Sugar Glider, scientifically called Petaurus breviceps
"short-headed rope-dancer" is a small arboreal gliding
possum, and a type of marsupial mammal.
Their name came from early bushman who found they liked
sweet things like honey and sugar and from their ability
to glide between trees
They are silvery blue grey in colour (dark stripe on back)
, very light (100 to 160g), their body length is around
200mm long with a similar length tail
It is thought that Sugar gliders live for 9 years in their
The sugar glider makes a variety of noises ranging from
( predator is near), a sharp shriek (when fighting)to a
"gurgling chatter" when in their nest.
The gliding membrane (a very thin skin) extends from the
fifth finger to the ankle. By spreading out this membrane
they can glide distances of 50 to 100 meters from tree to
They use their long bushy tail for stability and steering
as well as "tilting" the left or right membrane, and
lands successfully on its outstretched feet.
LOCATION & HABITAT
Found where there is plenty of rainfall (both cool and
tropical climate) in wet and dry forests and woodland,
usually with acacia gum plants about
Sugar Gliders are active at night and during the day
sleep in a nest made of leaves in tree-hollows.
Anywhere from 7 and 12 gliders will co-habitat in
these nests, some say to help keep themselves warm
by sharing body heat.
Another way they can conserve heat, when food is
scarce or temperatures plummet, is to go into a
Torpor (Like a mild hibernation- where its body
temperature drops down close to the air around them)
They are playful amongst their own "clan" group but
will fiercely attack any intruder whether it be
another Sugar Glider or a totally different animal.
Dominant male sugar gliders will scent other clan
members and the territory around the nest.
The Sugar Glider feeds on the gum and sap from
acacias and eucalyptus as well as eating a range
of arboreal insects (insects living off trees)
This feeding and foraging takes place after dusk
Sugar Gliders breed from July to November so the young
are taken care of during spring and summer when there
is plenty of food.
Being Marsupials the young remain in a pouch usually
for just over 2 months. The pouch is forward facing
with two teats, and thus often twins are born.
After these first 2 months the young are then left
for a further month or so in the nest.
They then leave the nest to forage for food under the
guidance of either their father or mother