Spot-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus
maculatus): is also known as the Tiger Quoll or Tiger Cat and is a
carnivorous marsupial*. The total length of adults (from tip of nose to anus)
varies between 350 to 750 millimetres. The tail length is 350-550 millimetres.
Legs are short, fur is thick and coarse, dark brown above with bold white
spots on body, legs and tail. Under parts are pale, yellowish grey.
Tiger Quolls have a vocabulary that ranges from deep hissing to startling
screeches. The species was widespread but is now sparsely distributed, on the
Australian mainland, from central Queensland to southwest Victoria.
Fortunately Tiger Quolls are common in Tasmania. There is also an isolated
population in northern Queensland.
Tiger Quolls are solitary, mostly nocturnal and will sometimes climb trees.
Their dens are in hollow logs, tree hollows, and rock crevices and sometimes
under buildings. Their natural diet consists of small mammals, birds and large
arthropods** feature in. Noisy mating occurs between April and August.
The Tiger Quoll in the photograph lives in New England National
Park, east of
Armidale. The Park supports a healthy Tiger Quoll population. Because there is
accommodation, in the Park, the Tiger Quolls have become used to visitors and
will scavenge in their rubbish. The illustrated Quoll came to visit whilst we
were sitting around a campfire. It was cautious but not frightened of human
We lived and worked in New England National Park many years ago. Tiger Quolls
lived under our house and we had first hand experience of their loud,
unearthly screeching during the mating season.
*Marsupial: a mammal whose
young are born at a very early development stage. The young attach permanently
to a teat (with or without a protective pouch) until almost weaned.
**Arthropods: animals with
segmented bodies, external skeletons and many, jointed legs, includes insects,
spiders, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions and crustaceans.
Much of this information was
gleaned from: A Field Guide to the
Mammals of Australia by Peter Menkhorst & Frank Knight. Published by
Oxford University Press.