Sun squirrel

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Sun squirrels
Temporal range: Late Pleistocene to Recent
Red-legged sun squirrel (Heliosciurus rufobrachium).jpg
H. rufobrachium, Uganda
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Tribe: Protoxerini
Genus: Heliosciurus
Trouessart, 1880

Sun squirrels (genus Heliosciurus), form a taxon of squirrels under the subfamily Xerinae and the tribe Protoxerini. They are only found in sub-Saharan Africa.

The habit of basking in the sun on tree branches probably gave this group its common name.

Sun squirrels have been implicated in the spread of human monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

There are 6 species in the genus:


  1. ^ 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.