Animals / Mammal Facts / Marsupials / Sugar Glider - Sweet, Striped and Stealthy

Sugar Glider - Sweet, Striped and Stealthy

matrix nice tail


The Latin binomial name for the popular marsupial known commonly as the sugar glider is Petaurus breviceps. Like their fellow marsupials, these amazing creatures are found exclusively in the Australia/New Guinea area, with some isolated groups living as far north as Indonesia. While these grey gliding marsupials can make their home in almost any forest, the odds that you'll find some are greatly increased in forests which house a large population of eucalyptus trees as, like the koala, sugar gliders enjoy the leaves of the eucalyptus. Similar to the common flying squirrel, as their name suggests, sugar gliders have a thin membrane connecting their limbs which when extended, allows them to glide gracefully between the treetops to travel quickly and avoid predators.



big eyed


Another defense against larger creatures is the nocturnal habits of the sugar glider - these marsupials are active only at night, where they spend the dark hours eating small insects and more usually the sweetened sap of gum trees and eucalyptus. It's this affinity for sugary sap where the sugar glider gets the other part of their common name. If they didn't have that creative name they would probably be called the flying possum.


with rider


Living in groups of between 7 and 9 adults, sugar gliders are social creatures who mark territory through scenting and work cooperatively to protect and maintain said territory. Using partially prehensile tails and their famous gliding abilities, these small creatures (with bodies about 6 inches long, or 30 cm) dart around the forest with speed and grace.

While their large eyes (useful for seeing at night) and small size make them appealing to humans as pets, and while they have indeed become a fairly popular domestic pet in certain parts of the world, keeping a sugar glider as a pet poses several issues, not the least of which is their loud "barking" which is sometimes called "crabbing" for the very distinct tone they make.


flying possum outstreched


Talking facts about pet ownership, in the United States for example: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Minnesota all have laws prohibiting the private ownership of sugar gliders - so if you're hoping to make one your own, check the books in your state or country first.


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