Pallass squirrel

Callosciurus erythraeus


Callosciurus erythraeus (Pallas, 1779), Assam, India. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Red-bellied squirrel; French: Ecureuil a ventre rouge; Spanish: Ardilla de Pallas.


Head and body length 7.8-10.2 in (200-260 mm), tail 6-7.6 in (160-195 mm); 11-16 oz (310-460 g). Very variable in color, Upper fur olive brown agouti, underside reddish (varying from maroon to creamy buff).


From Bhutan and Assam in the east through Myanman to southern China, south to Indochina, Thailand, and Malaya. Also occurs on Taiwan, introduced to Japan and Cap d'Antibes in France.


Broadleaf evergreen forest, dipterocarp forest, bamboo-rich forest, tropical rainforest. Overlapping home range system of space use, less overlap among females than males.


Diurnal activity pattern. Observed mobbing snakes in Japan to defend young. Distinct recorded vocalizations for aerial and terrestrial predators leading conspecifics to adopt different escape strategies. Alarm calls also used following mating. This is thought to be a possible strategy by males to delay second matings by the female and increase the probability of paternity.


Fruit, seeds, nuts, and insects.


Promiscuous. Reproductively active throughout the year, peaks March to August. Average litter size 1.4 young.


Common; not threatened.


Introduced population in France causes damage to trees, may compete with native red squirrel. Considered a pest on oil palm plantations. ♦

Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior



Conservation status

West African pygmy squirrel Myosciurus pumiiio

Indian giant squirrel Ratufa indica English: Malabar squirrel; French: Ecureuil géant de l'Inde; German: Indisches Riesenhörnchen

Allen's squirrel Sciurus alleni

Persian squirrel Sciurus anomalus English: Golden squirrel; French: Ecureuil de Perse; German: Kaukasisches Eichhörnchen; Spanish: Ardilla persa

Deppe's squirrel Sciurus deppei English: Guanacaste squirrel, Orizaba squirrel; Spanish: Ardilla montañera

Upper fur brown, underside olive-white. Occurs in all types of forests Gabon, Equatorial

Western gray squirrel Sciurus griseus

English: California gray squirrel, Oregon gray squirrel

Weight approximately 0.6 oz (16 g).

Upper fur reddish brown to black, red ears, ear tufts present. Underside buff colored. Head and body length approximately 11.5-17.5 in (30-45 cm), tail 23.5 in (60 cm).

Upper fur grizzled gray with black, sides yellowish brown. White eye ring. Underside white. Tail black mixed with white. Weight 9.8-17.5 oz (280-500 g).

Upper fur gray mixed with white, yellow head with gray; yellow eye ring, legs and tail amber in color, underside yellow. Weight approximately 10.5 oz (300 g).

Upper fur reddish to yellowish brown, sometimes mixed with gray. Underside white to dull reddish brown. Tail color variable, black fringed with white, with ochre on the underside. Weight 710.6 oz (200-300 g).

Silvery gray upper fur, underside white or cream. Tail gray fringed with white. Weight 15.9-35 oz (450-1,000 g).

Mexican fox squirrel Sciurus nayaritensis English: Nayarit squirrel, Apache fox squirrel, Chiricahua fox squirrel

Yucatán squirrel Sciurus yucatanensis English: Black-footed squirrel, Campeche squirrel

Mountain squirrel Syntheosciurus brochus within its distributional range. Observed foraging at all heights of the canopy, but most often seen at heights of 0-16 ft (0-5 m).

Deciduous forest, monsoonal forests, evergreen seasonal cloud forests. Solitary arboreal squirrel.

Deciduous and conifer forests. Diurnal activity pattern. Little known about reproductive behavior and space use.

Mixed deciduous woodland habitats. Diurnal activity pattern, active all year.

Upper fur brown to gray with red or ochre. In southern populations, upper fur mixed with white. Underside reddish to white. Weight approximately 22-29 oz (620-820 g).

Color variable. Upper fur black mixed with gray, yellow, and ochre. Underside white to yellowish gray to black. White ear tufts in winter and spring.

Upper fur dark reddish olive to black; tail similar to body with reddish tips. Underside orange-red to ochre. Total length approximately 12 in (30 cm).

Guinea, and Cameroon.

Forested areas of peninsular India, Ghats, India.

Tropical forests, pine-oak forests, evergreen, and cloud forests. Diurnal activity pattern, active all year. Arboreal, but will forage on the ground.

Solitary, space use characterized by overlapping home ranges. Occurs in both deciduous and conifer forests as well as evergreen hardwood forests.

Pine-oak, montane, and conifer forests. Little known about social organization, population dynamics, and space use.

