dcsimg

Brief Summary

    Prevost's squirrel: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Prevost's squirrel or Asian tri-colored squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is found in forest in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo and nearby smaller islands, with an introduced population in northern Sulawesi. They eat fruits, nuts, seeds, buds, flowers, insects and bird eggs. It has been observed feeding on durians such as Durio graveolens. These squirrels carry the fruits far from the tree and drop the seeds when finished with their meal. This seed distribution away from the parent plant increases survival for the fruiting plant species.

    The "typical" subspecies (for example C. p. prevostii from the Thai-Malay Peninsula) of Prevost's squirrel are among the most colourful mammals in the world with their black upperparts and tail, reddish-orange underparts, and whitish thighs and flanks. The markings in some subspecies are duller, and C. prevostii pluto from northeastern Borneo is reddish-orange below and black above (no whitish thighs or flanks).

    Callosciurus prevostii -Temaiken Zoo-8a.jpg  src=

    C. p. pluto
    Borneo

     src=

    C. p. pluto
    Borneo

Comprehensive Description

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Callosciurus prevostii is found in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many small islands of the East Indies (Oakland Zoo, 2001). The northern limit of this squirrel's range is in southern Thailand (Heaney, 1978).

    Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

    Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Generally, these squirrels are black on top and chestnut underneath, with a white stripe between the black and chestnut. Many subspecies have a prominent shoulder patch, which can be black, grey, red, white, or a mixture of those colors (Heaney ,1978). The coloration of the pelage varies over the species range. C. prevostii fur is usually thick but not soft (Oakland Zoo, 2001).

    Average mass: 0.5 kg.

    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

    Average mass: 400 g.

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The habitat of Prevost's squirrels varies within its range. In northern Borneo they have been found in smaller trees of the middle story in primary and old logged forests. In western Malaysia they have been found feeding on the fruit of fig trees in the upper story (Heaney, 1978). They will either nest in tree hollows or make nests of leaves and twigs (Oakland Zoo, 2001).

    Habitat Regions: tropical

    Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The food habits of C. prevostii vary throughout the species range. These squirrels primarily eat coconut, rubber seeds (among other varieties), oil palm fruit, and other soft fruits such as figs. They also eat eggs, buds, flowers, other vegetable matter, and insects, including ants, termites, and beetle larvae, although this is not the main staple of their diet (Heaney, 1978; Nowak, 1999).

    Animal Foods: insects

    Plant Foods: leaves; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit; flowers

    Primary Diet: herbivore (Frugivore , Granivore )

Associations

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Prevost's squirrels drop the seeds of some species after eating the flesh from the fruit. Squirrels disperse these seeds by carrying them away from the parent tree. Seeds carried away in such a manner may have a lower risk of being eaten compared to ones that are found beneath the parent tree (Becker et al., 1985).

    Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    A yellow-throated marten was seen pursuing Prevost's squirrel, and a creasted serpent eagle was seen carrying one. These are the only noted observations of predation on the species, and not much is known about their predators (Becker et al., 1985). Although anti-predator behavior for this species has not been reported, a related species, Callosciurus caniceps is known to have an alarm call (Nowak, 1999).

    Known Predators:

    • yellow-throated martens (Martes flavigula)
    • crested serpent-eagles (Spilornis cheela)

Behavior

    Behavior
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

Life Cycle

    Life Cycle
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    See Reproduction.

Life Expectancy

    Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
    provided by AnAge articles
    Maximum longevity: 21.1 years (captivity)
    Life Expectancy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The lifespan of this species is not known. However, Callosciurus erythraeus lived 17 years in captivity. (Nowak, 1999)

    Average lifespan
    Status: captivity:
    21.1 years.

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    The mating system and behavior of these squirrels has not been reported.

    Although the breeding season is year-round, it peaks between June and August. The gestation period is about 40 days. In captivity females have one to four young (Oakland Zoo, 2001). The pregnancy rate in central Malaysia has been broadly related to the amount of rainfall (Wang, 1964). Neonates weigh around 16 grams (Nowak, 1999).

    Breeding season: These squirrels breed year round, but experience a peak in breeding during June and August.

    Range number of offspring: 1 to 4.

    Average gestation period: 40 days.

    Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

    Average birth mass: 16.35 g.

    Average gestation period: 48 days.

    Average number of offspring: 1.8.

    Reports on parental care in C. prevostii are not available. However, like all mammals, the female does provide the young with milk. Squirrels of the genus Callosciurus construct nests in tree hollows, or from leaves and twigs. The female therefore provides her growing offspring with a home also. As with other members of the genus, the young are probably altricial, and weigh only 16 grams when born. (Nowak, 1999)

    Parental Investment: altricial

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Currently Prevost's squirrels are not threatened. However, habitat destruction and the pet trade may affect their numbers (Oakland Zoo, 2001). Many of the natural habitats in which they live have a vulnerable or a critical/endangered status, such as the Peninsular Malaysian rain forests and the Sumatran lowland rain forests (National Geographic, 2001).

    CITES: no special status

    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Benefits

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Where their habitat has been converted to agriculture, these squirrels grow fond of oil palm nuts. This brings them into conflict with plantation owners (Heany, 1978).

    Negative Impacts: crop pest

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    No positive interactions between humans and C. prevostii have been reported.

Other Articles

    Untitled
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Prevost's squirrel is also known as the Tri-colored, Ornamental, or Beautiful squirrel (Oakland Zoo, 2001).