Sierra Leonean Squirrel ID

Does anyone know what this species is? I am all squirreled out after Sierra Leone, where we spent a large proportion of our time trying to get decent looks at shadowy squirrels and usually failing.

squirrel sp

Between us we recorded Slender-tailed Squirrel, Gambian and Red-legged Sun Squirrel, Giant Squirrel and Fire-footed Rope Squirrel. But does anyone recognise this one, taken at dawn in a palm tree deep in the rainforest?


  • Chris Roche

    Hi Jon – that cheek colour is really striking! did you get a look at the tail or the underside? also what size would you say it was? sun squirrel, rope squirrel or giant squirrel size?

    ps. well done for getting a pic at all!

    • Jon Hall

      Hi Chris, my impression was it was a decent size… sun squirrel or bigger I think, and the tail was long and quite bushy. I have one more photo at home but I don’t think it shows anymore of the tail. Anyone know whether Western Palm Squirrels (Epixerus ebii) every look like this?

  • Vladimir Dinets

    There seems to be nothing with white cheeks in West Africa, so I think it’s either an individual variation of green bush squirrel, or something undescribed.

    • Jon Hall

      THanks Vladimir… glad I wasn’t missing something obvious. It was I think too big, and too bushy-tailed, to be a Green Squirrel (not obvious from the photo of course). And yes those cheeks are a puzzle. If anyone else has any suggestions please let me know. I will contact some of the squirrel academics too

  • geomalia

    I just emailed a mammalogist who works in the region about this. I’ll let you know if I hear back.

    Have you processed photos of the anomalure from Tiwai yet?

    • Jon Hall

      Thanks Ben! I will send you a couple of Anomalure pics over email. Would be good to get some more opinions on what flavor the beast is.

  • Forget

    Dear Jon I need to contact you as I giving a helping hand to the African Birdclub 2017 Year Report. Your mammal list is amazing. Can you give me an email address to which I can contact you? Please write asap to this address : . Thank you beforehand. Ben

  • Jane

    For me, this squirrel is unquestionable a forest giant. Large size, blocky head with grizzled grey on top and yellowish cheeks, only slightly reddish dorsum. Forest giant can have white on the neck there, see this one for example:

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