direct data on how long-nosed bandicoots communicate, It is likely that they use visual, vocal, and or chemical forms of communication, as do most other mammals.

Food Habits

Long-nosed bandicoots are omnivores with a diet that consists of invertebrates, small vertebrates, plant roots, and fungi. In a study area in Sydney Harbor National Park, it was found that invertebrates consistently made up the largest portion of the diet. (Scott, et al., 1999)

  • Animal Foods
  • amphibians
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • roots and tubers
  • Other Foods
  • fungus

Predation

Long-nosed bandicoots are prey for a wide range of both native and non-native predators. The light brown pelage allows them to readily blend in to the environment to avoid predation and their nocturnal habits protect them to some extent from predation. (Chambers and Dickman, 2002; Scott, et al., 1999)

  • Anti-predator Adaptations
  • cryptic

Ecosystem Roles

Although omnivorous, long-nosed bandicoots prefer insect prey. This results in a large amount of soil disturbance as they dig for grubs and larvae, causing a significant impact on the soil ecosystem of eastern Australia. (Eldridge and James, 2009; Scott, et al., 1999)

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Due to the importance of insects in the diet of the long-nosed bandicoot they could potentially decrease insect pest populations. (Scott, et al., 1999)

  • Positive Impacts
  • controls pest population

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Due to their burrowing and digging behaviors, long-nosed bandicoots cause problems by digging in crop fields, gardens, and lawns. This earns them a reputation as a pest species. (Eldridge and James, 2009)

  • Negative Impacts
  • crop pest

Conservation Status

Due to their large range, adaptability to a variety of habitats, including urban ones, and omnivorous diet, long-nosed bandicoots are considered a species of least concern. (Lunney, et al., 2012)

Contributors

Ryan Adam (author), University of Alaska Fairbanks, Laura Prugh (editor), University of Alaska Fairbanks, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Australian

Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.

World Map

acoustic

uses sound to communicate

agricultural

living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.

altricial

young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

cryptic

having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females

fertilization

union of egg and spermatozoan

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

fossorial

Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.

iteroparous

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

nocturnal

active during the night

omnivore

an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals

polygynous

having more than one female as a mate at one time

rainforest

rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

scrub forest

scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.

sedentary

remains in the same area

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

soil aeration

digs and breaks up soil so air and water can get in

solitary

lives alone

suburban

living in residential areas on the outskirts of large cities or towns.

swamp

a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.

tactile

uses touch to communicate

terrestrial

Living on the ground.

tropical

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.

savanna

A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.

urban

living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.

visual

uses sight to communicate

viviparous

reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.

year-round breeding

breeding takes place throughout the year

References

2001. "AnAge entry for Perameles nasuta" (On-line). AnAge: The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database. Accessed December 09, 2014 at http://genomics.senescence.info/species/entry.php?species=Perameles_nasuta.

Burbidge, A., N. McKenzie. 1989. Patterns in the Modern Decline of Western Australia's Vertebrate Fauna: Causes and Conservation Implications. Biological Conservation, 50: 143-198.

Chambers, K., C. Dickman. 2002. Habitat selection of the long-nosed bandicoot, Perameles nasuta (Mammalia, Peramelidae), in a patchy urban environment. Austral Ecology, 27: 334-342.

Dexter, N., M. Hudson, R. Carter, C. Macgregor. 2011. Habitat-dependent population regulation in an irrupting population of long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta). Austral Ecology, 36: 745-754.

Eldridge, D., A. James. 2009. Soil-disturbance by native animals plays a critical role in maintaining healthy Australian landscapes. Ecological Management & Restoration, 10/1: s27-s34.

Grant, R. 1832. Observations on the anatomy of the Perameles nasuta, from New Holland. Memoirs of the Wernerian Natural History Society, 6: 184-202.

Lunney, D., C. Dickman, P. Menkhorst. 2012. "Perameles nasuta" (On-line). ICUN Red List. Accessed December 11, 2014 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/40554/0.

Lyne, A. 1982. Observations on skull and eruption of teeth in the marsupial bandicoots Perameles nausta (Marsupialia: Peramelidae).. Journal of the Australian Mammal Society, 5/2: 113-126.

Lyne, A. 1964. Observations on the breeding and growth of the marsupial Perameles nasuta geoffroy, with notes on other bandicoots. Australian Journal of Zoology, 12/3: 222-339.

Lyne, A., D. Hollis. 1976. Early embryology of the marsupials Isoodon macrourus and Perameles nasuta. Australian Journal of Zoology, 24/3: 361-382.

Price, G. 2005. FOSSIL BANDICOOTS (MARSUPIALIA, PERMELIDAE) AND ENVIORNMENTAL CHANGE DURING THE PLEISTOCENE ON THE DARLING DOWNS, SOUTHEASTERN QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 2/4: 347-356.

Rose, R., C. Nevison, A. Dixson. 1997. Testes weight, body weight and mating systems in marsupials and monotremes. Journal of Zoology, 243: 523-531.

Scott, L., I. Hume, C. Dickman. 1999. ). Ecology and population biology of long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta) at North Head, Sydney Harbour National Park. Wildlife Research, 26: 805-821.

Stodart, E. 1977. Breeding and behavior of Australian bandicoots. The Biology of Marsupials, 1: 179-191.

Stodart, E. 1966. Management and behvaiour of breeding groups of the marsupial Perameles nasuta Geoffroy in captivity. Australian Journal of Zoology, 14/4: 611-623.

Thompson, S. 1987. Body size, duration of parental care, and the intrinsic rate of natural increase in eutherian and metatherian mammals. Oecologia, 71/2: 201-209.