We isolated 10 new polymorphic microsatellite markers from Drymodes brunneopygia, a ground-dwelling bird species distributed in semi-arid mallee habitat across southern Australia. Initially 454 shotgun sequencing was used to identify 51 loci for which primers were designed. We trialled all 51 loci in the target species and 29 (57%) amplified a polymorphic product of expected size. Subsequently 18 of these loci were screened for variation in 38 individuals from Billiatt Conservation Park in South Australia. All loci were polymorphic; however, only 10 loci could be scored reliably. For those 10 loci, observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.105 to 0.842 (mean 0.634) and the number of alleles per locus ranged from 2 to 10 (average of 6.7). These loci will be useful for characterising genetic variation and metapopulation structure in Drymodes brunneopygia, a species threatened by agriculture and climate change.