Spectacled hare-wallabyThe spectacled hare-wallaby (Lagorchestes conspicillatus) is a species of macropod (hence a marsupial) found in Australia and New Guinea. In Australia, a small sub-population is found on Barrow Island, while the mainland type is widespread, though in decline, across northern regions of the country.
DescriptionA species of Lagorchestes, Hare-wallaby are small members of the family Macropodidae. The spectacled hare-wallaby is found across northern Australia in tropical tussock or spinifex habitats. It can be found from Queensland to Western Australia. In 1997, it was discovered in the savanna country of southwest Papua New Guinea, in the upper Bensbach River area. It is a solitary, nocturnal herbivore, and is considerably larger than its relatives. It is coloured grey-brown with golden tips and an orange circle around its eye, from which it gets its name. It builds its nests among the tough vegetation. When disturbed it hops off in a zigzag manner. The young are produced singly at any time of the year and become sexually mature at about a year old.
Naming and taxonomy
The species was first described by John Gould, naming this hare-wallaby as Lagorchestes conspicillata, and provided an illustration that was included in The Mammals of Australia (Volume II) as plate 59. A separate description, Lagorchestes leichardti, was included in the same work as Pl. 58. This is now regarded as a subpopulation of the same species, which is sometimes described as a subspecies.