Sugar sugar glider

Sugar glider – Wikipedia Jump to content Main menu Main menu move to sidebar hide Navigation Main pageContentsCurrent eventsRandom articleAbout WikipediaContact usDonate Contribute HelpLearn to editCommunity portalRecent changesUpload file Languages Language links are at the top of the page. Search Search Create account Log in Personal tools Create account Log in Pages for logged out editors learn more ContributionsTalk Contents move to sidebar hide (Top) 1Taxonomy and evolution 2Distribution and habitat 3Appearance and anatomy 4Biology and behaviour Toggle Biology and behaviour subsection 4.1Gliding 4.2Torpor 4.3Diet and nutrition 4.4Reproduction 4.5Socialisation 5Human relations Toggle Human relations subsection 5.1Conservation 5.2In captivity 5.3As a pet 6Notes Toggle Notes subsection 6.1Species notes 6.2Explanatory footnotes 7References 8General bibliography 9External links Toggle the table of contents Sugar glider 41 languages العربيةتۆرکجهБългарскиBrezhonegCatalàCebuanoČeštinaDanskDeutschDiné bizaadEspañolEuskaraفارسیFrançais한국어Bahasa IndonesiaÍslenskaItalianoעבריתҚазақшаKotavaMagyarМакедонскиമലയാളംمصرىNederlands日本語PolskiPortuguêsRomânăРусскийSimple EnglishSlovenčinaSlovenščinaSuomiSvenskaไทยTiếng ViệtWinaray粵語中文 Edit links ArticleTalk English ReadView sourceView history Tools Tools move to sidebar hide Actions ReadView sourceView history General What links hereRelated changesUpload fileSpecial pagesPermanent linkPage informationCite this pageGet shortened URLWikidata item Edit interlanguage links Print/export Download as PDFPrintable version In other projects Wikimedia CommonsWikispecies From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Sugar Glider) This article is about the animal. For the indie pop band, see The Sugargliders. Species of Australian marsupial Sugar glider[1] A sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) in the wild, in Victoria, Australia Conservation status Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[2] Scientific classification Domain: Eukaryota Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Infraclass: Marsupialia Order: Diprotodontia Family: Petauridae Genus: Petaurus Species: P. breviceps Binomial name Petaurus brevicepsWaterhouse, 1839[3] Range map of the formerly recognized subspecies of sugar glider:[note 1] P. b. breviceps (introduced in Tasmania) P. b. longicaudatus P. b. ariel[note 2] P. b. flavidus[note 3] P. b. tafa[note 4] P. b. papuanus P. b. biacensis[note 5] Synonyms P. (Belideus) breviceps, Waterhouse 1839 P. kohlsi, Troughton 1945[8] The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a small, omnivorous, arboreal, and nocturnal gliding possum. The common name refers to its predilection for sugary foods such as sap and nectar and its ability to glide through the air, much like a flying squirrel.[9] They have very similar habits and appearance to the flying squirrel, despite not being closely related—an example of convergent evolution.[10] The scientific name, Petaurus breviceps, translates from Latin as “short-headed rope-dancer”, a reference to their canopy acrobatics.[11] The sugar glider is characterised by its pair of gliding membranes, known as patagia, which extend from its forelegs to its hindlegs.[12] Gliding serves as an efficient means of reaching food and evading predators.[9] The animal is covered in soft, pale grey to light brown fur which is countershaded, being lighter in colour on its underside. The sugar glider, as strictly defined in a recent analysis, is only native to a small portion of southeastern Australia, corresponding to southern Queensland and most of New South Wales east of the Great Dividing Range; the extended species group, including populations which may or may not belong to P. breviceps, occupies a larger range covering much of coastal eastern and northern Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands.[4][5] Members of Petaurus are popular exotic pets; these pet animals are also frequently referred to as “sugar gliders”, but recent research indicates, at least for American pets, that they are not P. breviceps but a closely related species, ultimately originating from a single source near Sorong in West Papua.[13] This would possibly make them members of the Krefft’s glider (P. notatus), but the taxonomy of Papuan Petaurus populations is still poorly resolved.[14] Taxonomy and evolution The genus Petaurus is believed to have originated in New Guinea during the mid Miocene epoch, approximately 18 to 24 million years ago. The modern Australian Petaurus, along with New Guinean members of what were formerly considered P. breviceps, diverged from their closest living New Guinean relatives ~9-12 mya. They probably dispersed from New Guinea to Australia between 4.8 and ~8.4 mya, with the oldest Petaurus fossils in Australia being dated to 4.46 million years.[15] This may have been possible due to sea level lowering from about 7 to 10 mya, resulting in land bridges between New Guinea and Australia. The taxonomy of the species is complex, and is still not fully resolved. It was formerly understood to have a wide range across Australia and New Guinea, being the only glider to have this distribution, and to be divided into seven subspecies, with three occurring in Australia and four in New Guinea.