19 Soft-haired Squirrel
SCIURUS MOLLIPILOSUS.--Aud. and Bach. [Tamiascuris douglasii mollipilosus] SOFT-HAIRED SQUIRREL. [Douglas Squirrel] PLATE XIX. S. cauda corpore curtiore; dorso fusco; iliis partibusque colli lateralibus rufis; abdomine cinereo.
CHARACTERS. Tail, shorter than the body; back, dark brown; sides of the neck, and flanks, rufous; under surface, cinereous. SYNONYME. SCIURUS MOLLIPILOSUS, Aud. and Bach., Journal Acad. of Nat. Sciences, Philadelphia, Oct. 1841, p. 102. DESCRIPTION. A little larger than the chickaree, (S. Hudsonius;) head, rather large, slightly arched; ears, round, broad, but not high, clothed on the outer and inner surfaces with short, smooth hairs; whiskers, longer than the head. In form this species does not approach the TAMIAE, as S. Hudsonius does in some degree: it, on the contrary, very much resembles the Carolina gray-squirrel, S. Carolinensis, which is only an inch longer. Legs, robust; toes, rather long; nails, compressed, arched; tail bushy, but apparently not distichous, as far as can be judged from the dried specimen; hairs of the tail about as long as those of the Carolina gray-squirrel. The hairs on the whole of the body are soft and very smooth. COLOUR. Teeth, light yellow; upper parts, including the nose, ears, and outer surface of the tail, dark-brown; this colour is produced by the hairs being plumbeous at the roots, tipped with light-brown and black. On the sides of the neck, the shoulder, and near the thighs, it is of a reddish-brown colour. The tail is brown, twice annulated with black; a few of the hairs are tipped with gray. On the under surface, the lips and chin are grayish-brown; inner surface of the fore-legs, throat, and abdomen, cinereous, lightly tinged in some places with rufous. DIMENSIONS. Inches. Lines. Length of head and body . . . . . . . . . 8 6 Length of tail (vertebrae) . . . . . . . . 5 6 Length of tail to end of hair . . . . . . . 7 0 Height of ear. . . . . . . . . . . . . 0 5 From heel to end of nail . . . . . . . . . 2 1 HABITS. This species was procured in Upper California, near the Pacific ocean, and we are obliged to confess ourselves entirely unacquainted with its habits. From its form, however, we have no doubt of its having more the manners of the Carolina gray-squirrel than those of the chickaree. We may suppose that it lives on trees, and never burrows in the ground, as the chickaree sometimes does. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. Our specimens were obtained in the northern part of California, near the Pacific ocean. GENERAL REMARKS. This species differs so widely in all its details from S. Hudsonius, that it is scarcely necessary to point out the distinctive marks by which it is separated from the latter. The space occupied by the lighter colours on the under surface is much narrower than in S. Hudsonius, and there is not, as in that species, any black line of separation between the colours of the back and under surface.