Named after the son of one of its describers (2) (3), Rory’s pseudantechinus (Pseudantechinus roryi) is a carnivorous marsupial (4) found in Western Australia (1) (2) (5) (6). As in other marsupials, the female has a well-defined pouch in which to carry its young. In this species, the female has a total of six teats (2).
Also known as the tan false antechinus (6) (7), Rory’s pseudantechinus has reddish-brown fur on its back. In fact, ‘Rory’ is Gaelic for ‘red’, and this particular species tends to show a brighter reddish-brown colouration than other species within its genus. Rory’s pseudantechinus has dark guard hairs, and it has whitish fur on its underparts and on the upper surface of its hands and feet. Its face and cheeks have a more grizzled appearance, and a bright orange patch can be seen behind each ear (2).
In other Pseudantechinus species, the tail is very thick at the base, as it is used for fat storage (8). Rory’s pseudantechinus has a bicoloured tail, with tan, dark-tipped hairs on the upper surface, and paler, whitish hairs underneath (2).
This species was originally thought to be the fat-tailed pseudantechinus (Pseudantechinus macdonnellensis) before being described as a species in its own right (2). Recent genetic research indicates that the current population of Rory’s pseudantechinus could contain up to three separate species, one of which is thought to reside on Barrow Island, and another in the Cape Range (1).
- Male snout-vent length: 8.3 - 9.0 cm (2)
- Female snout-vent length: 7.7 - 9.0 cm (2)
- Tail length: 6.6 - 8.8 cm (2)