Indian tree shrew

Anathana ellioti

SUBFAMILY

Tupaiinae

TAXONOMY

Anathana ellioti (Waterhouse, 1850), Andhra Pradesh, India. Three subspecies recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Toupaie d'Elliot; German: Indisches Spithzhornchen. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 7.5 in (19 cm); tail length 7.5 in (19 cm); body mass 5.5 oz (160 g). Fur reddish brown to gray-brown dorsally and buff or white ventrally; oblique pale buff or white shoulder stripe present. Eyes surrounded by pale markings. Ears noticeably large and hairy. Tail equal in length to head and body combined. Relatively short snout. Canine teeth weakly developed.

DISTRIBUTION

Three main areas in peninsular India south of the Ganges River.

HABITAT

Evergreen tropical rainforests and thorny jungles. BEHAVIOR

Diurnal and semiterrestrial. Use nests, sometimes in holes among rocks.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forage mainly on the ground, eating a basic diet of fruit and insects and also digging for worms.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Females have three pairs of teats. No other specific information on reproduction is available, as this species has rarely been kept in captivity. Probably monogamous.

CONSERVATION STATUS Lower Risk/Near Threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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