As it is not immediately apparent from the context of Alan's posting below,
may I point out that my reference to a possum eating stinger leaves, was to
the common ringtail, Pseudocheirus peregrinus, widespread down eastern
Australia to Tasmania and also S W Western Australia.
Alan's Green Ringtail, P. archeri, for those not familiar with our possum
fauna, is something very special indeed. Confined to a relatively small
region of north Queensland. It really does look green - as a result of a
mixture of grey, black, yellow and white hairs.
It does not hide away during the day as do other possums - mostly just curls
up in a ball on a bare branch.
I was told by a scientist working on N Q possums some 40 years ago, that the
Green Ringtail is the most docile of all. Freshly trapped in the wild, it
can be handled quite easily. I never had the experience myself.
The Aus. Museum's mammal book says the Green Possum eats (among other
things), the leaves of several species of fig trees, and "is the only only
possum known to eat them". But according to O'Reilly's (tourist resort
people in Lamington N P) the common ringtail is very fond of the stalks of
fig leaves. And certainly it is a common sight in Lamington NP to see the
ground under a fig tree littered with fresh leaves all with the stalk
missing. Comment anyone?
> From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
> Reply-To: "Alan Gillanders" <>
> Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 09:32:02 +1000
> To: "Syd Curtis" <>, "Evan Beaver" <>,
> "Greg" <>
> Cc: "BIRDING-AUS" <>
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Ringtail calls
> Syd wrote:-
>> BTW, I was once asked by a zoologist friend who had been out spotlighting,
>> to go with him and witness (lest he be disbelieved) a ringtail dining
>> happily on the leaves of a young Giant Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide
> the Green Ringtail is virtually silent and has a particular appetite for
> Dendrocnide photinophylla, the shiny leaved or Mulberry leaved Stinging
> Tree. D. moroides which is the nastiest of this group in Australia (and yes
> I've been stung by them all except the rare one from Cape York) is rarely
> eaten. The exception to this is if the dry season has been severe and then
> we get a few storms. D. moroides is one of the first plants to respond with
> new growth. The Green Ringtails then come to the ground, even during the
> day, to feed on these shrubs.
> Below the signature is an extract from one of my newsletters if people wish
> to read more about the stinging trees.
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