Bettongia penicillata penicillata Gray, 1837:584

Brush-tailed bettong, Woylie, Brush-tailed rat-kangaroo, Pencil-tailed bettong (Krefft, 1866:20), Brush-tailed hypsiprymnus (Waterhouse, 1841:183), pattuck (Murray-Darling aboriginals) (Krefft, 1866:20), Tufted-tailed rat-kangaroo (Waterhouse, 1846:212)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Bettongia penicillata Gray, 1837:584; Hypsiprymnus penicillatus Gray, 1837:584; Bettongia penicillata francisca Finlayson, 1957:552


Conservation Status


Last record: c.1900 or later; between 1920's and 1971 (St. Francis Island) (Maxwell et al. 1996); c.1961-1963 (Great Sandy and Tanami Deserts) (Burbidge et al., 1988:22); 1980's (unconfirmed reports) (Eyre Peninsula) (Maxwell et al., 1996)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia (including St. Francis Island), Victoria & Western Australia, Australia


Biology & Ecology










Some of the literature here, from south-west WA probably refers to B. p. ogilbyi and needs to be expunged.

Abbott, Ian. (2001). Aboriginal names of mammals species in south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3(4): 433-486. [some of the names refer to this subspecies?; you may need to manually search their database for this paper]

Abbott, Ian. (2008). Historical perspectives of the ecology of some conspicuous vertebrate species in south-west Western Australia. Conservation Science W. Aust. 6(3): 1-214.

"An Old Bushman" [Morton, William Lockhart]. (1861). Notes of a tour in the Wimmera District. The Yoeman, and Australian Acclimatizer 1. ["kangaroo rat" might refer to this species (Bennett et al. 2006)]

Anonymous. (1964). A preliminary list of rare mammals including those believed to be rare but concerning which detailed information is still lacking. IUCN Bulletin 11(Special Supplement): 4 pp.

Anonymous. (1977). Terrestrial native mammals of Western Australia. S.W.A.N.S. 7(1): 7-8. [a mere listing as being native to WA]

Anonymous. (1970). Kangaroos & wallabies facing extinction. S.W.A.N.S. 1(2): 11.

Bennett, Andrew F., Lumsden, L. F. and Menkhorst, Peter W. (1989). Mammals of the mallee region of south-eastern Australia, pp. 191-220. In: Noble, J. and Bradstock, R. (eds.). Mediterranean Landscapes in Australia: Mallee Ecosytems and Their Management. CSIRO. [relevant citation?]

Bennett, Andrew F., Lumsden, Linda F. and Menkhorst, Peter W. (2006). Mammals of the Mallee Region, Victoria: past, present and future. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 118(2): 259-280.

Burbidge, Andrew A. and Fuller, Phillip J. (1984). Finding out about Desert Mammals. S.W.A.N.S. 14(1): 9-13.

Andrew A. Burbidge; Ken A. Johnson; Phillip J. Fuller, and R. I. Southgate. (1988). Aboriginal Knowledge of the Mammals of the Central Deserts of Australia. Aust. Wildl. Res. 15: 9-39.

Butler, W. H. and Merrilees, D. (1971). Remains of Potorous platyops (Marsupialia, Macropodidae) and other mammals from Bremer Bay, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 54(2): 53-58.

Christensen, P. (1995). Brush-tailed Bettong, Bettongia penicillata, pp. 292-293. In: Strahan, Ronald (ed.). The Mammals of Australia. Chatswood, N.S.W.: Reed Books. 756 pp.

Finlayson, Hedley Herbert. (1958). On Central Australian mammals (with notice of related species from adjacent tracts). Part III - The Potorinae. Rec. S. Aust. Mus. 13: 235-302.

Glauert, Ludwig. (1933). The distribution of the marsupials in Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 19: 17-32.

Henry-Hall, N.J. (1990). Nature conservation reserves in the Eastern Goldfields, Western Australia (southern two-thirds of CTRC System 11). Unpublished report submitted to the EPA Red Book Task Force. Environmental Protection Authority, Perth, Western Australia. [Appendix 13]

Hoser, Raymond T. (1991). Endangered Animals of Australia. Mosman, NSW: Pierson & Co. 240 pp. [pp. 202-203]

Iredale, Tom and Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1934). A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: i-xii, 1-122.

