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Temporal range: Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Subfamily: Sciurinae
Tribe: Sciurini
Genus: Microsciurus
Allen, 1895
Type species
Sciurus alfari

Microsciurus alfari
Microsciurus flaviventer
Microsciurus mimulus
Microsciurus santanderensis

Microsciurus[1] or dwarf squirrels is a genus of squirrels from the tropical regions of Central and South America.

There are four recognized species, however, recent DNA analysis has shown that there is some confusion regarding the traditional classification of the Microsciurus species,[2] and that the genus may be polyphyletic.[3]

Genus Microsciurus - dwarf squirrels

With a head and body length of 15 centimetres (5.9 in) and a 12 centimetres (4.7 in) long tail, dwarf squirrels are not as small as their name suggests; they are hardly smaller than the common red or gray squirrels. The neotropical pygmy squirrel, not in this genus, is much smaller than these species. Microsciurus species have gray or brown backs, and white bellies.

All dwarf squirrels in this genus live in tropical rain forests. None of them are endangered, although they are rarely seen, because they are shy and lead hidden lives.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Thorington, R.W., Jr.; Hoffman, R.S. (2005). "Genus Microsciurus". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 757–758. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Amori, G.; Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (2008). "Microsciurus santanderensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Pečnerová, P. & Martínková, N. (February 2012). "Evolutionary history of tree squirrels (Rodentia, Sciurini) based on multilocus phylogeny reconstruction". Zoologica Scripta. 41 (3): 211–219. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00528.x. 


  • Ronald M. Nowak: Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999 ISBN 0-8018-5789-9