Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great white squirrel...

Well, not really white...

A golden-white fox squirrel visiting our Delaware County, Ohio yard.

This beautiful fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) was a one-day wonder, it did not return. One fuzzy photo was all I could manage.

The leucistic* fox squirrel visited our yard recently, envious of the feeding station access our local gang of four fox squirrels enjoy. Its repeated attempts to approach our feeding station failed. The locals were decidedly unfriendly! This squirrel appears to lack some dark pigments but retains others.

* I use the term leucistic as a catch-all for all light-side pigment irregularities, reserving the term "albinistic" for completely white, red-eye wonders with two recessive genes causing total lack of pigmentation. I'll welcome a recently published reference offering a set of definitions clarifying descriptive and genetic terminology about these integument irregularities.

1 comment:

jdbruce1 said...

I have a fox squirrel (possibly two) very similar to the one you sited, in my neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The one is male and about 5 years old. The color is almost identical having no black, grey or white and the eyes are dark. In sunlight the appearance is pure golden with a golden orange tail.