The family Macropodidae comprised 40 extant (extant meaning still in existence) species at the time of white settlement (Calaby & Richardson 1988) and included the familiar kangaroos, wallaroos and wallabies. Also included in this family are the hare-wallabies, nail-tail wallabies, rock-wallabies, pademelons, tree-kangaroos, swamp wallaby and at the time of writing, the current social media darling, the quokka.

The family range in size from the largest the Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroos (M. giganteus and M. fuliginosus), in which the males may stand more than 2 m tall when erect and weigh more than 80 kg. On the other end of the scale is the small hare-wallabies, weighing about 1 kg and 80 cm in length from the head to the tail.

See our Kangaroo, Wallaroo, Euro, Wallaby page.

Red Kangaroo (Osphranter rufus)

Macropus is a marsupial genus in the family Macropodidae. Subgenus Macropus include a number of extinct species:

  • Macropus ferragus
  • Macropus mundjabus
  • Macropus pan
  • Macropus pearsoni
  • Macropus titan (or Macropus giganteus titan)

Besides the extinct subgenus and species, Macropus has 3 subgenus:

  • Macropus
  • Notamacropus
  • Osphranter

There are 13 extant species, which are divided into three subgenera. The genus includes four species of large terrestrial kangaroos, two species of wallaroos, and eight extant species of wallabies (a ninth species is extinct).

The term is derived from the Ancient Greek μάκρος, makros “long” and πους, pous “foot”. Thirteen known extinct species are recognised at time of writing.

The type species for the Subgenus Macropus include:

Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus)
Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus)

The Subgenus Notamacropus include:

  • Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis)
  • Dwarf Wallaby (Macropus dorcopsulus)
  • Black-striped Wallaby (Macropus dorsalis)
  • Parma Wallaby (Macropus parma) (rediscovered, thought to be extinct)
  • Red-necked wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus)
  • Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii)
  • Western Brush Wallaby (Macropus irma)
  • Whiptail Wallaby (Macropus parryi)
  • Toolache Wallaby (Macropus greyii) – extinct

The Subgenus Osphranter include:

Euro – Wallaroo (Osphranter robustus erubescens)
  • Scientific classification
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Infraclass: Marsupialia
  • Order: Diprotodontia
  • Family: Macropodidae
  • Genus: Osphranter
  • Species: O. robustus
  • Binomial name: Osphranter robustus
  • Subspecies:
    • O. r. erubescens
    • O. r. isabellinus
    • O. r. robustus
    • O. r. woodwardi

The Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), also known as the Black-flanked Rock Wallaby or Warru, is one of several rock-wallabies species in the genus Petrogale.

Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), East MacDonnell Ranges, NT
  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Infraclass: Marsupialia
  • Order: Diprotodontia
  • Family: Macropodidae
  • Subfamily: Macropodinae
  • Genus: Petrogale

Footnote & References

  1. The fluid nature of science means, that information can change over time, with continued research and new discoveries. Whilst we endevour to maintain the accuracy of the article, information may have changed since this article was written. For the latest information, we recommend that you do further research.
  2. Macropodidae, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed November 8, 2020).
  3. Fauna of Australia, 29 Macropodidae, I.D. Hume, P.J. Jarman, Marilyn B. Renfree & Peter D. Temple-Smith, Australian Government , Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, (accessed November 8, 2020)