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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Common Treeshrew

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4

Fig 5

Fig 6

Fig 7



Family : Tupaiidae
Species : Tupaia glis

Head-Body Length : 14-20 cm
Tail Length : 12-19 cm

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The Common Treeshrew Tupaia glis occurs in southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia, including the larger islands of both countries, Singapore, and the islands of Bintan and Batam the Riau Archipelago of Indonesia.

To the north of its range it is replaced by the Northern Treeshrew Tupaia belangeri.

It inhabits primary forest and various grades of secondary forest, and locally can adapt to parklands. It is active by day, either on the forest floor or amongst low vegetation and fallen branches, where it feeds on insects and fallen fruit.

Its fur colour is variable; specimens from lower montane habitat at Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia are brown (Fig. 1), in Singapore it is brown to reddish-brown, with sub-adults of orange-brown (Fig. 3), and on Bintan Island is reddish-brown (Fig. 4). There is a narrow, pale stripe on each shoulder. 

Fig 1 : Typical dark brown example from lower montane forest (elevation = 1000 metres) at Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Example from Singapore's primary forest. The tail is thick, and held horizontally.

Figs 3 to 5 : Three images of a sub-adult with orange-brown fur, from secondary scrub forest in Singapore. A huge yawn illustrates the size of the Common Treeshrew's gape in Fig 5.

Fig 6 : Specimen from Bintan Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia with reddish brown dorsal fur, and orange-yellow belly.

Fig 7 : Common Treeshrew in lowland primary forest on the island of Penang, Peninsular Malaysia.

References : M1, M2