Beyond the color: the implications of pigmentation polymorphism in the activity behavior of a Neotropical squirrel

Mariana Silva Tavares 1 , Leonardo dos Santos Aguiar 1 , Carlos Henrique Salvador 2 ,  and Maron Galliez 1
  • 1 Departamento de Biologia e Biotecnologia, Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20270-021, Brazil
  • 2 Caipora Cooperativa, Florianópolis, SC 88040-400, Brazil
Mariana Silva Tavares
  • Departamento de Biologia e Biotecnologia, Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20270-021, Brazil
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, Leonardo dos Santos Aguiar
  • Departamento de Biologia e Biotecnologia, Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20270-021, Brazil
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, Carlos Henrique Salvador and Maron Galliez
  • Corresponding author
  • Departamento de Biologia e Biotecnologia, Instituto Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 20270-021, Brazil
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Abstract

Pigmentation polymorphism occurs in many mammals but is considered rare in natural populations. Here, we report the first record of pigmentation polymorphism in a Neotropical squirrel, Guerlinguetus ingrami, at a private reserve in southern Brazil. The number of records for leucistic squirrels was approximately half that for brown squirrels. We also tested the differences in activity patterns between the leucistic and the brown squirrels. Both phenotypes were diurnal, but there was temporal segregation between the two. Further studies are needed to elucidate the occurrence of leucism in G. ingrami, and the possible ecological and behavioral outcomes.

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Mammalia is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the inventory, analysis and interpretation of Mammalian diversity. It publishes original results on all aspects of systematics (comparative, functional and evolutionary morphology; morphometrics; phylogeny; biogeography; taxonomy and nomenclature), biology, ecology and conservation of mammals.

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