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Captive female Spotted Cuscus eating bread, Popondetta, Papua New Guinea.   //  Spotted Cuscus - Phalangeridae: Spilocuscus (=Phalanger) maculatus. Body length of the different forms varies, in males to 50cm, plus tail of 50cm,  weight to 6kg; 49cm body + 49cm tail and to 3kg in females. A nocturnal arboreal marsupial from the lowland rainforests of the island of New Guinea. In Papua New Guinea several colour forms occur, from pure white individuals in the Madang Province of northern PNG, to very dark-brown spots and patches in the Manus Province form. Males are usually spotted, while females vary in color from pale grey to ginger. The coat is a very soft fur. Food includes leaves and fruit of a number of species of lowland plants. The skins of males are a popular decoration in the 'bilas' (ornamentation) during ceremonial dances. Occurs also in far northern rainforests of Queensland, where captives were probably transported by canoes during regular return visits by Torres Strait islanders and people of the south coast of Western Province, PNG Australian animals lack the ginger colouration in the pelage, males being grey and white, females all grey. IUCN Status: Least concern.   //  Dr Eric Lindgren, EL, PS /