The present study describes the characteristics of primary guard hair of species of Sciuridae, Tragulidae, Herpestidae, Viverridae and Mustelidae from dorsal, ventral tail and head regions. Earlier workers have described mainly the microscopic structure of hair from dorsal region. But it was realized that there is need to examine hair features from all regions as reference data mainly for wildlife forensic and to find out the consistency in the features from large number of samples. My previous experience also revealed that hair structures from head, tail and ventral regions are equally important as from dorsal region in describing the species through trichotaxonomy. Trichotaxonomy of Indian species of Family of Sciuridae was done for the first time and it was noted that small mammals, rodents can also be identified through hair characterisitics. In general primary guard hair is used for identification of species. The present work also describes the features of fur hair and secondary guard hair for some of the species where they are depicting characteristics relevant for identification of the family. Longitudinal sections of medulla was taken to know the medulla type as usually the presence of pigments hides the actual structure of medulla.
2. Material and methods