Pseudocheirus peregrinus (PSEUDOCHEIRIDAE) Common Ringtail Possum


A possum about half the size of a cat (between 550 g and 1100 g) and body length measuring 350 mm with a 350 mm tail. It has rusty-brown sides, white belly, white tipped, short-haired tail. Found in rainforests, scrubby woodlands, eucalypt forests, coastal scrub and suburban gardens. It makes a nest called a drey out of twigs and leaves. Lives in trees and does not often come to the ground, usually feeding in the treetops or in thick bushes. Sometimes found in the roof cavities of Brisbane houses. Up to four young each year, often born in winter. Some mothers raise two litters over a breeding season (May to December). They can live up to six years in the wild. Highly sociable, they live in family groups — possibly a male, one or two females and juveniles from the previous year. 

Less noisy than the brushtail, still very vocal – a soft, high-pitched twittering call. In their natural environment they eat leaves, flower buds and fruits of Australian native trees and bushes. They also eat flowers—rosebuds are a favourite. One of only a few marsupials able to feed on eucalypt leaves. While on the ground they are prey to dingoes, goannas, quolls and foxes. Also under threat due to increased human activity — deaths are caused by power lines, cars and domestic animals. 

Photo: Derek Boddington