I'm a little confused. I just learned about two different mac address representations(hexadecimal and bit-reversed representation) in IEEE 802

When hexadecimal representation is used the octets are seperated by hyphens e.g.: ac-de-48-12-7b-80

If bit-reversed is used the octets are seperated by colons e.g.: 35:7b:12:48:de:01

If I look into my wireshark log files all mac addresses are seperated by colons, but I don't think that a bit-reversed representation is used according to my analysis of the local bit and OUIs which should never have set the local bit. The binary representation in my log files for one octet should be MSB .... LSB.

Is wireshark using colons but they actually mean hyphens?

  • 2
    Everywhere I've seen, hyphens, periods, and colons are interchangeable.
    – Ron Trunk
    Jan 21, 2018 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


NOTE—The bit-reversed representation is of historical interest only and is no longer applicable to any active IEEE 802 standard.

(IEEE 802-2014 8.1 Terms and notational conventions)

The bit-reversed, 'non-canonical' notation is extremely rarely used, no matter if hyphens or colons are used. 112233445566, 11:22:33:44:55:66, 11-22-33-44-55-66, 112233-445566 and so on are all identical.

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