Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Dasyuromorphia > Myrmecobiidae > Myrmecobius > Myrmecobius fasciatus

Myrmecobius fasciatus (Numbat; banded anteater)

Wikipedia Abstract

The numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), also known as the banded anteater, marsupial anteater, or walpurti, is a marsupial found in Western Australia. Its diet consists almost exclusively of termites. Once widespread across southern Australia, its range is now restricted to several small colonies, and it is listed as an endangered species. The numbat is an emblem of Western Australia and protected by conservation programs.
View Wikipedia Record: Myrmecobius fasciatus


Endangered Species

Status: Endangered
View IUCN Record: Myrmecobius fasciatus

EDGE Analysis

The numbat is a highly distinctive carnivorous marsupial. It is not closely related to any living marsupial (one of its closest relatives is the now extinct thylacine or Tasmanian tiger), lacks a pouch, and is one of only two marsupials to be active exclusively during the day. It is also the only marsupial to feed strictly on social insects: individuals suck up around 20,000 termites a day with their long, sticky tongues. Once widespread across Australia, the species is now extinct in over 99% of its former range, primarily as a result of introduction of foxes by European settlers and changes in fire regimes. Extensive conservation efforts are underway to save the two remaining natural populations, while conservation breeding and reintroduction programmes have succeeded in establishing six populations in areas of the numbat’s former range.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 30.5
EDGE Score: 5.53
View EDGE Record: Myrmecobius fasciatus


Adult Weight [1]  1.041 lbs (472 g)
Diet [2]  Carnivore (Invertebrates)
Diet - Invertibrates [2]  100 %
Forages - Ground [2]  100 %
Gestation [1]  14 days
Litter Size [1]  4
Litters / Year [3]  1
Maximum Longevity [1]  11 years
Weaning [1]  8 months 3 days


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Southwest Australia savanna Australia Australasia Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub
Southwest Australia woodlands Australia Australasia Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Dragon Rocks Nature Reserve 79568 Western Australia, Australia      
Tone-Perup Nature Reserve 138231 Western Australia, Australia      

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Southwest Australia Australia Yes

Emblem of

Western Australia

Prey / Diet

Amitermes obeuntis[3]
Coptotermes acinaciformis[3]



Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Perth Zoological Gardens

Range Map



External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
3Myrmecobius fasciatus (Dasyuromorphia: Myrmecobiidae), CHRISTINE ELIZABETH COOPER, MAMMALIAN SPECIES 43(881):129–140 (2011)
4Species Interactions of Australia Database, Atlas of Living Australia, Version ala-csv-2012-11-19
5Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
6International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Le Saout, S., Hoffmann, M., Shi, Y., Hughes, A., Bernard, C., Brooks, T.M., Bertzky, B., Butchart, S.H.M., Stuart, S.N., Badman, T. & Rodrigues, A.S.L. (2013) Protected areas and effective biodiversity conservation. Science, 342, 803–805
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License