a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
The diverse rodents of the south-east Asian and Indian rainforests...
Callosciurus finlaysonii, 'Variable Squirrel', This local variation Callosciurus finlaysonii annellatus, is mainly rufous, with a distinct white band at the base of its tail (Angkor Wat, Cambodia).
Callosciurus caniceps, Grey-bellied Squirrel (Baan Maka Lodge, Thailand).
Callosciurus erythraeus, 'Pallas's Squirrel'. (Khao Sok National Park, Thailand).
Dremomys lokriah, 'Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel'. Despite the common name, doesn't always have a particularly bright orange belly (Jigme Dorji, Bhutan).
Tamiops mcclellandii, 'Himalayan Striped Squirrel'. Small, cute and very hyperactive. (Jigme Dorji, Bhutan).
Funambulus palmarum, 'Indian Palm squirrel' or 'Three-striped Palm Squirrel', (Kithugala, Sri Lanka).
Funambulus palmarum, 'Layard's Palm squirrel' or 'Flame-striped Jungle Squirrel', (Kithugala, Sri Lanka).
Large strikingly coloured squirrels. There are four species. There are many variations of colour and pattern within the species, which is confusing; unfortunately all my photographs below are atypical of each species! But most species can be identified by geographical range. They are found in the forests of tropical Asia.
Ratufa affinis, 'Cream-coloured/Sunda Giant Squirrel', (Malaysian Borneo). Large squirrel. Usually pale in colour, but there are variations, such as in Borneo, where they have darker upperparts and orange on shoulders and face. Found in peninsula Malaysia, Sumatra, and Borneo.
Ratufa bicolor, 'Black Giant Squirrel' (Bali Barat, Indonesia). Usually black upperparts with contrasting cream underparts. Found from northern India, across south-eat Asian mainland and through Sumatra, Java and Bali. There are many variations in colour with this widespread species; pictured is a Bali specimen.
Ratufa bicolor, 'Grizzled Giant Squirrel'. (Kithugala, Sri Lanka). Found in Sri Lanka and southern India. They are called 'grizzled' because some specimens have grey flecked fur.
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? The first expedition I am booked to work on after the virus is Micronesia, New Guinea & Indonesia in 2021 with Silversea. Meanwhile I am giving a lecture on the Sunshine Coast (Australia) on the "Sounds of suburban south-east Queensland".