General Description

Body fur colour variable. In southern and eastern Australia, the body fur is usually silver-grey above and white-cream underneath. In Tasmania, the body fur is much more woolly and almost black. In the northern tropics of Western Australia and Northern Territory, the body fur is rufous, buff with cream underparts. In the upland rainforest of northeast Queensland, the body fur is copper-coloured. Tail prehensile, thick and black. Black marking around the eyes and nose. Body up to 55 cm; tail up to 40 cm. Call a deep guttural cough.


Common Brushtail Possums feed on a variety of plants, leaves, fruits and flowers, sometimes also taking nestling birds. They are mostly active at night. They sleep in tree hollows or similar protected nooks, including the ceilings of buildings. In New Zealand they are an introduced pest species. A subspecies in Central Australia (Trichosurus vulpecula vulpecula) is listed as Endangered in the Northern Territory.


Mainland Australia and Tasmania. Introduced to New Zealand.


Open dry eucalypt forest, woodlands, suburban areas.

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