Identification of hairs of Ratufa bicolor (Sparrman, 1778), Ratufa indica (Erxleben, 1777) and Ratufa macroura Pennant, 1769
Characteristics of hair of three giant squirrel species namely, Ratufa bicolor, R. indica and R. macroura was evaluated using the optical light microscope for its species identification. This study was conducted at the Mammal & Osteology section of Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata during January – July, 2016. Although the microscopic hair of three species studied showed almost similar characteristics, the cuticular scales and shape of cross-section of hair of R. bicolor was varied among the species. The other two remaining species can be differentiated by combination of other hair characteristics. The high-resolution photo-micrographs and key characteristics of hair were presented in the present study can be used as an appropriate reference for species identification.