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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2014
   

 

   
   
 
Slender Squirrel
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4







 

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Sciuridae
Species : Sundasciurus tenuis

Head-Body Length : 13-16 cm
Tail Length : 12-13 cm
Weight :120-140 grams

A small, charming species the Slender Squirrel occurs in primary and tall secondary forests. It is sometimes encountered in groups of up to ten making its way through the forest, while squabbling and chasing each other. The nest is made of short twigs and stems, and has been observed as low as a metre above the ground in the crooks of trees.

The upperparts are brown and the underparts appear variable - either greyish or brownish, with buff to whitish tips to the fur. There is a pale orange-brown area around the eye, and often an orange-brown ear lobe. The ears are small. and the tail long and slender. It feeds on soft tree bark, fruits and small insects.

The species ranges from Peninsular Malaysia to Borneo and Sumatra. In Singapore it occurs in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Central Catchment Forests, with a small, isolated population in the Botanic Gardens.


Fig 1 : A handsome specimen from Singapore's central forests, with a long, intact, slender tail.

Fig 2 : The fur on the underside of this adult appears brownish, tipped with buff to cream.

Fig 3 : The fur on the underside of this specimen (possibly sub-adult) is tipped with white. It is possible, but not confirmed, that this specimen might be Low's Squirrel Sundasciurus lowii.

Fig 3 : Typical territorial threat display - a repeated flicking of the tail, accompanied by vocalization.

All photos from Singapore.



References : M2