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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Red-cheeked Squirrel
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2
 

Fig 3
 

Fig 4
 

Fig 5

 


 

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Sciuridae
Species : Dremomys rufigenis

Head-Body Length : 19 cm
Tail Length : 15 cm

The Red-cheeked Squirrel inhabits foothill to lower montane forests, between 400 and 1500 metres elevation. It is both arboreal and terrestrial in habits.

The species consumes a variety of foodstuffs including fruits and insect grubs. Little else appears to be known about its ecology.

Its fur is typically greyish brown to olive grey, and grizzled in appearance, with the underside being pale. Behind each ear is a tuft of pale fur, and beneath the tail the fur is reddish-brown. Its snout is pointed, particularly when viewed from above. The extent of reddish colour on the cheeks may vary between different populations.

There are 6 species currently recognised in the genus Dremomys, also known as 'long-nosed squirrels'. The majority occur in southern China, with their range extending into northern parts of Southeast Asia. One species inhabits Borneo.

The Red-cheeked Squirrel Dremomys rufigenis is the most widespread of the species on the Southeast Asia mainland, occurring in Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.


Fig 1 : Specimen on a moss-covered sapling in lower montane forest at Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia. It was attracted to the presence of fruit at the edge of a garden.

Fig 2 : The same specimen foraging on the ground.

Fig 3 : Consuming a large beetle grub.

Fig 4 : View from above, showing the pointed snout and white fur behind the ears.

Fig 5 : The underside of the tail is reddish-brown.

All images are of the same specimen from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia.

Thanks to Stephen Hogg for assistance.


References : M10