The honey possum is greyish-brown with yellow to white underneath. It has a dark stripe running to the tail and two lighter outer stripes that are not as long. The tail is almost naked with a prehensile tip. It has a long, slender snout and long tongue. The animal is very small, weighing between 12 and 22 grams and having a head and body length ranging from 70 to 85 mm. Females are larger than males.
The honey possum is the only survivor in the marsupial family Tarsipedidae. It is nocturnal and relies heavily on its sense of smell. Honey possums have non-overlapping home ranges of less than 2.5 acres, but they will group together to feed.