Tropical broadleaf forest and pine-oak forests. Little known about population dynamics, social organization, and space use.

Montane cloud forest and evergreen deciduous forest.

Costa Rica and Mexico.

Feeds continuously; diet Vulnerable includes bark, fungi, and insects.

Mexico, found at elevations of 1,970— 8,200 ft (600-2,500 m).

Lebanon,Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Transcaucasia; and island of Lesbos, Greece.

Leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, and seeds.

Seeds of deciduous and conifer trees, fruit, and insects.

Tree seeds, fungi, buds, and shoots.


Not listed by IUCN

Lower Risk/Near Threatened

Fruit, tree seeds, nuts, fungi, and foliage.

Not threatened

Washington State, Oregon, and California, United States.

Chiricahua mountains, Arizona; and western Sierra Madre, Mexico.

Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico; Belize; and northern Guatemala.

Known from four locations in Costa Rica and Panama.

Seeds of deciduous and Not threatened, conifer trees, hypogeous fungi, fruit, conifer cambium, and insect larvae.

Seeds of deciduous and conifer trees, nuts, and plant material such as buds.

though status reviewed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 2002

Not listed by IUCN, though listed as Category 2 species by the U.S. FWS

Fruit and tree seeds. Not listed by IUCN


Lower Risk/Near Threatened



Brown, D. Arizona's Tree Squirrels. Phoenix: Arizona Game and Fish Department, 1984.

Corbet, G. B., and J. E. Hill. A World List of Mammalian Species. 3rd ed. London: British Museum of Natural History, 1991.

Gurnell, J. The Natural History of Squirrels. London: Christopher Helm, 1987.

Gurnell, J., and P. W. W. Lurz, eds. The Conservation of Red Squirrels, Sciurus vulgaris. London: People's Trust for Endangered Species, 1997.

Steele, M. A., and J. Koprowski. North American Tree Squirrels. Washington, DC: Smithonian Institution Press, 2001.

Steele, M. A., J. F. Merritt, and D. A. Zegers, eds. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Of Tree Squirrels. Martinsville, VA: Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publication Number 6, 1998.

Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder, eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Smithonian Institution Press, 1993.


Best, T. L. "Sciurus oculatus." Mammalian Species 498 (1995).

Best, T. L., and S. Riedel. "Sciurus arizonensis." Mammalian Species 496 (1995).

Black, C. C. "Holarctic evolution and dispersal of squirrels (Rodentia: Sciuridae)." Evolutionary Biology 6 (1972): 305-322.

Emmons, L. H. "Sound communication among African rainforest squirrels." Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 47 (1978): 1-47.

-. "Ecology and resource partitioning among nine species of African rainforest squirrels." Ecological Monographs 50 (1980): 31-54.

Hadj-Chikh, L. Z., M. A. Steele, and P. D. Smallwood.

"Caching decisions by grey squirrels: a test of handling time and perishability hypotheses." Animal Behaviour 52 (1996): 941-948.

Koprowski, J. "Sciurus niger." Mammalian Species 479 (1994).

-. "Sciurus carolinensis." Mammalian Species 480 (1994).

-. "Natal philopatrie, communal nesting, and kinship in fox squirrels and gray squirrels." Journal of Mammalogy 77 (1996): 1006-1016.

Moore, J. C. "Relationships among the living squirrels of the Sciurinae." Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 118 (1959): 153-206.

Steele, M. A. "Tamiasciurus hudsonicus." Mammalian Species 586 (1998).

Steele, M. A., G. Turner, P. D. Smallwood, J. O. Wolff, and J. Radillo. "Cache management by small mammals: Experimental evidence for the significance of acorn-embryo excision." Journal of Mammalogy 82 (2001): 35-42.

Wauters, L. A., G. Tosi, and J. Gurnell. "Interspecific competition in tree squirrels: Do introduced grey squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis) deplete tree seeds hoarded by red squirrels (S. vulgaris)?" Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 51 (2002): 360-367.


IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [February 12, 2003]. <>

United States Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Programme. [February 12, 2003]. <http://endangered.fws .gov/>

Class Mammalia Order Rodentia Suborder Sciurognathi Family Castoridae

Thumbnail description

Beavers are large, dark brown rodents with a broad, flat mostly hairless tail; they have a compact body design with webbed hind feet, dexterous front feet and long incisors


31-58 in (80-140 cm); tail one-third of length; 33-75 lb (15-33 kg) with records over 100 lb (45 kg)

Number of genera, species

1 genus; 2 species


Freshwater wetlands, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds

Conservation status

Lower Risk/Near Threatened: 1 species

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