Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

E:\Flora and Fauna Photos from Haley\Terrestrial Fauna\OIRS 21st June 2011 127.JPG

Photo Courtesy of: Haley Burgess

(Short beaked Echidna)




Tachyglossus a culeatu s

Common name(s)


Spiny ant eaters

Short beaked echidna

Main colour(s)

Spine colour light brown where the rest of the body dark brown or black

Body size

Maximum body length 45 cm

Life span

Around 45-55 years


Orpheus Island Research Station


Echidna has spines on back and sides and has a small head with a long snout. They are very strong and their front claws are more powerful than the hind ones, which they use for digging.


They are very adaptable and can live in dry hot habitat to above the snow line in alpine. They manly live of ants and termites but can occasionally take others invertebrates. Have no fixed nest site but shelter under thick bushes or used burrows from other animals.


They are solitary except when mating. Capable of

Sites where this species can be found at OIRS

Occasionally seen around the station and even more rarely seen bathing in the sea.

Research that has been undertaken at OIRS

Page Contributed By: Mette Due Nielsen