The Info List - Gambian Sun Squirrel

The Gambian sun squirrel
Gambian sun squirrel
( Heliosciurus
gambianus) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is found in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. Its natural habitat is wooded savanna.


1 Taxonomy 2 Description 3 Distribution and habitat 4 Status 5 References

Taxonomy[edit] The Gambian sun squirrel
Gambian sun squirrel
was first described by the Irish naturalist William Ogilby in 1835 as Sciurus
gambianus. It was designated the type species of the genus Sciurus
after the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature decided to suppress the use of the Sciurus annulatus for this purpose in 1957. The species was later reallocated to the genus Heliosciurus.[3] It is probably a species complex of several described species.[1] Description[edit] The Gambian sun squirrel
Gambian sun squirrel
has a head-and-body length of between 170 and 240 mm (6.7 and 9.4 in) and a tail of between 180 and 260 mm (7.1 and 10.2 in). The pelage is variably coloured but is usually greyish with a grizzled appearance. There is a paler grey ring around the eye, and the throat and underparts are also pale. The tail is boldly ringed in black and white, there being about fourteen rings.[4] Distribution and habitat[edit] The Gambian sun squirrel
Gambian sun squirrel
occurs across tropical Africa, its range extending from Senegal
and the Gambia, to Ethiopia
and Kenya. A separate population is further south in Angola
and Tanzania. It inhabits wooded savanna and other grassland with scattered trees, moving through the branches but sometimes descending to the ground.[4] It also inhabits plantations and other cultivated areas.[1] Status[edit] The Gambian sun squirrel
Gambian sun squirrel
is a common grassland species with a wide range and a presumed large total population. The population trend has not been evaluated but no particular threats have been recognised; it is able to adapt to habitats modified by humans and is present in a number of protected areas. For these reasons, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".[1] References[edit]

^ a b c d Grubb, P. & Ekué, M. R. M. (2008). "Heliosciurus gambianus". IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 19 November 2016.  ^ Thorington, R.W., Jr.; Hoffmann, R.S. (2005). "Family Sciuridae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal
Species of the World: a taxonomic and geographic reference (3rd ed.). The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 754–818. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4. OCLC 26158608.  ^ Don E. Wilson; DeeAnn M. Reeder (2005). Mammal
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. JHU Press. p. 793. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0.  ^ a b Jonathan Kingdon (2015). The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals: Second Edition. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-4729-2531-2. 

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Extant species of family Sciuridae
(subfamily Xerinae)

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Suborder: Sciuromorpha



Barbary ground squirrel
Barbary ground squirrel
(Atlantoxerus getulus)

Xerus (African ground squirrels)

Subgenus Euxerus: Striped ground squirrel (Xerus erythropus)

Subgenus Geosciurus: Cape ground squirrel
Cape ground squirrel
(Xerus inauris) Mountain ground squirrel
Mountain ground squirrel
(Xerus princeps)

Subgenus Xerus: Unstriped ground squirrel
Unstriped ground squirrel
(Xerus rutilus)


Long-clawed ground squirrel
Long-clawed ground squirrel
(Spermophilopsis leptodactylus)



Ebian's palm squirrel
Ebian's palm squirrel
( Epixerus
ebii) Baifran palm squirrel ( Epixerus

Funisciurus (African striped squirrels)

Thomas's rope squirrel
Thomas's rope squirrel
(Funisciurus anerythrus) Lunda rope squirrel
Lunda rope squirrel
(Funisciurus bayonii) Carruther's mountain squirrel
Carruther's mountain squirrel
(Funisciurus carruthersi) Funisciurus congicus Lady Burton's rope squirrel
Lady Burton's rope squirrel
(Funisciurus isabella) Ribboned rope squirrel
Ribboned rope squirrel
(Funisciurus lemniscatus) Red-cheeked rope squirrel
Red-cheeked rope squirrel
(Funisciurus leucogenys) Funisciurus pyrrhopus Kintampo rope squirrel
Kintampo rope squirrel
(Funisciurus substriatus)

Heliosciurus (sun squirrels)

Gambian sun squirrel
Gambian sun squirrel
( Heliosciurus
gambianus) Mutable sun squirrel
Mutable sun squirrel
( Heliosciurus
mutabilis) Red-legged sun squirrel
Red-legged sun squirrel
( Heliosciurus
rufobrachium) Ruwenzori sun squirrel
Ruwenzori sun squirrel
( Heliosciurus
ruwenzorii) Zanj sun squirrel
Zanj sun squirrel
( Heliosciurus


African pygmy squirrel
African pygmy squirrel
(Myosciurus pumilio)

Paraxerus (African bush squirrels)

Smith's bush squirrel
Smith's bush squirrel
(Paraxerus cepapi) African red bush squirrel (Paraxerus luciferus) Alexander's bush squirrel
Alexander's bush squirrel
(Paraxerus alexandri) Boehm's bush squirrel
Boehm's bush squirrel
(Paraxerus boehmi) Cooper's mountain squirrel
Cooper's mountain squirrel
(Paraxerus cooperi) Fernando Po squirrel (Paraxerus poensis) Huet's bush squirrel
Huet's bush squirrel
(Paraxerus ochraceus) Red bush squirrel
Red bush squirrel
(Paraxerus palliatus) Striped bush squirrel
Striped bush squirrel
(Paraxerus flavovittis) Swynnerton's bush squirrel
Swynnerton's bush squirrel
(Paraxerus vexillarius) Vincent's bush squirrel
Vincent's bush squirrel
(Paraxerus vincenti)

Protoxerus (African giant squirrels)

Slender-tailed squirrel
Slender-tailed squirrel
(Protoxerus aubinnii) Forest giant squirrel
Forest giant squirrel
(Protoxerus stangeri)

Marmotini (ground squirrels)

Large tribe listed separately


Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q304195 EoL: 1041028 GBIF: 2437541 iNaturalist: 46195 ITIS: 632366 IUCN: 9830 MSW: 12400768 N