Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Callosciurus notatus (Boddaert, 1785)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Sciuridae
Genus:Callosciurus
Species:C. notatus
Common Names:Plantain Squirrel
Status:Common

Description

The Plantain Squirrel has a brown body with a reddish-brown belly and a black and white stripe on each side of the belly. An albino with whitish body with pink eyes has been sighted.

Its head-body length is about 17–22 cm and tail length is about 16–21 cm.

Read more about the Rodentia order.
Read more about the Sciuridae family.

Distribution

It ranges from Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore to Sumatra, Java and Borneo.

Localities

It is found throughout Singapore.

Locality Map

General Biology

Diurnal, the Plantain Squirrel is most active in the early morning and late afternoon. It can be found in the forests, mangroves, plantations as well as parks and other urban area. Plantain Squirrels forage mostly in trees and undergrowth and rarely come to the ground. It will rest in hollow trees and may also construct a nest out of leaves and twigs, in tree branches or large bushes. The nest consists of a spherical arrangement of twigs and leaves, lined with fur and with a round entrance hole. This can be located from around 5 metres above the ground to much greater heights where the canopy allows.

Diet

It feeds mainly on fruits and nuts like Noni (Morinda citrifolia), seram palm (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) and Figs (Ficus sp.) as well as nectar of flowers like  Gelam (Melaleuca cajuputi). It also takes insects like cicada and even birds and their eggs. It has also been known to break open ant-plants to eat the ant larvae.

Life Cycle

Plantain Squirrels breed year round, but pregnant females were found more often in the months of April to June and least often in October to December. The litter size range from one to four. Young are born with their eyes closed and are hairless.

Other Resources

Ecology Asia. 2013. Plantain Squirrel. http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/mammals/plantain_squirrel.htm. (Accessed January 2013).

Tan, R. 2001. Plantain Squirrel. http://www.naturia.per.sg/buloh/verts/squirrel.htm. (Accessed January 2013).

References

Baker, N. & K. K. P. Lim, 2008. Wild Animals of Singapore. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte Ltd, Singapore, 180 pp.

Chua, A.K & K.K.P. Lim, 2011. Squirrels. Pp 466–467. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development, Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

Francis, C. M. 2008. A Guide to Mammals of Southeast Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd, United Kingdom, 392 pp.

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