Head to rump length is 9 to 10 inches with a tail length of 8 to 9 inches, and a weight of 13 to 18 ounces. This is a very colorful animal whose name means beautiful squirrel. The top of the head, the back, the tail, and the sides are a glossy black, the underparts are reddish, and where the other colors approach each other on each side, there is a pure white line. The fur is fairly full but not particularly soft, and although the tail appears fairly full, it is flat as the underhairs are short. They have only four functional toes with fully developed claws on each foot. They do not have canine teeth, but have a pair of chisel-shaped incisors in each jaw.
Class: Mammal (Mammalia)
Range: Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Borneo, Bangka Island, Rhio Archipelago, Celebes, nearby islands of East Indies
Habitat: Lowland and montane forest and cultivated areas, arboreal
Lifespan: Up to five years in captivity
Wild Diet: Fruit, nuts, seeds, buds, flowers, other vegetable matter, insects, bird's eggs
Zoo Diet: Staple: primate leaf eater pellets, hazelnuts (for teeth), small amounts grapes, apples, orange, banana, occasionally crickets, waxworms
Diurnal, these animals live single or in pairs. They live in hollow trees or construct nests of leaves and twigs in the branches of trees or large bushes. Generally do their foraging in the canopy or emergent layers of the forest. Their territory may overlap with other squirrels and they have been seen eating side by side with Malayan giant squirrels. They coexist peacefully because they eat a smaller range of fruit than the larger animal, and their foraging pattern is different in that they need less food, spend less time looking, but will travel farther to find it.
May mate throughout the year, the peak being April to June. The young will be born and reared in a special nest constructed high in the trees, probably as a defense against predators. They can have at least two, possibly more litters per year. Young are altricial.
Gestation: 3-6 weeks
Litter: 3 or 4
Conservation Status: Least Concern
- Usually exhibited in a glass fronted cage since one of their defense behaviors is to urinate on tormentors.
- Also known as tri-colored squirrel.