The Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), also known as the Black-flanked Rock Wallaby or Warru (in Central Australia), is one of several rock-wallabies sub-species in the species Petrogale lateralis. In the genus Petrogale (of which there are recognised 17 species), family Macropodidae, collectively is a group of of marsupials commonly known as rock wallabies.
Rock Wallabies are no taller than half a metre, and it is their agility and speed as they travel across seemingly sheer cliff faces that amazes many people who are lucky to catch a glimpse of them in movement. When not moving, they blend almost perfectly into the rocky escarpment.
Their ability to traverse rock faces is down to their powerful spring-loaded hind legs, textured soles providing maximum traction, as well as their muscular tails for steering and stability.
Found living in the many rocky gorges, outcrops and escarpment throughout Australia, the caves and crevices provide them with shelter and protection from predators like the dingo and birds of prey.
There are five subspecies of black-footed rock wallabies: Petrogale lateralis that occur in Western Australia, Black-flanked Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis lateralis), Recherche Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis hacketti), MacDonnell Range Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis centralis) (MacDonnell Ranges) and West Kimberley Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis kimberleyensis) (West Kimberley).
- Scientific classification
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Informal: Gnathostomata
- Class: Mammalia
- Subclass: Marsupialia
- Order: Diprotodontia
- Suborder: Phalangerida
- Superfamily: Macropodoidea
- Family: Macropodidae
- Genus: Petrogale
- Species: Petrogale lateralis
- Petrogale lateralis subsp. (MacDonnell Ranges)
- Petrogale lateralis subsp. (West Kimberley)
- Petrogale lateralis centralis
- Petrogale lateralis centralis Eldridge & Potter, 2020
- Petrogale lateralis hacketti
- Petrogale lateralis hacketti Thomas, 1905
- Petrogale lateralis kimberleyensis
- Petrogale lateralis kimberleyensis Eldridge & Potter, 2020
- Petrogale lateralis lateralis Gould, 1842
- Petrogale lateralis lateralis
- Petrogale lateralis pearsoni Thomas, 1922
Footnote & References
- Black-footed Rock-wallabies Petrogale lateralis, Fauna Profile, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Government of Western Australia, https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/images/documents/plants-animals/animals/animal_profiles/black_footed_rock_wallabies_fauna_profile.pdf
- Petrogale lateralis Gould, 1842, Black-Footed Rock-Wallaby, Atlas of Living Australia, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/e82506d7-3e9e-4086-98f3-a08ca07d2a97
- Over 40 years in the making: the two new subspecies of Rock-wallabies, Authors Dr Mark Edlridge, Dr Sally Potter, 10 February 2020, Australian Museum, https://australian.museum/blog/amri-news/two-new-subspecies-of-rock-wallabies/