Phascogale, Or Pouched Mouse, a genus of small marsupial mammals of the dasyurus family, inhabiting Australia and Tasmania. The dental formula is: incisors -§, the two anterior in each jaw larger than the others, canines (1-1)/(1-1) premolars (3-3)/(3-3), true molars (4-4)/(4-4), studded with prickly tubercles. All the feet are five-toed, the inner one on the hind feet a small, nailless, prehensile thumb; tail either wholly clothed with short hairs, or with long and bushy ones on the apical portion; the females are sometimes destitute of a pouch, the young being protected only by the hair of the abdomen; mammae eight, arranged in a circle. The cranial cavity and occipital opening are comparatively large, and the muscular ridges of the skull and the cervical spinous processes feebly developed; the muzzle pointed and moderately long, muffle naked, nostrils lateral, ears moderate, and limbs short; they are insectivorous, and climb trees in search of food. The largest species is the brush-tailed phascogale (P. penicillata, Temm.), about the size of a common rat, 18 in. long, of which the tail is one half; the fur is long and soft, gray pencilled with white, below white, the middle part of the head dusky, and the tail bushy, with long black hairs except on the basal third, where they are short and gray; it is widely distributed in Australia; it makes a nest in the hollows of trees, and is accused of attacking the poultry and plundering the stores of the settlers.
Brush-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale penicillata).