A new colour variation of squirrel, called a 'Brunette', is reported to have been sighted on the Isle of Wight.
According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, scientists have discovered the fourth colour variety living in the UK.
It follows a nationwide research project, launched earlier this year by the Anglia Ruskin University, which asked the public to report sightings of squirrels.
Red squirrels are well known to inhabit the Island, but across the country there are also grey and black varieties.
According to the report, the brunette variety - known as 'black-reds' are dark brown or black in colour but have the body shape of the red squirrel with its distinctive tufty ears.
Sightings of brunettes have apparently been recorded in several of the areas in which reds can still be found – in Scotland, Cumbria, Merseyside and the Isle of Wight.
Helen Butler from the Wight Squirrel Project told IW Radio: "It is actually typical of some you see on the continent. We believe that red squirrels were brought to the Isle of Wight from the continent in Queen Victoria's times and nowadays, you can actually buy red squirrels, which is what this animal actually is - and bring them from the continent to this country and release them. So I'm wondering if this is what has happened."
And Helen continued: "The look, with the ear tufts and the actual shape tells me that it is a red squirrel - the colour is just a genetic difference and our squirrels, particularly on the Island, are very, very diverse in colour. They can be a silvery grey colour - any sort of shade of grey - through to virtually black. I've never actually see any this particular colour. Normally if you look really hard, even on the very, very dark ones, you can actually see a little bit of red under the coat. So, as far as I know we don't have these on the Island, but if anyone thinks we do and they have a picture that they can email to me, that would be brilliant."
You can contact Helen at the Wight Squirrel Project by email email@example.com or call (01983) 611003.