Conservation and Trapping Science

Malayan Giant Squirrels
Jun 22, 2022 06:37 ET

Original Title: Observations of Courtship and Mating Behaviour of Malayan Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor, Sparrman, 1778) in Wild

Abstract
Malayan Giant Squirrels (Ratufa bicolor), identified by their black fur, tan chest and tan tail tip, are one of the largest members of the squirrel family. These squirrels are found much across the oriental region. An observation on the courtship of the species was made in Deban camp of Namdapha National Park, India during a study on the activity pattern of the species. The mating event occurred in four phases, pre-chase, actual mating-chase, copulation, and post copulation. Mating was preceded by the male sniffing the female’s anogenital region. The courtship event lasted for about 12 mins and 4 mountings were observed within the span. Courtship was followed by anogenital cleaning behaviour performed by the male squirrel. Even though there were no other individuals for competition and conflicts, mate guarding was still observed. The mating chase in such situation was considered as the tactic put forward by the female to ensure fitness of the male. This observation fills the gap in natural history and the mating behaviour of the species in wild.

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