Travancore flying squirrel

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Travancore flying squirrel
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Petinomys
P. fuscocapillus
Binomial name
Petinomys fuscocapillus
(Jerdon, 1847)

Petinomys fuscocapillus (Kelaart, 1850)
Sciuropetrus layardi Kelaart, 1850
Sciuropterus fuscocapillus Jerdon, 1847

Travancore flying squirrel (Petinomys fuscocapillus), also known as the small flying squirrel, is a flying squirrel found in South India and Sri Lanka. Travancore flying squirrels were thought to be extinct but were rediscovered in 1989 after a gap of 100 years in Kerala. It was rediscovered in Sri Lanka after 78 years. The animals were reported only in wet and intermediate zones of the island, and had a few sightings in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve.


Head and body length is 32 cm. Tail is 25–29 cm. Dorsally reddish brown. Underparts grayish with a ruddy tinge. Tail is feather-shaped and reddish brown with a blackish undersurface. Membrane behind hind limb is small. Vibrissae is black. Dorsal fur is very soft, long and sheen.


There are 2 subspecies, as;

  • Petinomys fuscocapillus fuscocapillus (Jerdon, 1847) - Western Ghats of Peninsular India
  • Petinomys fuscocapillus layardi (Kelaart, 1850) - Sri Lanka.


Rare, nocturnal mammal with frugivorous diet, they are known to eat bark, shoots, and leaves, and even insects also.[2]


  1. ^ Rajamani, N.; Molur, S. & Nameer, P. O. (2008). "Petinomys fuscocapillus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2009.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ Yapa, A.; Ratnavira, G. (2013). Mammals of Sri Lanka. Colombo: Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. p. 1012. ISBN 978-955-8576-32-8.