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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2023



Temminck's Flying Squirrel

Family : Sciuridae
Species : Petinomys setosus

Head-Body Length : Up to 11.6 cm
Tail Length : Up to 10.4 cm
Weight : up to ~40 grams

This small flying squirrel inhabits dry deciduous or monsoonal hill forest in the north of its range, and wet, primary and secondary, lowland and hill forest in the south. It has also been recorded from rubber plantations, but it probably only occurs in such habitat where there is a mosaic of forest and rubber, rather than large monoculture plantations.

As with other flying squirrels, this species is nocturnal and arboreal, and feeds on fruits and seeds. It is known to nest in treeholes close to the ground.

Its fur is greyish to blackish brown above and white or grizzled below, although some variation in fur colour between populations does occur. The tail is flattened at the base (and lacks the reddish fur which occurs in other small species of flying squirrel, such as the Red-cheeked Flying Squirrel).

Separate populations of Temminck's Flying Squirrel occur in (i) northern Myanmar and northern Thailand, (ii) southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia, (iii) Sumatra and (iv) northern Borneo (Sabah, Brunei, Sarawak and northeastern Kalimantan). Its distribution, however, is patchy even in tall forest. The loss of good forest has caused a decline in the range of this species.

Fig 1 : Example from lowland forest in Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo. This squirrel is identified as Petinomys setosus, rather than the smaller Petinomys hosei / emiliae, based on the absence of a white tip to the tail, and the shape and size of the ears. This is the Bornean subspecies, Petinomys setosus setosus.  Photo thanks to Oliver Wearn.

Thanks to Quentin & Karen Phillipps for assistance in identification.

References : M10, M12

Fig 1
ゥ  Oliver Wearn