Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Mountain Treeshrew
Range Borneo and inhabits montane forests in Sarawak and Sabah.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Scandentia
Family Tupaiidae
Genus Tupaia
Species Tupaia montana
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Mountain treeshrew (Tupaia montana), is a species of treeshrew in the Tupaiidae family. It is endemic to Borneo and inhabits montane forests in Sarawak and Sabah.

The first specimen was described by Oldfield Thomas and was part of a zoological collection from northern Borneo obtained by the British Museum of Natural History.


The mountain treeshrew is dark grizzled rufous above with an indistinct black line along the back. Its tail is rather short and grizzled rufous above, but below more olivaceous yellow with a black tip. The lateral tail hairs are ringed. A male specimen described by Thomas measured 20 cm (7.9 in) in head to body with a 14 cm (5.5 in) long tail.

Distribution and Habitat[]

Charles Hose collected the first specimen at about 4,000 ft (1,200 m) on Mount Dulit. Mountain treeshrews have mostly been recorded in montane outcrops above 600 m (2,000 ft).

Ecology and Behavior[]

In their natural habitat, mountain treeshrews were observed being active during the day. They forage on the ground among fallen logs and branches where they feed mostly on arthropods. They also consume large quantities of wild fruits and berries, eating them in short bursts. It is assumed that they extract sugar laden juices and this way supplement dietary deficiencies of an arthropod diet.

Results of a behavioral study of a group of 12 wild-caught captive mountain treeshrews indicate that they are more social than groups of other treeshrew species. Two males tended to dominate the group. Females had an estrous cycle lasting nine to 12 days. Gestation lasted 49 to 51 days. They did not display a distinct reproductive season. Litters comprised one to two young.

Mountain treeshrews have a mutualistic relationship with giant pitcher plants such as Nepenthes lowii, Nepenthes macrophylla, and Nepenthes rajah. They defecate into the plants' traps while visiting them to feed on sweet, fruity secretions from glands on the pitcher lids.