55 Red-tailed Squirrel
SCIURUS RUBICAUDATUS.--Aud. and Bach. [Sciurus niger] RED-TAILED SQUIRREL. [Fox Squirrel] PLATE LV. S. supra sub rufus cano mistus, subtus sordide flavus, magnitudine intel s. cinereum et s. migratorium; cauda auriculisque ruts.
CHARACTERS. Intermediate in size between the cat squirrel (S. Cinereus) and the Northern gray squirrel (S. Migratorius); cars and tail, red; body, light-brown mixed with gray above, soiled buff beneath. DESCRIPTION. In form this species resembles the northern gray squirrel, possessing evidently all its activity; its proportions are more delicate, and it weighs less, than the cat squirrel. It is considerably smaller than the great-tailed squirrel of SAY, (S. Sayi). Although a little larger than the northern gray squirrel, its tail is shorter, and its fur a little coarser. The only specimen in which we were enabled to examine the dentition, had but twenty teeth; the small front molars which appear to be permanent in the northern gray squirrel, and deciduous in several other species, were here entirely wanting. COLOUR. The fur on the back is in half its length from the roots, plumbeous, succeeded by a narrow marking of light brown, then black, tipped with whitish, a few interspersed hairs are black at the apical portion; on the under surface the hairs are yellowish-white at the roots, and reddish-buff at the tips. The long hairs on the under surface of the tail are red through their whole extent. On the upper surface of the tail the hairs are reddish with three black annulations, tipped with red. Moustaches, black; ears, around the eye, sides of face, throat and neck, inner surface of legs, upper surface of feet and belly, dull buff tail, rufous. DIMENSIONS. Inches. Length, from point of nose to root of tail,. . . . . . . . 13 Length, vertebrae, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Length, to end of hair, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 1/2 Height of ear, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 Heel to end of longest nail,. . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 7/8 HABITS. We have obtained no information in regard to the habits of this species, but have no doubt it possesses all the sprightliness and activity of other squirrels, particularly the Northern gray and cat squirrels, as well as the great tailed squirrel, to which in form and size it is allied. GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. The specimen from which our drawing was made, was procured in the State of Illinois. This squirrel is also found in the barrens of Kentucky: we possess a skin sent to us by our good friend Dr. CROGHAN, procured we believe near the celebrated Mammoth cave, of which he is proprietor. Mr. CABOT, of Boston, likewise has one, as well as we can recollect, in his collection. We sought in vain, while on our journey in the wilds of the Upper Missouri country, for this species, which apparently does not extend its range west of the well-wooded districts lying to the east of the great prairies. It will probably be found abundant in Indiana, although it has been hitherto most frequently observed in Illinois. Of its northern and southern limits, we know nothing, and it may have a much more extended distribution than is at present supposed.