Prey of the silver-headed antechinus (Antechinus argentus), a new species of Australian dasyurid marsupial
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The silver-headed antechinus (Antechinus argentus) is one of Australia’s most recently described mammals, and the single known population at Kroombit Tops in south-east Queensland is threatened. Nothing is known of the species’ ecology, so during 2014 we collected faecal pellets each month (March–September) from a population at the type locality to gather baseline data on diet composition. A total of 38 faecal pellets were collected from 12 individuals (eight females, four males) and microscopic analysis of pellets identified seven invertebrate orders, with 70% combined mean composition of beetles (Coleoptera: 38%) and cockroaches (Blattodea: 32%). Other orders that featured as prey were ants, crickets/grasshoppers, butterflies/moths, spiders, and true bugs. Given that faecal pellets could only be collected from a single habitat type (Eucalyptus montivaga high-altitude open forest) and location, this is best described as a generalist insectivorous diet that is characteristic of other previously studied congeners.