Order : RODENTIA
Family : Sciuridae
Species : Callosciurus prevostii
Head-Body Length : 20-27 cm
Tail Length : 20-27 cm
Weight : 250-500 grams
Prevost's Squirrel is the
largest of the Callosciurus species, which are squirrels of
moderate size, with a bushy tail and a short, blunt snout.
This species occurs in
tall primary or
secondary rainforest, but they will also explore beyond the forest edge into
nearby cultivated areas in search of ripe fruits. They also
enter adjacent oil palm and coconut plantations. They are diurnal and almost
Besides a liking for sweet
fruits, the Prevost's Squirrel also consumes insects excavated from rotting wood such as termites,
ants and beetles.
The species is highly
varied in colour and patterning : there are more than 10 races or
subspecies recognised in Borneo and adjacent islands. The general pattern in
most forms comprises grey to black upperparts and tail,
with a dark red or orange belly. Often there is a white stripe along the
flank which may be thin or thick depending on the subspecies.
Three subspecies are illustrated
here : C. p. borneensis from Sarawak, C. p. pluto from Sabah
and C.p. humei from Peninsular Malaysia.
Prevost's Squirrel occurs
in southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia,
Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi.
Fig 1 : Adult
(subspecies Callosciurus prevostii humei) feeding on ripe figs at
Sungei Relau, Taman Negara, Peninsular Malaysia.
Fig 2 :
Prevost's Squirrel (subspecies Callosciurus prevostii pluto)
attracted to ripening rambutans near its lowland forest habitat.
Photographed at Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo.
Figs 3 and 4 : Prevost's
Squirrel (subspecies Callosciurus prevostii borneensis) at
Semenggoh Forest, Sarawak, Borneo.
References : M2, M3, M5