INDO-MALAYAN Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest

The diverse rodents of the south-east Asian and Indian rainforests...

Order Rodentia

Family Sciuridae: Squirrels

Callosciurus spp.

(Angkor Wat, Cambodia)

Callosciurus finlaysonii, 'Variable Squirrel', This local variation Callosciurus finlaysonii annellatus, is mainly rufous, with a distinct white band at the base of its tail.

(Baan Maka Lodge, Thailand)

Callosciurus caniceps, 'Grey-bellied Squirrel'.

Callosciurus erythraeus, 'Pallas's Squirrel'. (Khao Sok National Park, Thailand).

Dremomys spp.

Dremomys lokriah, 'Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel'. Despite the common name, doesn't always have a particularly bright orange belly (Jigme Dorji, Bhutan).

Tamiops spp., 'Striped Squirrels'

These squirrels are small and fast, with stripes along the back, fluffy white tips to the ears and relatively thin short-haired tails.

(Jigme Dorji, Bhutan)

Tamiops mcclellandii, 'Himalayan Striped Squirrel'. Small, cute and very hyperactive.

(Baan Maka Lodge, Thailand)

Tamiops mcclellandii, 'Himalayan Striped Squirrel'.

Funambulus spp., 'Palm squirrels' 

These are average-sized squirrels with stripes on their back and relatively fluffy tails. They are often seen around farms and gardens around the India and surrounding countries.

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).

Ratufa spp. 'Oriental Giant Squirrels'

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.

Family Spalacidae

There are three species of Bamboo Rats. They are large rats. They mostly live underground feeding on bamboo roots. They are rarely seen, but probably not uncommon. as they can feed on agricultural plants on the edge of forest and grasslands.

(Sumatra, Indonesia)

Rhizomys sumatrensis, 'Indo-Malayan Bamboo Rat' or 'Giant Bamboo Rat'. 

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