[16] This traditional subspecific division was based on small morphological differences, such as colour and body size.[15] However, a 2010 genetic analysis using mitochondrial DNA indicates that these morphologically-defined subspecies may not represent genetically unique populations.[16] Further studies have found significant genetic variation within populations traditionally classified in P. breviceps, sufficient to warrant splitting the species into multiple. The subspecies P. b. biacensis, from Biak Island off of New Guinea, was reclassified as a separate species, the Biak glider (Petaurus biacensis).[note 5] In 2020, a landmark study suggested that P. breviceps actually comprised three cryptic species: the Krefft’s glider (Petaurus notatus), found throughout most of eastern Australia and introduced to Tasmania, the savanna glider (Petaurus ariel), native to northern Australia, and a more narrowly defined P. breviceps, restricted to a small section of coastal forest in southern Queensland and most of New South Wales. In addition, other sugar glider populations throughout this range (such as those on New Guinea and the Cape York Peninsula) may represent undescribed species or be conspecific with previously described species. This indicates that contrary to previous findings of a large range (which in fact applied to P. notatus and, to a lesser extent, to P. ariel), P. breviceps is a range-restricted species that is sensitive to ecological disasters, such as the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, which significantly affected large portions of its habitat.[4][5][17] P. breviceps and P. notatus are estimated to have diverged ~1 million years ago, and may have originated from long term geographic isolation. The early-mid Pleistocene saw an uplifting of the Great Dividing Range, contributing to and coinciding with aridification of the interior of Australia, including on the western side of the range.[16] This, as well as other climactic and geographic factors, may have isolated the ancestors of P. breviceps to refugia on the eastern, coastal side of the Great Dividing Range.[4] This would be an example of allopatric speciation. Distribution and habitat Sugar gliders are distributed in the coastal forests of southeastern Queensland and most of New South Wales. Their distribution extends to altitudes of 2000m in the eastern ranges. In parts of its range, it may overlap with Krefft’s glider (P. notatus).[5][18] The sugar glider occurs in sympatry with the squirrel glider and yellow-bellied glider; and their coexistence is permitted through niche partitioning where each species has different patterns of resource use.[19] Like all arboreal, nocturnal marsupials, sugar gliders are active at night, and they shelter during the day in tree hollows lined with leafy twigs.[20] The average home range of sugar gliders is 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres), and is largely related to the abundance of food sources;[21] density ranges from two to six individuals per hectare (0.8–2.4 per acre). Native owls (Ninox sp.)[18] are their primary predators; others in their range include kookaburras, goannas, snakes, and quolls.[22] Feral cats (Felis catus) also represent a significant threat.[18][22] Appearance and anatomy This male’s forehead bald spot is a scent gland. The eyes are adapted for night vision and the ears swivel. The sugar glider has a squirrel-like body with a long, partially (weakly)[23] prehensile tail. The length from the nose to the tip of the tail is about 24–30 cm (9–12 in), and males and females weigh 140 and 115 grams (5 and 4 oz) respectively.[24] Heart rate range is 200–300 beats per minute, and respiratory rate is 16–40 breaths per minute.[25] The sugar glider is a sexually dimorphic species, with males typically larger than females. Sexual dimorphism has likely evolved due to increased mate competition arising through social group structure; and is more pronounced in regions of higher latitude, where mate competition is greater due to increased food availability.[26] The fur coat on the sugar glider is thick, soft, and is usually blue-grey; although some have been known to be yellow, tan or (rarely) albino.[a] A black stripe is seen from its nose to midway on its back. Its belly, throat, and chest are cream in colour. Males have four scent glands, located on the forehead, chest, and two paracloacal (associated with, but not part of the cloaca, which is the common opening for the intestinal, urinal and genital tracts) that are used for marking of group members and territory.[18] Scent glands on the head and chest of males appear as bald spots. Females also have a paracloacal scent gland and a scent gland in the pouch, but do not have scent glands on the chest or forehead.[18] The sugar glider is nocturnal; its large eyes help it to see at night and its ears swivel to help locate prey in the dark. The eyes are set far apart, allowing more precise triangulation from launching to landing locations while gliding.