The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database


Leporillus apicalis Gould, 1853:126

Lesser stick-nest rat, White-tipped stick-nest rat, White-tailed stick-nest rat, White-tipped hapalotis, White-tipped house-building rat, White-tailed house-building rat (Calaby, 1969), White-tipped tree-rat (Troughton, 1923:33; Mahoney, 1982:25), White-tipped jerboa-rat (Ogilby, 1892:116), Tillikin (Krefft, 1866:4), Djooyalpi (Crowther, 2013)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Hapalotis apicalis Gould, 1853:126; Conilurus apicalis Gould, 1853:126; Conilurus apicalis Gould, 1851(:iii?) (cited by Ogilby, 1892:116)


Conservation Status

Last Record: 1933 (Robinson et al. 2000); July 1933 (Tindale, 1933); 1970?

IUCN status: Extinct


The last reliable record of this species was in 1933, when two specimens were captured west of Mount Crombie by A. Brumby of Ernabella (Finlayson, 1961; Ride, 1970:203). However, several possible records since then hint at its possible continued survival. For example, Firth (1979) reports [i]Leporillus[/i] sp. stick nests from the Gibson Desert in 1958. Another report from Western Australia in 1970 may possibly be of this species (Robinson, 2008; Robinson & Burbidge, 2008). However, the species' sole surviving congener (L. conditor) is now limited to offshore islands and ex situ mainland populations, and thus any mainland record of Leporillus sp. would have to rule out L. conditor.



New South Wales (prehistoric), Northern Territory, South Australia & Western Australia (incl. prehistoric; Bowdler, 1995), Australia






FMNH 16628
FMNH 18725 to 18732






Original scientific description:

Gould, John. (1853). [description of Leporillus apicalis]. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1853: 126.


Other references:

Abbott, Ian. (2008). Historical perspectives of the ecology of some conspicuous vertebrate species in south-west Western Australia. Conservation Science W. Aust. 6(3): 1-214.

Anonymous. (1973). Additional protection for rare fauna. S.W.A.N.S. 4(2): 31-33.

Anonymous. (1977). Terrestrial native mammals of Western Australia. S.W.A.N.S. 7(1): 7-8. [a mere listing as being native to WA]

Bamford, Mandy et al. (2009). Mammals of the Avon Region. Bentley, W.A.: Department of Environment and Conservation. 132 pp. [pp. 106-107]

Baynes, Alexander. (1984). Native mammal remains from Wilgie Mia Aboriginal Ochre Mine: evidence of the pre-European fauna of the western arid zone. Records of the Western Australian Museum 11(3): 297-310.

Baynes, Alexander and Jones, Barbara. (1993). The mammals of Cape Range peninsula, Western Australia, pp. 207-226. In: Humphreys, W. F. (ed.). The Biogeography of Cape Range, Western Australia. Perth: Western Australian Museum.

Bennett, Andrew F., Lumsden, Linda F. and Menkhorst, Peter W. (2006). Mammals of the Mallee Region, Victoria: past, present and future. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria 118(2): 259-280.

Bowdler, Sandra. (1995). The excavation of two small rockshelters at Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Australian Archaeology 40: 1-13.

Burbidge, A. A and Fuller, P. J. (1979). Mammals of the Warburton region, Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 8(1): 57-73.

Burbidge, Andrew A. and Fuller, Phillip J. (1984). Finding out about Desert Mammals. S.W.A.N.S. 14(1): 9-13.

Burbidge, Andrew A., Fuller, P. J. and McKenzie, N. L. (1995). Vertebrate fauna. In: Keighery, G. J., McKenzie, N. L. and Hall, N. J. (eds.). The Biological Survey of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Part 12. Barlee–Menzies Study Area. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 49: 208-245.

Burbidge, A. A., McKenzie, N. L., Chapman, A. and Lambert, P. M. (1976). The wildlife of some existing and proposed reserves in the Great Victoria and Gibson Deserts, Western Australia. Wildl. Res. Bull. West. Aust. 5: 1-16.

Calaby, J. H. (1969). Australian Mammals since 1770. Australian Natural History 16(8): 271-275.

Copley, Peter. (1988). The Stick-nest Rats of Australia, a final report to World Wildlife Fund (Australia). Adelaide: National Parks and Wildlife Service & Department of Environment & Planning, South Australia.

Copley, Peter. (1999). Natural histories of Australia’s stick-nest rats, genus Leporillus (Rodentia : Muridae). Wildlife Research 26(4): 513-539. [Abstract]

Crowther, Mathew. (2013). Australian endangered species: Lesser Stick-nest Rat. The Conversation, 3 October, available online:

CR Dickman, K-P Leung & SM Van Dyck. (2000). Status, ecological attributes and conservation of native rodents in Queensland. Wildlife Research 27: 333.

Douglas, A. M. (1980). Our dying fauna: a personal perspective on a changing environment. Perth, Western Australia: Creative Research, association with Biological Sciences. [possible reports of the persistence of the Lesser Stick-nest Rat]

Finlayson, Hedley Herbert. (1941). On central Australian mammals. Part II: The Muridae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 65: 215-232.

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Frith, H. J. (1979). Wildlife Conservation, revised edition. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. [report of Leporillus sp. nests from the Gibson desert in 1958]

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Gould, John. (1853). The Mammals of Australia, volume 3. London: John Gould.

Gratte, S. (1972). The Stick-nest Rat Leporillus conditor in the Gibson Desert. Western Australian Naturalist 12(3): 50-51.

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Iredale, Tom and Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1934). A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: i-xii, 1-122.

Kendrick, George W. and Porter, Jennifer K. (1974). Remains of a Thylacine (Marsupialia: Dasyuroidea) and other fauna from caves in the Cape Range, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 56(4): 116-122.

Krefft, Gerard. (1862). The vertebrated animals of the Lower Murray and Darling, their habits, economy, and geographical distribution. [i]The Sydney Morning Herald[/i], 24th October, p. 2.

Krefft, Gerard. (1864). Catalogue of Mammalia in the Collection of the Australian Museum. Sydney: Australian Museum.

Krefft, Gerard. (1866). On the vertebrated animals of the lower Murray and Darling, their habits, economy, and geographical distribution. Transactions of the Philosophical Society of New South Wales 1862-1865: 1-33.

Krefft, Gerard. (1871). The mammals of Australia, illustrated by Miss Harriet Scott, and Mrs. Helena Forde, for the Council of Education; with a short account of all the hitherto described. Sydney: Government Printer.

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Mahoney, J. A. (1982). Identities of the rodents (Muridae) listed in TL Mitchell's " Three expeditions into the interior of eastern Australia, with descriptions of the recently explored region of Australia Felix, and of the present colony of New South Wales" (1st ed., 1838; 2nd ed., 1839). Australian Mammalogy [b]5(1)[/b]: 15-36.

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Lynne McCarthy, Lesley Head and Jay Quade. (1996). Holocene palaeoecology of the northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia, based on stick-nest rat (Leporillus spp.) middens: a preliminary overview. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 123(1-4): 205-218. [Abstract]

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