The swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus
) is a similar weight to its relative, the dusky antechinus
, but is distinguished by its slightly shorter snout.The fur is brown in appearance, with lighter shades on the underneath of the animal
Distribution and habitat
The species is relatively common throughout wet buttongrass moorland and coastal heath through Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands. A subspecies, A. m. maritimus,
also occurs in the far south eastern coastal margin of mainland Australia, where its habitat is being rapidly destroyed.
The swamp antechinus is most active at dusk, although it does regularly forage during the day. Its diet includes insects, lizards, worms and spiders. The species is solitary.
As in the dusky antechinus
, copulation occurs during a short season in winter, followed by the die-off of almost all males in the population. During the breeding season, the female develops a shallow, pouch-like fold in the mammary area.
The female gives birth after a four week gestation period. Six young are born (there are six teats in the pouch) and are carried in the pouch for up to eight weeks. Young are then left in a den before becoming independent at about three months.