There are two species of Quoll that can be found in Tasmania:The Eastern Quoll, or Dasyurus viverrinus is common in Tasmania. It has thick fur covered in small white spots on the body excluding the tail, which can sometimes have a white tip. Males average 1.3 kg in weight and females .88 kg. The eastern quoll is mainly solitary and only lives up to three years in the wild. They are carnivorous and feed mostly on insects but can hunt mammals as large as rabbits.
They are a nocturnal animal and hunt during the night. Quolls breed in early winter. Females giving birth to up to 30 young, most of which die as the mothers pouch only has six teats. She then leaves them in burrows to hunt for food and sometimes transports the young on her back if she needs to move them to a new den. The Spotted-tail Quoll, or Dasyurus maculatus is larger than the Eastern Quoll and is sometimes referred to as the Tiger Quoll or Tiger Cat.
They can be distinguished from the Eastern Quoll by their larger size, smaller eyes and ears and by the white spots that are present on the tail. Male Spotted-tail Quolls are considerably bigger than females and can weigh up to 4 kgs. Although they are not as common as the Eastern Quoll they can still be found in the forests and coastal scrub of Tasmania. Spotted-tail Quolls are also carnivorous and can prey on animals as large as small wallabies. The Spotted-tail Quoll only gives birth to up to 6 young, which become independent of their mother after 18 to 20 weeks.
Photo credit: Sean McClean