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Name: Steve
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Question:
The Fieldbook of Illinois Mammals by Donald Hoffmeister and Carl Mohr (Dover 1972) does not list any squirrels that are black with white tuffs or remaining red squirrels in Illinois. One of my former AP Biology students at Augustana College has reported that individuals with the above characteristics are common in and around Rock Island. What species are these most likely? The Red squirrels may be Fox, but the Black?



Replies:
Updated and much expanded Mammals of Illinois, by Hoffmeister, should be available at a decent library, and might help. Eastern grey squirrels often come in black color phase, I've never seen any with "white tufts," whatever exactly you mean by that. A true red squirrel is quite small, about the size of a chipmunk, fox squirrels are reddish but even larger than greys, and quite common.

J. Elliott



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