Striped Possum: 10 Incredible Facts

striped possum wildlife habitat port douglas

The Striped Possum (Dactylopsila trivirgata) has to be one of Tropic North Queensland’s most adorable nocturnal critters. With a signature black and white striped pattern and a distinct bushy tail, this skunk-like possum is a must-see for any Marsupial lover.

Today we share ten incredible facts about the adorable striped possum.

1. The Striped Possum Only Occurs in North Queensland & New Guinea

In Australia, this tree-dwelling marsupial can be found North of Mount Spec to the tip of the Cape York Peninsula. The Striped Possum is more common in New Guinea.

2. It Is A Mini Insect Extractor

The Striped Possum is known to use its elongated fourth finger to extract wood boring insects from tree trunks. It is also know to use its fore-paws to tap on trunks to locate insect larvae.

It also has an incredibly long tongue that helps them to extract insects and nectar.

3. It Can Sound Like A Frog

Next time you hear croaking frogs in the rainforest, keep your eyes peeled for a Striped Possum! The mammals’ distress call is actually a series of 5-6 “croaks”.

4. Its Tail Is Longer Than Its Body

The average size of this possums body is 26cm, whilst its tail is a much longer 32cm.

rescued striped possum wildlife habitat port douglas
Our rescued Striped Possum Frankie in our Nocturnal Habitat

5. It Can Have An Unpleasant Odor

Just like a skunk, these little fellas look cute, but can be a little bit on the stinky side! Some scientists have suggested that this acts as an enemy deterrent.

6. Females Normally Have Two Young

The female has two nipples in her pouch and carries the young on her back after they have left the pouch.

7. They Row

Ok, so this one has nothing to do with boats! Striped possums are known to have a unique “rowing” motion in which it swings diagonally opposite limbs, which allows it to move easily throughout the trees.

8. They Are Intelligent

The Striped Possum has the biggest brain to body weight ratio of any marsupial!

9. They Spend Up To 9 Hours Foraging

They are most active at nighttime between around 10PM and 6AM.

rescued striped possum wildlife habitat port douglas
Our rescued Striped Possum Pepe. Sadly, he is blind in one eye and unable to return to the wild.

10. Wildlife Habitat Has 2 Rescued Striped Possums

Frankie and Pepe have both been rescued from the wild and live together in our brand new Nocturnal Habitat.

Frankie has limited vision in both eyes and Pepe is blind in one eye and has reduced vision in the other. Because of this, they are unable to return to the wild.

However, these newfound best buddies are loving their new home and den together in a nest box. They can regularly be seen grooming each other.

Ready to see this elusive and rare possum in action? See Striped Possums in our brand new Nocturnal Habitat. Book now.