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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Whitehead's Pygmy Squirrel
   
   

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Sciuridae
Species : Exilisciurus whiteheadi

Head-Body Length : up to 8.5 cm
Tail Length : up to 6.5 cm
Weight : up to 24 grams

This tiny, unmistakable squirrel, which is also known as the Tufted Pygmy Squirrel, is restricted to the island of Borneo, where it mainly inhabits montane forest at elevations of between 1000 and 3000 metres (although locally it can be found at lower elevations).

Its fur is plain brown, and the long, white ear tufts are like no other species in Borneo: the Bornean Pygmy Squirrel Exilisciurus exilis which is of similar size and habits, lacks this feature. In common with the Bornean Pygmy Squirrel, this species is a bark gleaner whose diet includes fibrous tree bark and lichen, as well as other vegetation and insects such as ants and beetles.

Within Borneo, this species is known from Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah, as well as northern parts of Kalimantan (Indonesia).


Fig 1 : Adult example from Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo showing the typical posture when active on tree trunks.

Fig 2 : Montane forest habitat at Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo, where Whitehead's Pygmy Squirrel is locally common.


References : M10, M12


Figure 1 image courtesy of Alan Dahl, FocusedOnNature.com.
 

Fig 1
  
ゥ  Alan Dahl
  

Fig 2