Pallas’s squirrels

Latin Name Callosciurus erythraeus
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Sciuridae
IUCN status Least concern
Habitat Typically found in subtropical, evergreen and broadleaved forests, and is very flexible in terms of habitat. This species is widely distributed in north eastern South Asia, much of central and southern China, and mainland Southeast Asia.

General Information

This is also known as the red-bellied tree squirrel. The colour of the pelt varies considerably between the many different subspecies, but is generally brownish on the upper body with a more reddish tint on the belly, and often with some black on the tail.

Like all tree squirrels, Pallas's squirrels are primarily herbivorous. They eat a wide range of different foods, and have differing diets in different parts of their broad range. However, primary foodstuffs include leaves, flowers, seeds, and fruit. They also eat small quantities of insects, as well as occasional bird eggs.
The squirrels breed throughout the year, and may mate again as soon as they have weaned a previous litter. They have lived for up to 17 years in captivity.

Pallas's squirrels are diurnal. They inhabit much of the forest canopy, and construct leaf nests above the ground, and, less commonly, in underground burrows.

Fun Fact

The squirrels make calls to warn neighbours of predators, and have been observed to mob tree-climbing snakes, with females protecting young being particularly likely to join in.

Keeper Notes

Our Pallas’s squirrels love to sunbathe and can often be seen basking in the sun or darting through their tunnel to the other side of their enclosure.