Sun squirrel

(Redirected from Heliosciurus)

Sun squirrels (genus Heliosciurus), form a taxon of squirrels under the subfamily Xerinae and the tribe Protoxerini. They are only found in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sun squirrels
Temporal range: Late Pleistocene to Recent
Red-legged sun squirrel (Heliosciurus rufobrachium).jpg
H. rufobrachium, Uganda
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Tribe: Protoxerini
Genus: Heliosciurus
Trouessart, 1880
Type species
Sciurus gambianus

Either the habit of basking in the sun on tree branches[citation needed] or the tail being commonly used as a sunshade[2] gave this group its common name.

Sun squirrels have been implicated in the spread of human monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[citation needed]

There are six species in the genus:


  1. ^ 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. 754–818. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4. OCLC 26158608.
  2. ^ Thomas, H.H.; Best, T.L.; Agwanda, B. (September 2019). "Heliosciurus rufobrachium (Rodentia: Sciuridae)". Mammalian Species. 51 (978): 61–69. doi:10.1093/mspecies/sez010.