Monday, 2 December 2013

Litter in the corner

I was putting some tools away in the shed when I heard a scratching coming from a box in which Christmas decorations were stored and I expected that I was going to find an Antechinus as they are almost impossible to keep out. However after removing all the contents, I found not just one but a mum (Antechinus stuartii stuartii) with her litter of six or seven young. They were not happy and the youngsters clung tightly to their mother as she looked for somewhere to hide. After the photo shoot I found a suitable box for them and moved them to a sheltered area out of the shed which I hope they consider it more suitable and do not find their way back to the shed.

They are cute little creatures but they are a bit of a nuisance since they consider making a nest inside a box or a drawer is much better than in a hollow log or amongst rocks. The female (there are no adult males at this stage as they all die after mating season) brings leaves and grasses into the spot she has chosen for a nest and builds a ball from the materials and when the young are about 5 weeks old she leaves them there whilst she goes hunting for beetles, coackroaches, spiders and other insects.

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