Thursday, November 14, 2013

Black Squirrel

The black squirrel is a melanistic variety of the eastern gray squirrel. Black squirrels have one or two copies of a mutant pigment gene. If the squirrel has two copies, it will be jet black. If it has one copy, it will be brown-black. Gray mating pairs have two copies of a normal pigment gene and cannot produce black offspring. They can be found wherever eastern gray squirrels live. Overall, there there may be 1 black squirrel for every 10,000 eastern gray squirrels, although there are areas where the black squirrel is common, or even predominant. I found this black squirrel among other eastern gray squirrels on the grounds of the capital in Charleston, West Virginia. 
Black squirrel in Charleston, West Virginia
Black squirrel in tree in Charleston, West Virginia

3 comments:

  1. I had no idea they were so rare. I should have paid more attention.

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  3. I saw one this week on my way to Greenville, NC and was fascinated. I'd never even heard of a black squirrel, much less seen one. Cool sighting!

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