Abstract

Myrmecobius fasciatus Waterhouse, 1836, is a small to medium-sized dasyuromorph marsupial known as the numbat. M. fasciatus is unusual among marsupials in that it is diurnal and feeds exclusively on termites, and it has a number of characteristic adaptations associated with this specialized niche. M. fasciatus has at least 8 postcanine teeth in the lower jaw; the dentition is variable between individuals and even between the 2 sides of the jaw of the same individual. Although widespread throughout southern Australia at the time of European settlement, M. fasciatus is currently restricted to 2 naturally occurring populations in the southwestern portion of Western Australia, and some additional populations within its historic range resulting from successful reintroductions. It is currently listed as “Endangered.”

Author notes

Associate editor of this account was Jamie M. Harris. Editor was Meredith J. Hamilton.