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The phascogales (members of the eponymous genus Phascogale), also known as wambengers or mousesacks,[1] are carnivorous Australian marsupials of the family Dasyuridae. There are three species: the brush-tailed phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa), the red-tailed phascogale (P. calura), and the northern brush-tailed phascogale (P. pirata). As with a number of dasyurid species, the males live for only one year, dying after a period of frenzied mating. The term Phascogale was coined in 1824 by Coenraad Jacob Temminck in reference to the brush-tailed phascogale, and means "pouched weasel". All three species are listed as either Near Threatened or Vulnerable by the IUCN.

Brush-tailed phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Dasyuromorphia
Family: Dasyuridae
Subfamily: Dasyurinae
Tribe: Phascogalini
Genus: Phascogale
Temminck, 1824
Type species
Didelphis penicillata
Shaw, 1800
(= Vivera tapoatafa, F. Meyer, 1793

See text


The following is a phylogenetic tree based on mitochondrial genome sequences:[2]


Thylacinus (thylacine) 

Myrmecobius (numbat) 

Sminthopsis (dunnarts) 

Phascogale (wambengers) 

Dasyurus (quolls) 


Captive P. calura

The genus consists of the following three species:

Life cycleEdit

Mating generally happens between May and July. All males die soon after mating. Females give birth to about 6 young ones about 30 days after mating. Phascogales do not have the true pouch that is found in most other marsupials [1][2]. Instead, they form temporary folds of skin - sometimes called a "pseudo-pouch" [3] around the mammary glands during pregnancy. Young stay in this pseudo-pouch area, nursing for about 7 weeks before being moved to a nest where they stay until they are weaned at about 20 weeks of age. Females live for about 3 years, and generally produce one litter.


  1. ^ A Hollow Victory - The Morabool News
  2. ^ Miller, W.; Drautz, D. I.; Janecka, J. E.; Lesk, A. M.; Ratan, A.; Tomsho, L. P.; Packard, M.; Zhang, Y.; McClellan, L. R.; Qi, J.; Zhao, F.; Gilbert, M. T. P.; Dalen, L.; Arsuaga, J. L.; Ericson, P. G.P.; Huson, D. H.; Helgen, K. M.; Murphy, W. J.; Gotherstrom, A.; Schuster, S. C. (February 2009). "The mitochondrial genome sequence of the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus)". Genome Res. 19 (2): 213–20. doi:10.1101/gr.082628.108. PMC 2652203. PMID 19139089.

External linksEdit

  • Brush-tailed Phascogale fact sheet: [4]. Also: [5]
  • Red-tailed Phascogale fact sheet: [6]. Also: [7]