| Some Red-bellied Squirrels look like they are wearing a long-sleeved, red turtleneck sweater. In the same population, others can be all black, or brownish with a yellowish tummy, or brownish with a yellowish-brown head and white tummy. Sex and geographic location do not seem to play any role in these color variations. Except in the all-black individuals, the tail has a distinct white fringe.
In some places these large squirrels are hunted for food, or to curtail their damage to corn and other crops. Where they are not hunted, they are often common, especially in dry, open woods near farms. They can be found from sea level to 3,800 m; populations that live in the mountains depend on acorns and pine nuts. They are mostly arboreal, but come to the ground to move from tree to tree and to forage.
Head and Body: 232-310 mm; Tail 215-284 mm
Cuvier, F., 1829. In Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, É. and F. Cuvier, "Ecureuil de la Californie" Hist. Nat. Mammifères, pt. 3. 6(59):1-2.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).