Saturday, 5 July 2008

Tasmanian Echidna

The Tasmanian Echidna was once considered a separate species but is now placed as a subspecies, T. aculeatus setosus. This subspecies is larger than it's mainland cousins and also has fewer and shorter spines . Often the spines do not protrude above the fur. Colour can range from honey brown through to an almost black form which is found in some areas of the west coast. While in warmer parts of Australia it is considered to be nocturnal, here in Tasmania, particularly on cooler days, it can often be seen foraging during the day.
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Monotremata
  • Family: Tachyglossidae
  • Genus/species: Tachyglossus aculeatus
  • Subspecies: setosus

Echidna in the dunes at Preminghana

Echidna at Welcome River showing only a few spines.

An Echidna in my backyard digging in.

The same echidna later in the day

Digging in again - It's getting dark here so picture quality of low but I liked the way it looked up to see if I was still there.


  1. It's so cute! It's little prickly spines, tee hee!

  2. Very nice image, especially the last one. As you say, it is cute they way it has popped its head up to check you out. But I also like the way the spines form an "arch" - when viewed from the front. It could have been the model for the Sydney Harbour bridge.


  3. I love the way they try to go to ground when they know they've been seen!

    I probably won't see any here till around late September/October. I usually see them when I don't have my camera! :-(

  4. I learned something from this post Alan, interesting to see the relative lack of spikes in the sub species. The echidna is one of my favourites, they seem to be doing well on the mainland, at least around here, we often see them poking around.

  5. Thank you all for your comments. Echidna's are a bit of a prickly subject but someone had to raise it :-)