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Mountain Red-bellied Squirrel
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3



 

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Sciuridae
Species : Callosciurus erythraeus

Head-Body Length : approx 20 cm
Tail Length : approx 20 cm
Weight : approx 250 grams

The Mountain Red-bellied Squirrel (or Pallas's Squirrel) is, as its name implies, an inhabitant of montane areas. Though preferring primary or secondary forest habitats, it will readily forage on the ground in clearings and cultivated areas adjacent to such forests.

The species is identified by its medium size, its olive-brown upperparts and reddish underparts. The absence of black and buff stripes along the flank distinguishes the species from the similar Plantain Squirrel Callosciurus notatus, which inhabits lowland areas.

The species can be seen in forested, montane areas of Peninsular Malaysia such as Cameron Highlands and Fraser's Hill at elevations of around 900 metres or higher. It is reported as ranging from parts of India and China, through Burma and Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia.


Fig 1 : Feeding on the winged seeds of Engelhardtia roxburghiana, a member of the walnut family.

Fig 2 : Typical specimen from Fraser's Hill Peninsular Malaysia (at an elevation of 1300 metres).

Fig 3 : Gathering nesting material during the month of April.

All images from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia.


References : M5