Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Horse-tailed Squirrel
   
   

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Sciuridae
Species : Sundasciurus hippurus

Head-Body Length : up to 29 cm
Tail Length : up to 29 cm
Weight : Up to 365 grams

This medium-sized, attractive squirrel inhabits primary rainforest and mature secondary forest up to about 1500 metres elevation. It is mainly arboreal, but occasionally ventures to the lower parts of trees, or even to the ground to forage.

In the field it is identified by its thick, dark, bushy tail which contrasts with the body fur (some specimens in Borneo may have a reddish-brown tip to the tail). There are many subspecies, with varying fur colour. The body fur can vary from grey to light brown on the upperside, and from reddish brown to white on the underside. The head is dark grey.

Its diet comprises mainly forest fruits and seeds, though small insects may also be eaten.

The Horse-tailed Squirrel ranges from southern Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia to Borneo and Sumatra. It is absent in Singapore.


Fig 1 : Typical specimen high in the forest canopy. Photo thanks to Con Foley.


References : M1, M2, M3

Fig 1
  
ゥ  Con Foley