The eastern quoll tends to live alone, foraging mainly for invertebrates such as beetle larvae and corbie grubs (Oncopera spp.). However, it is an opportunistic carnivore and will also hunt small mammals such as rabbits, mice and rats, as well as birds, lizards and snakes. It also scavenges on larger prey and occasionally feeds on grass and fruits (2) (3) (4). The eastern quoll may even compete with the larger Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) for food, darting around its kills to take small pieces of flesh (3) (4).
A nocturnal species, the eastern quoll shelters in a den by day, usually in an underground burrow, fallen log or rock pile (2) (3) (4). The eastern quoll is mainly terrestrial, moving across the ground with a bounding gait and only occasionally climbing (3).
The eastern quoll breeds in the early winter, between May and August (2) (3) (4) (5), with the young being born after a gestation period of around 21 days (3) (4). There may be up to 30 young in each litter, but the pouch of the female eastern quoll usually contains only 6 teats. This means that the only young to survive are those that can attach themselves to the teats in order to feed (2) (3) (4).
After about ten weeks, the young eastern quolls leave the pouch and the female leaves them in a grass-lined den in a burrow or hollow log, allowing the female to hunt and forage. If the female needs to move to a different den site, she may carry the young on her back (2) (3) (4). Weaning occurs when the young eastern quolls are about five months old (2) (3) (4), meaning that the young become independent around November, at a time of year when food availability is high (3).
While the young eastern quolls are being cared for by the female, their mortality rate is low. However, after weaning the young tend to disperse, and mortality is high during the first few months of independent life (2) (3) (4). The eastern quoll reaches sexual maturity within its first year, and may live for around three to five years in the wild (3) (5).