16 Types of Possums Found in Australia

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Australia is known for its various types of possum. The possum has a place with the mammalian request known as Didelphimorphia. The possum has a smooth and plush hide, which is utilized to make pads, covers, couch tosses, and garments in New Zealand where they are viewed as an irritation. It is said that possum hide is hotter than fleece. Possums in Australia anyway are ensured.

Australia is home to roughly twenty-three known types of possum, a considerable lot of which can be found in our neighborhood. There are two species that are known to attack private living arrangements around evening time and snarl on the housetops. These troublesome possums are known to move to rural housetops requiring professional possum removal to remove them.

In Australia and elsewhere, a group of possums is referred to as a passel. A male possum ‘Jack’, a female ‘Jill’, while a young one is called ‘Joey’.

1. Brushtail Possum

This possum belongs to the Phalangeridae family. Its Greek name is Trichosurus Vulpecular and means “the furry tailed little fox’. It is referred to as such due to its furry tail.

2. Ringtail Possum

Its Latin name is Pseudocherius Peregrinus which means “false hand pilgrim’. This particular possum can live in very different habitats. This is because it can feed on a diverse of vegetation, including herbs, fruits, and flowers.

3. Pygmy Possums

These are classified into five categories depending on their species.

  • Mountain Pygmy Possums (Burramys Parvus)

These are very small in size, weighing around 45 grams. However, the males have larger bodies compared to the females. Their length is about 5-12 cm.

  • Eastern Pygmy Possums (Cercartetus nanus)

This particular possum is found sparingly in Australia. It is a small rodent which weighs between 15-43 grams and is around 8-11 cm in length.

  • Western Pygmy Possums (Cercartetus Concinnus)

Also known as the southwestern possum, it is one of the larger pygmy possums. It grows up to around 7 cm long, as an adult.

  • Long Tailed Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus Caudatus)

This is the world’s smallest possum; it weighs only around 10 grams and grows up to 7.5 cm. It is found in South Australia in the Murray-Darring basin.

4. Honey Possum

Its scientific name is Tarsipes rostratus. This possum doesn’t feed on honey as its name suggests. Rather, it feeds on pollen and nectar.

5. The Mountain Brushtail Possum

Its scientific name is Trichosurus Cunningham. This possum is also referred to as Short-eared Possum due to short -round ears. It usually has grey fur on its top part and white fur underneath.

6. The Northern Brushtail Possum

The scientific name of the northern possum is Trichosurus arnhemensis. This Possum is usually smaller in size compared to the common brushtail. It is approximately 35-45cm in length, while the tail is around 30 cm long in an adult.

7. The Green-tail Possum

It is also known as Toolah or Striped Ringtail possum. This possum is mostly found in North Queensland and has thick fur which is soft and greenish and color. The greenish appearance is given by the combination of black, gray, yellow and white colors on its fur.

8. Scaly-Tailed Possum

This particular possum is found mostly in Kimberly, Western Australia, and Northwestern Australia. Its scientific name is Wyulda Squamicaudata.

9. Leadbeater’s Possum

Scientifically, it is referred to as Gymnobelideus Leadbeater. The Leadbeater was presumed to be extinct in 1939, after the black Friday fires.

10. Stripped Possum

It is scientifically known as Dactylopsila Trivirgata. This species is found in Townsville in Queensland. It is usually referred to as so because it blacks in color with three white stripes that run from its head to the tail. The white stripes usually form a Y’ shape on its head.

11. Herbert River Ringtail Possum

Scientifically, it is known as Pseudochirulus Herbertensis. They are also commonly referred to as the Mongan. There are two subtypes of this possum found in Kuranda south known as Pseudocheirus herbertensis herbertensis and the other found in Mt. Lewis North known as Pseudocheirus herbertensis cinereusI.

12. Lemuroid Ringtail Possum

This possum is also known as the lemur-like possum. Its scientific name is Hemibelideus lemuroides. This possum is also found in Queensland.

13. Coppery Brushtail Possum

The scientific name of this brushtail possum is Trichosurus johnstonii. It is found in the areas of the Atherton Tablelands. This possum’s favorite habitat is the rainforest.

14. Cinereus Ringtail Possum

This is also known as the Daintree river possum. Its scientific name is Pseudochirulus centres. It is commonly found in wet tropics of North Eastern Queensland. They can also be found along the road to Mt. Lewis Sanctuary.

15. Rock Ringtail Possum

It is also known as the rock-haunting ringtail possum. Its scientific name is Petropseudes dahli. This species is referred to as such because it is usually found in rocky escarpments.

16. Western Ringtail Possums

The western possum is scientifically known as Pseudocheirus occidentalis. This possum is commonly found in Western Australia. It is a mid-sized animal weighing around 700grams for an adult. It has a long tail with around 30 cm which is strongly prehensile to help to forage more effectively.

Are opossum and possum the same thing?

Many people are confused. Some think that the latter is just a shortened and silenced-o version of the first.

But no. These two animals are totally different, although both are marsupials.

Opossums are found in North America, while possums live in Australia and some other countries. Australian possums are more closely related to kangaroos which are also very common and popular in the country.

Are possums pests in Australia?

Depending on how you’d view it, possums can be considered as pests, especially the common brushtail possums species. 

It is important to keep in mind that killing a possum is strictly prohibited in Australia, although possum trapping for eviction in your residence is allowed in most parts of the country. 

Possums can bring in serious damage to your property. By chewing on electrical wiring, it may create a fire hazard and an expensive problem to fix. They may also carry smaller pests such as ticks and fleas in their fur. 

This animal also loves to munch vegetables and decorative plants, so if they manage to invade your garden, they could also cause a huge destruction.

Do Australian possums bite?

Much like other animals, possums will only attack or bite you once they feel threatened. Generally, these animals are docile. Even with other possums, they only stare at each other with erect ears to defend their territory. 

However, once they’re trapped, possums will defend themselves and might bite you or your dog to protect themselves.  

Take caution though since possums have sharp teeth!

How to get rid of possums?

Ideally, the best way to rid your residence of possums is to contact a team of trained individuals who can do possum removal services. 

The advantage of availing of possum pest control services like this is that possums can be handled safely in a way that doesn’t pose a higher threat to you and your family’s safety.

Since removing possums entail dealing with a live animal (and an untamed one at that), it is best to keep yourself out of trouble.

If you need possum removal services see the map above or simply call us at 0407 065 413.

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Call A1 Pest Control Canberra today for a consultation and to schedule an inspection of your property.

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