Black-Footed Rock Wallaby vs. Red-Necked Wallaby

What's the Difference?

The Black-Footed Rock Wallaby and the Red-Necked Wallaby are both species of wallabies found in Australia. However, they differ in their physical characteristics and habitat preferences. The Black-Footed Rock Wallaby is smaller in size, with a length of around 60-70 cm and a weight of 4-9 kg, while the Red-Necked Wallaby is larger, measuring about 90-105 cm in length and weighing 15-26 kg. As their names suggest, the Black-Footed Rock Wallaby is well-adapted to rocky habitats, using its strong hind legs and long tail for balance and agility on steep cliffs, whereas the Red-Necked Wallaby is more commonly found in grassy areas and open woodlands. Additionally, the Black-Footed Rock Wallaby has distinctive black feet and a grayish-brown coat, while the Red-Necked Wallaby has a reddish-brown coat with a white chest and a distinctive red neck.


AttributeBlack-Footed Rock WallabyRed-Necked Wallaby
Scientific NamePetrogale lateralisMacropus rufogriseus
Common NameBlack-Footed Rock WallabyRed-Necked Wallaby
HabitatRocky areas, cliffs, and gorgesWoodlands, forests, and grasslands
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia, South Australia)Australia (Eastern Australia)
ColorationGrayish-brown with black feetReddish-brown with a white belly and red neck
DietHerbivorous (grasses, leaves, shrubs)Herbivorous (grasses, leaves, shrubs)
BehaviorNocturnal and solitaryNocturnal and social

Further Detail


Wallabies are fascinating marsupials that belong to the kangaroo family. They are native to Australia and are known for their unique characteristics and adaptations. In this article, we will compare two species of wallabies - the Black-Footed Rock Wallaby and the Red-Necked Wallaby. While both species share some similarities, they also have distinct attributes that set them apart.

Physical Appearance

The Black-Footed Rock Wallaby, also known as the Petrogale lateralis, is a medium-sized wallaby with a body length ranging from 45 to 65 centimeters. It has a distinctive black stripe running from its shoulder to its tail, which gives it its name. The fur color of this species varies from light gray to reddish-brown, providing excellent camouflage in rocky habitats. On the other hand, the Red-Necked Wallaby, or Macropus rufogriseus, is larger in size, measuring around 70 to 85 centimeters in length. It has a reddish-brown coat with a white chest and a distinctive red neck, which gives it its name.

Habitat and Distribution

The Black-Footed Rock Wallaby is primarily found in the rocky regions of Australia, such as the Kimberley, Pilbara, and Central Ranges. These wallabies have adapted to live in rugged terrain, using their strong hind legs and long tails for balance while climbing rocks and cliffs. They are also known to inhabit caves and crevices for shelter. On the other hand, the Red-Necked Wallaby is more widespread and can be found in various habitats, including forests, woodlands, and grasslands across eastern Australia. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in both open and dense vegetation areas.

Behavior and Social Structure

Black-Footed Rock Wallabies are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. They spend their days resting in shaded areas, such as rock crevices, to avoid the heat. These wallabies are solitary animals, with males having larger territories than females. They mark their territories using scent glands and communicate through various vocalizations. In contrast, Red-Necked Wallabies are more social and often form small groups called mobs. These mobs consist of several individuals, including adult males, females, and their young. They communicate through vocalizations and body language, such as tail movements and ear positions.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Both wallaby species are herbivores, but their diets differ slightly. Black-Footed Rock Wallabies primarily feed on grasses, herbs, leaves, and shrubs. They have specialized teeth that allow them to efficiently chew and digest tough plant material. These wallabies are also known to consume mineral-rich rocks to supplement their diet. On the other hand, Red-Necked Wallabies have a broader diet, including grasses, leaves, fruits, and even tree bark. They have a unique digestive system that allows them to ferment plant material in their large foregut, enabling them to extract maximum nutrients from their food.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Black-Footed Rock Wallabies have a gestation period of around 30 days, after which a single tiny, underdeveloped joey is born. The joey then crawls into the mother's pouch, where it continues to develop and nurse for several months. After leaving the pouch, the joey will still rely on its mother for milk and protection for an additional few months. In contrast, Red-Necked Wallabies have a longer gestation period of around 33 to 38 days. They give birth to a more developed joey, which immediately crawls into the mother's pouch. The joey will stay in the pouch for approximately 8 to 9 months before gradually venturing out and becoming more independent.

Conservation Status

The Black-Footed Rock Wallaby is classified as a near-threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their populations have declined due to habitat loss, predation by introduced species, and hunting. Conservation efforts are in place to protect their habitats and establish breeding programs to ensure their survival. On the other hand, the Red-Necked Wallaby is listed as a species of least concern. They have a wide distribution and are adaptable to various habitats, which has contributed to their stable population numbers.


While both the Black-Footed Rock Wallaby and the Red-Necked Wallaby are fascinating marsupials with unique attributes, they differ in terms of physical appearance, habitat, behavior, diet, and reproductive strategies. The Black-Footed Rock Wallaby is smaller in size, adapted to rocky habitats, and primarily solitary, while the Red-Necked Wallaby is larger, more adaptable, and forms social groups. Understanding these differences helps us appreciate the diversity within the wallaby family and the importance of conserving these remarkable creatures.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.