Northern palm squirrel

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Northern palm squirrel
Northern palm squirrel at gandhi museum.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Funambulus
Subgenus: Prasadsciurus
Moore & Tate, 1965[2]
Species: F. pennantii
Binomial name
Funambulus pennantii
Wroughton, 1905[3]
  • F. p. pennantii
  • F. p. argentescens

The northern palm squirrel (Funambulus pennantii) also called the five-striped palm squirrel is a species of rodent in the Sciuridae family.[5]


It is found in the Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands (where it is introduced), India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran. In India, it is fairly common in urban areas, even in large cities such as Delhi and Kolkata. Two subspecies, Funambulus pennantii argentescens and Funambulus pennantii lutescens, were suggested by Wroughton in addition to the nominate race; however, more recent workers do not make this distinction.

Thorington and Hoffman in Wilson and Reeder (2005) listed only two subspecies: F. p. pennantii and F. p. argentescens.[4] However, Ghose et al. (2004) described two additional subspecies: F. p. chhattisgarhi (distribution: eastern part of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Bihar) and F. p. gangutrianus (distribution: West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal),[6] but Talmale (2007) treated the Maharashtra populations as F. p. pennantii only due to the overlapping in measurements and colour variations observed in the specimens.[7][8][9] It has also been introduced to Australia where it is found in Perth Western Australia, establishing from zoo escapees, which are being eradicated.

Alarm calls (recorded in Pune)

In India, the southern boundary of the species' range is not clearly identified, and recent records suggest it may extend as far as Madanapalli. The southern boundary on the Western Ghats side clearly extends to localities including Dhawar and Mysore, in Karnataka.[10][11]


  1. ^ Nameer, P. O. & S. Molur. (2008). Funambulus pennantii. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Downloaded on 03 June 2013.
  2. ^ Moore, J.C. and G.H.H. Tate (1965). "A study of the diurnal squirrels, Sciurinae, of the Indian and Indo-Chinese subregions". Fieldiana Zoology 48: 1–351. 
  3. ^ Wroughton, R.C. (1905). "The common striped palm squirrel". Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 16: 406–413. 
  4. ^ a b Thorington, R.W., Jr.; Hoffmann, R.S. (2005). "Family Sciuridae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference (3rd ed.). The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 754–818. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4. OCLC 26158608. 
  5. ^ Thorington, R. W. Jr. and R. S. Hoffman (2005). Family Sciuridae. Pp. 754-818 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 
  6. ^ Ghose, R. K., Mandal, A. K. and Ghose, P. S. (2004). A contribution to the taxonomy of Indian five striped squirrel Funambulus pennanti, Wroughton), with description of two new subspecies. Rec. zool. Surv. India, 102 (3–4): 89–103
  7. ^ Talmale, S.S. (2007). Studies on Small Mammal Diversity in Maharashtra State. PhD. Thesis submitted to University of Pune, Maharashtra State, India.
  8. ^ Ellerman, J.R. (1961). The fauna of India including Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon: Mammalia, Rodentia. Volume 3 (in 2 parts). Vol. 1: 1-482 & Vol. 2: 483-884. Second ed. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. 
  9. ^ Srinivasulu C., S. Chakraborty and M.S. Pradhan (2004). "Checklist of the Sciurids (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae)" (PDF). Zoos' Print Journal 19 (2): 1351–1360. doi:10.11609/jott.zpj.19.2.1351-60. 
  10. ^ Pradhan, M.S. and Kurup, G.U. (2001). Mammalia IN Fauna of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Fauna of conservation Area Series 11. Publ: Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata: 311-330.
  11. ^ Santharam, V. (2007). "Five-striped Palm Squirrel (Funambulus pennantii) in Rishi Valley, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 104 (2): 202.