Guardian Nature School Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Nature School For Teachers - Fall 2020 Launch! visit nature school

Short-beaked Echidna

Tachyglossus aculeatus


This short stout ball of fur and spines is an anteater and the only one of its genus Tachyglossus. It has a short snout and the fore limbs are strong with claws to tear through dirt when required. The body is covered with spines and the backside has a ball of spines which helps deter predators.


Spotted in a nature reserve.


I have not been able to get a good shot of the head and snout until today. This little ball of spnes was on his own, waddling through the bush, searching and feasting on ants. The female lays a leathery egg which is deposited straight into her puch where the egg "hatches" and the hatchling, which is about 1.5 mm, develops. The newly hatched young are called "puggles". Order: Monotremata Subfamily: Tachyglossidae

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

34 Comments (1–25)

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

......and this will certainly make you feel more envious - one wandered into our backyard a couple of years ago, at the end of years of drought.
Seriously Jaymie, don't despair, you will see one soon. I saw my first one (in the wild) about 10 years after coming to Oz. You might not have to wait that long given the ever increasing dryness. Check out dry areas but we saw a few also in the Dandenong Ranges (Sherbrooke), away from crowds & cameras !

All the best !

jaymiesjarvis 6 years ago

I have been searching for an echidna since I arrived in Australia :( no luck!!! This one is so cute! Im so jealous

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

Thanks, Leanne.

LeanneGardner 6 years ago

Magic find Leuba! Congratulations & so happy you've ticked this one off the list. Love it :)

Hema 6 years ago

Congrats. You never know what's gonna take you to fame!

outsidegirl0 6 years ago

great series,Leuba!

Dilan Chathuranga
Dilan Chathuranga 6 years ago

Congrats Leuba!Nice shots!!

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

Thanks again everyone ! With a choice of brown,black, grey or white (Mark & Martin get all the colours), I did not think I'd ever get a SOTD. Yes, it's a good feeling although there are great echidna photos on PN already.

ShannaB 6 years ago

Great shot Leuba, it's so hard to get a good view of an echidna's face!

mcaul6515 6 years ago

So cute!

Sckel 6 years ago

Congratulations, Leuba, it is very special. I've never seen one of these.

medusasnakes123 6 years ago

Awesome spotting! :) Congrats on the spotting of the day!

Stanislav Greš
Stanislav Greš 6 years ago

congrats on SotD :)

Bhagya Herath
Bhagya Herath 6 years ago

wow soooooo cute..... love him.... Congratz Leuba ....

MartinL 6 years ago

Congratulations, it is a worthy photo.
Nice feeling, Leuba. Don't hug the echidna too hard.

arlanda 6 years ago

Congratulations Leuba!

Jolly Ibañez
Jolly Ibañez 6 years ago

Congratulations Leuba. Nice series

Adarsha B S
Adarsha B S 6 years ago

Wow..nice fellow :) Congratulations Leuba :)

DanielePralong 6 years ago

Congrats Leuba! I can't believe this is only your first SOTD. Well deserved!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Patience pays off. These are wonderful photos, Leuba, of this amazing fellow. Congratulations on a much-deserved SOTD. Puggles? I like that :-)

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

Lauren, I agree. All spines and claw. It seemed to be sniffing the air...

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

An SOTD !! I am truly amazed, excited and honoured. Very unexpected...this is actually my first SOTD and it feels great !! I wish I could tell the little echidna and thank him/her. Normally I only get to see the rear end and they never seem to get their heads up for me. So, it was great to get a good view of the snout. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments and thanks to Karen (and any one else involved) in choosing this for an SOTD.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Congratulations. Yes Lauren you should never cross a rearing echidna (you might trip over something :)

LaurenZarate 6 years ago

Congratulations Leuba! It looks rather dangerous.

pamsai 6 years ago

Fabulous photos Leuba. The first one is really good. Don't know how you got it to stand up like that! Great info also. Congrats on a well deserved SOTD...

Leuba Ridgway
Spotted by
Leuba Ridgway

Victoria, Australia

Spotted on Feb 27, 2014
Submitted on Feb 27, 2014

Related Spottings

Short-beaked Echidna Short-Beaked Echidna Short-beaked Echidna Short-beaked Echidna

Nearby Spottings

Weeping Bolete Cocoon black ant Clouded Footman
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors