Onychogalea lunata Gould, 1841:93

Crescent nail-tail wallaby, Lunated nailtail wallaby, Crescent wallaby (archaic) (Ogilby, 1892:47; Lucas & Le Souëf, 1909:78), Crescent-marked wallaby (Wood Jones, 1924:232), Crescent marked kangaroo (Waterhouse, 1841:203), Crescent-marked kangaroo (Gray, 1843:88), wurrine, wurrung, worong, Tjawalpa, kurnda (Barngarla (Eyre Peninsula), Narunga & Kaurna (Adelaide); Tunbridge, 1991:27,28), kunda (Kaurna (Adelaide); Teichelmann & Schürmann, 1840), kunna (Barngarla (Eyre Peninsula); Schürmann, 1844), urnda (Yura Ngawarla; Tunbridge, 1991:59-61), gurnda (Ngadjuri; Tunbridge, 1991:61)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Macropus lunatus Gould, 1841:93 (basionym); Onychogale lunata Gould, 1841:93 (used by Lucas & Le Souëf, 1909:78)


Frith & Callaby (1969) suggested that O. lunata is synonymous with O. unguifera. This has not been accepted by any other author/s.


Conservation Status


Last record: 1930 (Thornback & Jenkins, 1982); early 1950's (Burbidge & Johnson, 2008); 1956 (Finlayson, 1961; Johnson, 2006:169; Fisher & Blomberg, 2012; Lee et al., 2017); 1964 (Ride, 1970)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


This species was apparently last reported near Warburton, Western Australia in 1964 (Ride, 1970), although this has never been independently confirmed. A similar report from the Northern Territory in 1956 also exists (Finlayson, 1961), which similarly has never been corroborated (Endangered Species Committee, 1983).

The last generally accepted records are from the early 1950's (i.e. pre-1955) (Burbidge & Johnson, 2008). However, Burbidge and Fuller (1979) list several specimens which may have been of individuals which survived until 1960 or later.

"Finlayson records an animal being killed in Central Australia between the Tarlton and Jervois Ranges in 1956, and [W. H.] Butler found the remains of one in 1964 near the Warburton Range, Western Australia. The specimen appeared to have been killed by a Fox some short time previously."

(Ride, 1970:198)


Last records in each state:

New South Wales (1857)

South Australia (1891)

Northern Territory (early 1950's?)

Western Australia (1964?)



New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia & Western Australia, Australia

Type locality: "W coast of Australia" (Callaby & Richardson, 1988:73)


Anatomy & Morphology

Body mass: 3500gm (Johnson, 2006:169).


Biology & Ecology

"Ecology: temperate, open woodland, noctidiurnal, terrestrial, folivore."

(Callaby & Richardson, 1988:73)



Holotype: BMNH 1841.1131 (male; skin & damaged skull without mandible) (Callaby & Richardson, 1988:73)


Western Australian Museum, Perth:

WAM 5239 (now WAM 76.6.28; mandiublar fragment) (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 5688 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 5689 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 16466 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 16467 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 16468 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 16469 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 16470 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 16471 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 16472 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)

WAM 63.1.30 (Kitchener & Vicker, 1981:67)


Merseyside County Museums, Liverpool:

MCM D215a (Fisher, 1984:209)


Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali of Torino, Italy

MZUT T520 (796) (mount; unsexed adult) (Ghiraldi et al., 2021)






Original scientific description:

Gould, John. (1841). On five new species of kangaroos. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1840: 92-94.


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