Pygmy treeshrew

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Pygmy treeshrew[1]
Tupaia minor - Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria - Genoa, Italy - DSC02511.JPG
Tupaia minor
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Scandentia
Family: Tupaiidae
Genus: Tupaia
Species: T. minor
Binomial name
Tupaia minor
Günther, 1876
Pygmy Treeshrew area.png
Pygmy treeshrew range

The pygmy treeshrew (Tupaia minor) is a species of treeshrew in the family Tupaiidae.[1] It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.[2]

The generic name is derived from the Malay word tupai meaning squirrel or small animals that resemble squirrels.[3]


T.minor is distributed in peninsular Thailand, peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, the Lingga Archipelago (Indonesia), Borneo, offshore islands of Laut (Indonesia), and Banggi and Balambangan (Malaysia). From the Catalogue of Mammal Skins in Sarawak Museum, Kuching, Sarawak, more than 30 individuals of T. minor have been collected from 1891 to 1991. The specimens were mostly caught in Mt Penrisen, Mt Dulit, Mt Poi, Gunung Gading, Bau, Ulu Baram, Saribas, Kuching, and Forest Research.

The species has no fossil record.[4]

Morphology and appearance[edit]

T. minor can be distinguished from other treeshrews by its appearance. It has upper body hair banded light and dark, giving a speckled olive-brown appearance. The upper parts are buffy and often have a reddish tinge towards the rear.[5] The limbs are equal in length and have long claws. The maximum total length is about 450 mm, half of which is the tail.[6] The tail is long and thin, and its upper side is darker than the body.[5]

Behavior, diet and reproduction[edit]

T. minor is diurnal (active in the daytime). It is often seen 3 to 8 m above the ground, sometimes up to 20 m, travelling along lianas or branches of small trees.[5] They spend most of their time on the ground and in low bushes, nesting in tree roots and fallen timber. T. minor moves in a semiplantigrade posture which allows it to keep its centre of gravity close to the tree.[7] The claws on its hands and feet are quite sharp and moderately curved, which is useful for climbing.

Tupaia minor is omnivorous; its diet includes insects and fruit. Scandentia has little economic significance because they do little damage to crops or plantations. However, T. minor may be a seed disperser for several Ficus species.[8]

Litters of one to three young are born after a gestation period of 45 to 55 days. Their maximum lifespan is around 9 to 10 years.[9]


  1. ^ a b Helgen, K. M. (2005). "Tupaia minor". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Han, K. H. & Stuebing, R. (2008). Tupaia minor. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  3. ^ Wilkinson, R. J. (1901). A Malay-English dictionary Kelly & Walsh Limited, Hongkong, Shanghai and Yokohama.
  4. ^ Jacobs, L.L. 1980. Siwalik fossil tree shrews. Comparative biology and evolutionary relationships of tree shrews. New York. Plenum Press. Pg. 202-203
  5. ^ a b c Payne, J., Francis, C. M. and Phillipps, K., 1985. Mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society with World Wildlife Fund Malaysia. Pg. 163.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Feldhamer, G.A., Drickamer, L.C., Vessey, S.H., and Merritt, J.F., 1999. Mammalogy : Adaptation, Diversity and Ecology. United States: McGraw-Hill. Pg. 202-203
  7. ^ Lelevier, M. and L. Olson. 2005. "Tupaia minor" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 7, 2009 at
  8. ^ Shanahan, M., S. Compton. 2000. Fig-Eating by Bornean Tree Shrews (Tupaia spp.): Evidence for a Role as Seed Dispersers. Wilson, D.E., and Reeder D.M., 1993. Mammal species of the world, second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press. Pg. 132
  9. ^ Lelevier, M. and L. Olson (2005). "Tupaia minor" (On-line). Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved January 7, 2009.