Jackson, Stephen and Groves, Colin. (2015). Taxonomy of Australian Mammals. Clayton South, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. 529 pp. [p. 136-137]

Janis, Christine M. (1990). Correlation of cranial and dental variables with dietary preferences in mammals: a comparison of macropodoids and ungulates. Mem. Qd. Mus. 28(1): 349-366.

Joslin, Paul and Maryanka, Daphne. (1968). Endangered Mammals of the World: Report on Status and Action Treatment. IUCN Publications, New Series, Supplementary Paper No. 13: 34 pp.

Krefft, Gerard. (1864). Catalogue of mammalia in the collection of the Australian Museum. Sydney.

Krefft, Gerard. (1866). On the vertebrated animals of the lower Murray and Darling, their habits, economy, and geographical distribution. Transactions of the Philosophical Society of New South Wales 1862-1865: 1-33.

Krefft, Gerard. (1871). The Mammals of Australia, Illustrated by Harriett Scott and Helena Forde for the Council of Education ; With a Short Account of All the Species Hitherto Described. Sydney: Thomas Richards, Government Printer.

Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A.A. and Morris, K. 1996. The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Australasian Marsupial and Monotreme Specialist Group, IUCN Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland.

Menkhorst, Peter W. (2009). Blandowski’s mammals: Clues to a lost world. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 121(1): 61-89.

Menkhorst, Peter W. and Beardsell, C. M. (1982). Mammals of southwestern Victoria from the Little Desert to the coast. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 94: 221-247. [relevant citation?]

Monks, Carly Elizabeth. (2018). Fire and Fauna: Investigating Aboriginal land management in the Northern Sawn Coastal Plain, Western Australia. BA (Hons) thesis, School of Social Sciences, Archaeology, The University of Western Australia. xvii + 346 pp.

Ogilby, J. Douglas. (1892). Catalogue of Australian Mammals, with Introductory Notes on General Mammalogy. Australian Museum, Sydney: Catalogue No. 16: viii + 142 pp.

Pledge, Neville S. (1990). The Upper Fossil Fauna of the Henschke Fossil Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum (Proceedings of the De Vis Symposium) 28(1): 247-262.

Ride, W. D. L. (1970). A Guide to the Native Mammals of Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Scott, Peter (ed.). (1965). Preliminary List of Rare Mammals and Birds, pp. 155-237. In: The Launching of a New Ark. First Report of the President and Trustees of the World Wildlife Fund. An International Foundation for saving the world's wildlife and wild places 1961-1964. London: Collins.

Sharman G.B., Murtagh C.E. and Weaver C.M. 1980. The chromosomes of a Rat-kangaroo attributable to Bettongia tropica (Marsupalia: Macropodidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 28, 59-63.

Thomas, Oldfield. (1888). Catalogue of the Marsupialia and Monotremata in the collection of the British Museum (Natural History). London: British Museum (Natural History). xiii + 401 pp, including 33 pls.

Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1943). The kangaroo family. Rat Kangaroos, 2. The Australian Museum Magazine 8(6): 204-207.

Wakefield, Norman A. (1966). Mammals of the Blandowski Expedition to north-western Victoria, 1856–57. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 79(2): 371-391.

Wakefield, Norman A. (1967). Some taxonomic revision in the Australian marsupial genus Bettongia (Macropodidae), with description of a new species. Vict. Nat. 84: 8-22.

Waterhouse, George Robert. (1841). Marsupialia, or Pouched Animals (Mammalia, vol. XI). In: Jardine, William (ser. ed.). The Naturalist's Library (vol. XXIV). Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars / London: Henry G. Bohn. xvi + 324 pp.

Waterhouse, George Robert. (1846). A Natural History of the Mammalia. Volume 1, Containing the Order Marsupiata or Pouched Animals. London: Hippolyte Baillière. 553 pp + 20 pls.

Wayne, A., Friend, T., Burbidge, A., Morris, K. & van Weenen, J. (2008). Bettongia penicillata. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 14 October 2012.

Wood Jones, Frederic. (1924). The Mammals of South Australia. Part II. The Bandicoots and the Herbivorous Marsupials (the Syndactylous Didelphia). (Government Printer, Adelaide, SA, Australia).


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