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, family Macropodidae, is a group of of marsupials commonly known as rock wallabies.

Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis)
Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), Ormiston Gorge, NT

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 four 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 subsp.) (MacDonnell Ranges) and West Kimberley Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis subsp.) (West Kimberley).


  • Scientific classification
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Infraclass: Marsupialia
  • Order: Diprotodontia
  • Family: Macropodidae
  • Genus: Petrogale
  • Species: P. lateralis
  • Binomial name: Petrogale lateralis

Footnote & References

  1. 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