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Petaurillus hosei (Hose’s Pygmy flying squirrel) is endemic to the eastern coast of Sarawak, on the northwestern side of Borneo.
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )
Other Geographic Terms: island endemic
Species in the genus Petaurillus are the smallest of the flying squirrels, with head and body length ranging from 68 to 89 mm and tail length from 62 to 98 mm. Hose's pygmy flying squirrels have large eyes and ears. The body is similar to that of all flying squirrels, with a flat hairy tail and a gliding membrane that extends between the fore and hindlimbs, called a patagium. Patagia increase the surface area of these squirrels, enabling gliding. A cartilaginous extension of the wrist bones assists in spreading the patagia. Flying squirrels have five digits on their hind limbs and four digits on their forelimbs, each digit has a long claw at the end, which assists in climbing trees. Hose's pygmy flying squirrels have dark dorsal fur and white ventral surfaces. They have a white spot behind each ear and pale or buffy colored cheeks. The tail is brown with a white tip. The teeth are not complex.
Range mass: 68 to 89 g.
Range length: 62 to 98 mm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
There was not any specific information found on the habitat of P. hosei but, as are most flying squirrels, Hose's pygmy flying squirrels are highly arboreal. These squirrels have only been found in lowland forest types and are reported to use tree cavities as nest holes.
Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest
No information was found on the diet of Hose’s pygmy flying squirrels. In general, flying squirrels eat seeds, fruits, and fungi. They may also take insects, bird eggs and nestlings, and other small animals as they find them.
Because Hose's pygmy flying squirrels are likely to eat fruits, seeds, and fungi, they are likely to be important in dispersing tree seeds and fungal spores in their lowland, forest ecosystems.
Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds
Predators of Hose's pygmy flying squirrels are unknown. Likely predators of these small, nocturnal, arboreal mammals are nocturnal raptors, such as owls and arboreal snakes.
Like other aspects of the natural history of Hose's pygmy flying squirrels, there is nothing known about social interactions. Other flying squirrels use sounds, chemical cues, and visual cues, such as movements with the tail, to communicate. These flying squirrels, like others, are likely to have excellent night vision and hearing that they use to navigate and avoid predation at night. They may have a keen sense of smell to locate food items and to communicate.
Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Information on the life span of P. hosei was not found but other, small flying squirrels may live to 5 to 6 years old in the wild. Because of their body size, Hose's pygmy flying squirrels may have relatively short lifespans.
The mating system of P. hosei is unknown. Mating systems in flying squirrels are generally not well understood, but it is likely that males and females do not associate beyond a single breeding season.
Little is known about reproduction in Hose's pygmy flying squirrels. A close relative, Selangor pygmy flying squirrels (P. kinlochii), has a reported litter size of two. Females have 4 mammae, indicating a maximum litter size of 4. In other flying squirrels, breeding can occur multiple times during the breeding season, young are weaned within several months of birth, and reproductive maturity is acheived within a year of birth. Because Hose's pygmy flying squirrels live in lowland, tropical habitats, they may breed throughout the year.
Breeding interval: Breeding intervals are not known, but breeding may occur multiple times throughout the year.
Breeding season: Seasonality of breeding is not known.
Range number of offspring: 4 (high) .
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous
Hose's pygmy flying squirrel females nurse and care for their young, as do all female mammals. They may be the sole caretakers of their young. Young are probably left in a nest in a tree cavity until they are weaned and become independent.
Parental Investment: pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female)
According to the IUCN’s red list of threatened species, P. hosei is listed as low risk, least concern.
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: data deficient
There are no known adverse effects of P. hosei on humans.
Hose's pygmy flying squirrels, like other flying squirrels, are likely to impact seed and fungal spore dispersal in their native habitats through their feeding habits.