John Gould's Text from "Mammals of Australia"
In its outward appearance this little animal closely resembles the Hypsiprymnus
murinus, but on a comparison of the skulls of the two species a marked difference is observable, that of
the present having the nasal bone more produced or swollen out at the sides; the tarsi and tail also are
shorter, and the general colour is of a deeper hue in Gilbert's than in the Hyp. murinus. These
Hypsiprymni are evidently analogues of each other, the former being found only on the western coast,
while the other is confined to the eastern portions of Australia.
The animal here represented was procured at King George's Sound, where it is called Ngil-gyte by the
Aborigines. In dedicating it to the late Mr Gilbert, who proceeded with me to Australia to assist in the objects
of my expedition, I embraced with pleasure the opportunity afforded me of expressing my sense of the great zeal
and assiduity he displayed in the objects of his mission; and as science is indebted to him for the knowledge of
this and several other interesting discoveries, I trust that, however objectionable it may be to name species
after individuals, in this instance it will not be deemed inappropriate.
The above remarks were published in the first Part of my Monograph of the Macropodidae, or Family of
Kangaroos, soon after which Mr Gilbert made a second journey to the interior of Western Australia, and while
there, transmitted to me the following additional information respecting this species:
'This little animal may be said to be the constant companion of Halmaturus brachyurus, as they are
always found together amidst the dense thickets and rank vegetation bordering swamps and running streams. The
natives capture it by breaking down a long, narrow passage in the thicket, in which a number of them remain
stationed, while others, particularly old men and women, walk through the thicket, and by beating the bushes and
making a yelling noise, drive the affrighted animals before them into the cleared space, where they are
immediately speared by those on the watch: in this way a tribe of natives will often kill an immense number of
both species in a few hours. I have not heard of the Hypsiprymnus Gilberti being found in any other part
of the colony than King George's Sound.'
General colour of all the upper surface mingled grey, brown and black, produced by the base of the hairs
being grey, the middle portion brown and black; centre and lower part of the back washed with reddish brown;
a blackish line commences at the nose and blends into the general colour on the forehead; all the under
surface greyish white; hands greyish brown; feet blackish brown; tail black, very thinly clothed with short