Bolivian squirrel

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Bolivian squirrel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Sciurus
Subgenus: Guerlinguetus
Species: S. ignitus
Binomial name
Sciurus ignitus
(Gray, 1867)
Subspecies[2]

see text

The Bolivian squirrel (Sciurus ignitus) is a tree squirrel that is endemic to South America. Little is known of the species, which may represent a species complex.[1]

Description[edit]

Bolivian squirrels are moderately sized tree squirrels, with a head-body length of 14 to 22 cm (5.5 to 8.7 in), and a tail of similar length again. Adults weigh from 183 to 242 g (6.5 to 8.5 oz). The fur is mostly dark olive with black and yellow ticking and fading to pale grey or whitish on the chest and underparts. There are faint rings of buff-coloured fur around the eyes and distinct patches of buff fur on the backs of the ears. Females have three pairs of teats.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Bolivian squirrels live along the eastern edge of the Andes from Peru, through Bolivia and Brazil to extreme northern Argentina. Precise details of its habitat are not clear, although it has been found in both lowland and montane tropical forests from 200 to 2,700 m (660 to 8,860 ft) elevation.[3]

Five subspecies are recognised:

  • S. i. ignitus - northern Bolivia
  • S. i. argentinius - Argentina
  • S. i. boliviensis - central and southern Bolivia
  • S. i. cabrerai - known from a single partial specimen from Brazil
  • S. i. irroratus - Peru, western Brazil

Behaviour and biology[edit]

Bolivian squirrels are diurnal and spend the day moving through the understory and subcanopy of the forest. They are omnivorous, feeding on a mixture of nuts, fruits, fungi, and insects. They are generally solitary, and construct round nests from leaves and twigs, hidden among foliage and vines about 6 to 10 m (20 to 33 ft) above the ground. Juveniles have been captured in June and July, and pregnant mothers in August, which may suggest that they breed during the dry season.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Amori, G.; Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (2008). "Sciurus ignitus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 6 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Thorington, R.W., Jr.; Hoffmann, R.S. (2005). "Sciurus (Guerlinguetus) ignitus". 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. 
  3. ^ a b c Merrick, M.J.; Ketcham, S.L. & Koprowski, J.L. (December 2014). "Sciurus ignitus (Rodentia: Sciuridae)". Mammalian Species. 46 (915): 93–100. doi:10.1644/915. 

4. Timm, R. M., J. L. Cartes, M. Ruiz-Díaz, R. Zárate, and R. H. Pine. (2015). Distribution and ecology of squirrels (Rodentia: Sciuridae) in Paraguay, with first country records for Sciurus ignitus. Southwestern Naturalist 60(1):121–127.