Microsciurus[1] or dwarf squirrels is a genus of squirrels from the tropical regions of Central and South America.

Temporal range: Recent
Microsciurus flaviventer - Amazon Dwarf Squirrel, Serra do Divisor National Park, Acre, Brazil.jpg
Microsciurus flaviventer
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Subfamily: Sciurinae
Tribe: Sciurini
Genus: Microsciurus
Allen, 1895
Type species
Sciurus alfari

See text

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

Recent DNA analysis has shown that there is some confusion regarding the traditional classification of the species in the genus Microsciurus,[2] and that the genus may be polyphyletic.[3] Currently, there are four species recognized:


With a typical head-and-body length of about 15 cm (5.9 in) and a 12 cm (4.7 in) long tail, dwarf squirrels are relatively small. However, the Neotropical pygmy squirrel, not in this genus, is much smaller than these species, as are certain squirrels in Africa and Asia. Microsciurus species have gray or brown backs, and white bellies.

Distribution and habitatEdit

All dwarf squirrels in this genus live in tropical rain forests. Estimates of their abundance are limited[4]. The IUCN lists the conservation status as "Least Concern" for three of the species and "Data Deficient" for Microsciurus santanderensis.[5]


  1. ^ Thorington, R.W., Jr.; Hoffman, R.S. (2005). "Genus Microsciurus". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 757–758. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Amori, G.; Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (2008). "Microsciurus santanderensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T13412A3904007. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T13412A3904007.en. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  3. ^ Pečnerová, P. & Martínková, N. (February 2012). "Evolutionary history of tree squirrels (Rodentia, Sciurini) based on multilocus phylogeny reconstruction". Zoologica Scripta. 41 (3): 211–219. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00528.x.
  4. ^ Jessen, T.G.; et al. (August 2016). "Microsciurus flaviventer (Rodentia: Sciuridae)". Mammalian Species. 48 (935): 59–65. doi:10.1093/mspecies/sew006.
  5. ^ "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2020-05-15.


  • Ronald M. Nowak: Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999 ISBN 0-8018-5789-9