Plantain squirrel

The plantain squirrel, oriental squirrel or tricoloured squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand in a wide range of habitats: forests, mangroves, parks, gardens, and agricultural areas. Fruit farmers consider them to be pests.

Plantain Squirrel
Mating pair

Plantain squirrel
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Callosciurus
C. notatus
Binomial name
Callosciurus notatus
(Boddaert, 1785)
  • C. n. notatus
  • C. n. diardii
  • C. n. vittatus
  • C. n. suffusus
  • C. n. miniatus
Distribution in red


Its body is about 20โ€“30 cm (8โ€“12 in) long with a similar-sized tail. It is greyish/brown with a chestnut belly and a black and white stripe on the side. It is very quick and agile in trees, able to jump a few metres between trees, and rarely wanders on the ground.


Its diet consists mostly of leaves and fruits, but it also eats insects and bird eggs. It is known to break open twigs that contain ant larvae to eat them.[3] It can eat fruits much bigger than itself, such as mangoes, jackfruit, or coconuts.


The genus name Callosciurus means "beautiful squirrel". Kloss's squirrel (Callosciurus albescens) is sometimes considered a subspecies.


  1. Duckworth, J. W.; Lee, B. & Tizard, R. J. (2008). "Callosciurus notatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  2. Thorington, R.W. Jr.; Hoffmann, R.S. (2005). "Family Sciuridae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference (3rd ed.). The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 754โ€“818. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4. OCLC 26158608.
  3. Anja Leo, Damage to Macaranga ant-plants by a myrmecophagous squirrel (Callosciurus notatus, Rodentia, Sciuridae) in West Malaysia Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine

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