Plantain squirrel

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Plantain squirrel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Callosciurus
Species: C. notatus
Binomial name
Callosciurus notatus
(Boddaert, 1785)
  • C. n. notatus
  • C. n. diardii
  • C. n. vittatus
  • C. n. suffusus
  • C. n. miniatus

The plantain squirrel, oriental squirrel or tricoloured squirrel, Callosciurus notatus is a species of rodents in the family Sciuridae found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand in a wide range of habitats: forests, mangroves, parks, gardens, and agricultural areas. Fruit farmers consider them to be pests.

Its body is about 20–30 cm long with a similar-sized tail. It is greyish/brown with a chestnut belly and a black and white stripe between the two. The genus name Callosciurus means beautiful squirrels.

Its diet consists mostly of leaves and fruits, but it also eats insects and bird eggs. It is known to break open twigs that contain ant larvae to eat them.[3] It can eat fruits much bigger than itself, such as mangoes, jackfruit, or coconuts. It is very quick and agile in trees, able to jump a few metres between trees, and rarely wanders on the ground.

Kloss's squirrel (Callosciurus albescens) is sometimes considered a subspecies.


  1. ^ Duckworth, J. W., Lee, B. & Tizard, R. J. (2008). "Callosciurus notatus". 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). "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. 
  3. ^ Anja Leo, Damage to Macaranga ant-plants by a myrmecophagous squirrel (Callosciurus notatus, Rodentia, Sciuridae) in West Malaysia [1]

External links[edit]

In Singapore