Peterss squirrel

Sciurus oculatus

TAXONOMY

Sciurus oculatus Peters, 1863, Mexico.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Black-backed or spectacled squirrel.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 9.5-11 in (250-280 mm), tail (250-270 mm); weight 14.5-19.5 oz (410-550 g). Upper fur grizzled gray or containing a band of black. Tail is black with suffusion of white. Underparts white or mixed with pale yellow or ochre.

DISTRIBUTION

Mexican plateaus from Morelos to San Luis Potosi. HABITAT

Oak, pine, and fir forest between 4,900-11,810 (1,500-3,600) m elevation.

BEHAVIOR

Animals are capable of moving swiftly through the trees. Little known about their space use and social organization.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Known to feed on acorns, almonds, and wild figs.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Little known about breeding behavior, females observed to be in breeding condition in July in Veracruz.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Agricultural development caused significant loss of forest habitat and the species is considered fragile.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Occasionally hunted for food in some areas. ♦

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