104 Collie's Squirrel
SCIURUS COLLIAEI.--RICH. [Sciurus griseus] COLLIE'S SQUIRREL [Western Gray Squirrel] PLATE CIV.--MALES. S. Supra e fresco-nigro flavoque varius subtus ex flavescente albidus; magnitudine S. migratorii.
CHARACTERS. Size of Sciurus Migratorius; upper parts mottled brownish black and yellow; under surface cream white. SYNONYMES. SCIURUS COLLIAEI. Richardson, Append. to Beechey's Voyage. SCIURUS COLLIAEI. Bachman, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1838 (Monog. of Genus Sciurus). DESCRIPTION. In size and form this species bears some resemblance to the migratory gray Squirrel of the middle or northern States; the tail, however, in the only specimen which exists in any collection, appears much smaller and less distichous, and the animal, when other specimens are examined, may prove to be intermediate in size between the Carolina gray Squirrel and S. Migratorius. The fur is rather coarse, and the tail appears to be somewhat cylindrical; ears, of moderate size, ovate, clothed with short hairs on both surfaces, but not tufted. COLOUR. Above, grizzled with black and dull-yellow; sides of the muzzle, under parts of the body, and inner sides of limbs, dull-white; tail, moderate, the hairs grayish-white, three times annulated with black. Hairs of the body, both above and beneath, grey at the roots, those on the back having lengthened black tips broadly annulated with dull-yellow. The hairs of the head resemble those of the back, except on the front, where they are annulated with dull-white; top of the muzzle, brown; cheeks, greyish; insides of ears, yellowish, indistinctly freckled with brown; outsides, grizzled with black and yellow on the forepart, but posteriorly covered with long whitish hairs; hairs on the feet, black at the roots, white at the tips, the feet and legs being dirty cream-colour, pencilled with dusky; whiskers, long as the head, composed of bristly black hairs. The above description was taken by us from the specimen in the Zoological Society's Museum, London; the skin was not in very good condition, and a portion of the tail was wanting. DIMENSIONS. Inches. Lines. Length from nose to root of tail, . . 0 9 Length of tail to end of hair, . . . 9 6 Height of ear posteriorly, . . . . 0 6 Tarsus (including nail), . . . . . 2 5 Nose to ear, . . . . . . . . . 2 0 HABITS. Our figures of this Squirrel were made from the specimen presented to the Zoological Society of London by Captain BEECHEY; the original from which the species was described and named by our friend Dr. RICHARDSON. All the information we have as to the habits of this animal is contained in the above-mentioned appendix (p. 8): "Mr. COLLIE observed this Squirrel, in considerable numbers, sporting on trees at San Blas in California (?), where its vernacular name signifies 'Little Fox-Squirrel.' It feeds on fruits of various kinds. Although unwilling to incur the risk of adding to the number of synonymes with which the history of this large genus is already overburdened, I do not feel justified in referring it to any of the species admitted into recent systematic works; and I have therefore described it as new, naming it in compliment to the able and indefatigable naturalist who procured the specimen." GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION. This species was given by RICHARDSON, as appears by the above quotation, as existing at San Blas, California; this place, however, if we have not mistaken the locality, is in the district of Xalisco in Mexico, and within the tropics; it is doubtful, therefore, whether the species will be found to inhabit any portion of California. J. W. AUDUBON did not observe it in his travels through Upper California. GENERAL REMARKS. This species is very nearly allied to Sciurus Aureogaster of F. CUVIER, and it is yet possible that it may prove a variety of that very variable species, in which the under parts of the body are sometimes white, instead of the usual deep-red colour. A specimen of S. Aureogaster in the Museum at Paris has the under parts of the body white, with small patches of red, and with a few scattered red hairs here and there mingled with the white ones.