Conilurus albipes (Lichtenstein, 1829)

White-footed rabbit-rat, White-footed tree-rat, White-footed tree rat, White-footed hapalotis, White-footed jerboa-rat (Ogilby, 1892:114), White-footed jerboa rat (Lucas & Le Souëf, 1909:31), parroo (aboriginal) (Menkhorst & Dixon, 2023:406)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Hapalotis albipes Lichtenstein, 1829; Conylurus constructor Ogilby, 1837:208; Conilurus constructor Ogilby, 1837:208 [used by Krefft, 1864:64]


Conservation Status


Last record: 1845 (Johnson, 2006:169); 1860-1862 (Woinarski & Burbidge, 2016; Menkhorst & Dixon, 2023:406); c.1875 (Dickman et al., 1993); 1875 (Fisher & Blomberg, 2012; Lee et al., 2017); before 1939? (unconfirmed anecdotes; Flannery, 1990:70)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


The only modern record from Victoria was made in the Broadford area in 1839 (Parris, 1950; Wakefield, 1972:6). The species may have survived until 1875 (Dickman et al., 1993). Troughton (1957:310) states that "the beautiful and quite harmless species has apparently not been received or reported at any local museum for about fifty years", although this text was probably retained and carried over "as is" from the first edition of that work (the exact same text appears, wholly unmodified, in the 1973 edition of his work) so a more accurate last recorded date would be c.1891. According to (Flannery, 1990:70-71), Mr Norman Maher from Deniliquin (southern NSW) told of often encountering an animal roughly matching the description of the White-footed rabbit-rat prior to the outbreak of WWII. Accompanied by his terrier while rabbit hunting in a small area of woodland several kilometres north of Deniliquin, the animals would occupy hollow logs stuffed with nesting material to a depth of roughly 60cm.



South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales & Queensland, Australia

Type locality: "SE Australia (as Neuholland)" (Mahoney & Richardson, 1988:155)

Type locality (constructor): "southeastern Australia (as N.S.W.)" (Mahoney & Richardson, 1988:155)


Anatomy & Morphology

Body mass: 200gm (Johnson, 2006:169).


Biology & Ecology 

"Ecology: terrestrial, arboreal, nocturnal"

(Mahoney & Richardson, 1988:155)



Holotype: ZMB 1680 (skin & skull) (Mahoney & Richardson, 1988:155)

Lectotype (constructor): BMNH (skin)


Other specimens:

MV C7585 (Roycroft et al., 2021)

MV C7586 (Roycroft et al., 2021)


See Fisher (1984:210) for specimens held in the Merseyside County Museums



According to Flannery (1990:70), a painting from the Sydney region during the 1790's refers to this species, several decades prior to its scientific description.



Original scientific description:

Lichtenstein, H. (1829). Darstellung neuer oder wenig bekannter Säugethiere in Abbildungen und Beschreibungen von fünf und sechzig Arten auf funfzig colorirten Steindrucktafeln nach den Originalen des Zoologischen Museums der Universität zu Berlin. Hft 6. Berlin: C.G. Lüderitz.


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