The brush-tailed phascogale spends most of its time in trees, and rarely ventures down to the forest floor. Not surprisingly, it is an exceptional climber and capable of jumping up to two metres between trees (6).
Primarily active between dusk and dawn (6), the brush-tailed phascogale forages among the tree canopy, feeding on a variety of beetles, cockroaches, centipedes, spiders, ants and moths (2), which it extracts from crevices and under bark using its fingers. It also feeds on nectar from plants, and has even been known to catch and eat small birds and mammals (4) (6).
Female brush-tailed phascogales inhabit territories of approximately 20 to 60 hectares, which do not overlap with the territory of any other female. The larger territories of males can cover up to 100 hectares, and overlap with other male and female territories (6). Both sexes shelter and nest in tree hollows; these cavities are often lined with leaves, shredded bark and faeces, which serves to mark the phascogale’s territory (4).
The mating season of the brush-tailed phascogale lasts three weeks, between mid-May and July (2). Following mating, the gestation period lasts for 30 days, after which the female gives birth to a litter of three to eight young. After birth, the undeveloped young continue development in the ‘pouch’ of the female, which will have developed a fleshy rim that completely encloses the young. After seven weeks the young are moved to a nest and are weaned by three months old (2). The brush-tailed phascogale reaches adult size at around eight months old (3). While females may live up to three years of age, male brush-tailed phascogales have a much shorter lifespan, typically dying shortly after mating, before they are a year old (3).