[27] Each foot on the sugar glider has five digits, with an opposable toe on each hind foot. These opposable toes are clawless, and bend such that they can touch all the other digits, like a human thumb, allowing it to firmly grasp branches. The second and third digits of the hind foot are partially syndactylous (fused together), forming a grooming comb.[23] The fourth digit of the forefoot is sharp and elongated, aiding in extraction of insects under the bark of trees.[18] The gliding membrane extends from the outside of the fifth digit of each forefoot to the first digit of each hind foot. When the legs are stretched out, this membrane allows the sugar glider to glide a considerable distance. The membrane is supported by well developed tibiocarpalis, humerodorsalis and tibioabdominalis muscles, and its movement is controlled by these supporting muscles in conjunction with trunk, limb and tail movement.[12] Lifespan in the wild is up to 9 years; is typically up to 12 years in captivity,[11] and the maximum reported lifespan is 17.8 years.[28] Biology and behaviour Sugar gliders’ hind feet are adapted to firmly grasp surfaces such as this rock wall Gliding The sugar glider is one of a number of volplane (gliding) possums in Australia. It glides with the fore- and hind-limbs extended at right angles to the body, with feet flexed upwards.[27] The animal launches itself from a tree, spreading its limbs to expose the gliding membranes. This creates an aerofoil enabling it to glide 50 metres (55 yards) or more.[29] For every 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in) travelled horizontally when gliding, it falls 1 m (3 ft 3 in).[27] Steering is controlled by moving limbs and adjusting the tension of the gliding membrane; for example, to turn left, the left forearm is lowered below the right.[27] This form of arboreal locomotion is typically used to travel from tree to tree; the species rarely descends to the ground. Gliding provides three dimensional avoidance of arboreal predators, and minimal contact with ground dwelling predators; as well as possible benefits in decreasing time and energy consumption[30] spent foraging for nutrient poor foods that are irregularly distributed.[31] Young carried in the pouch of females are protected from landing forces by the septum that separates them within the pouch.[27] Torpor Sugar gliders can tolerate ambient air temperatures of up to 40 °C (104 °F) through behavioural strategies such as licking their coat and exposing the wet area, as well as drinking small quantities of water.[18] In cold weather, sugar gliders will huddle together to avoid heat loss, and will enter torpor to conserve energy.[32] Huddling as an energy conserving mechanism is not as efficient as torpor.[32] Before entering torpor, a sugar glider will reduce activity and body temperature normally in order to lower energy expenditure and avoid torpor.[33][34] With energetic constraints, the sugar glider will enter into daily torpor for 2–23 hours while in rest phase.[32] Torpor differs from hibernation in that torpor is usually a short-term daily cycle. Entering torpor saves energy for the animal by allowing its body temperature to fall to a minimum of 10.4 °C (50.7 °F)[32] to 19.6 °C (67.3 °F).[35] When food is scarce, as in winter, heat production is lowered in order to reduce energy expenditure.[36] With low energy and heat production, it is important for the sugar glider to peak its body mass by fat content in the autumn (May/June) in order to survive the following cold season. In the wild, sugar gliders enter into daily torpor more often than sugar gliders in captivity.[34][35] The use of torpor is most frequent during winter, likely in response to low ambient temperature, rainfall, and seasonal fluctuation in food sources.[32] Diet and nutrition 1863 illustration by John Gould Sugar gliders are seasonally adaptive omnivores with a wide variety of foods in their diet, and mainly forage in the lower layers of the forest canopy.[19][37] Sugar gliders may obtain up to half their daily water intake through drinking rainwater, with the remainder obtained through water held in its food.[30] In summer they are primarily insectivorous, and in the winter when insects (and other arthropods) are scarce, they are mostly exudativorous (feeding on acacia gum, eucalyptus sap, manna,[b] honeydew or lerp).[41] Sugar gliders have an enlarged caecum to assist in digestion of complex carbohydrates obtained from gum and sap.[42] To obtain sap or gum from plants, sugar gliders will strip the bark off trees or open bore holes with their teeth to access stored liquid.[37] Little time is spent foraging for insects, as it is an energetically expensive process, and sugar gliders will wait until insects fly into their habitat, or stop to feed on flowers.[37] Gliders consume approximately 11 g of dry food matter per day.[30] This equates to roughly 8% and 9.5% of body weight for males and females, respectively. They are opportunistic feeders and can be carnivorous, preying mostly on lizards and small birds. They eat many other foods when available, such as nectar, acacia seeds, bird eggs, pollen, fungi and native fruits.[43][44] Pollen can make up a large portion of their diet, therefore sugar gliders are likely to be important pollinators of Banksia species.[45] Reproduction Like most marsupials, female sugar gliders have two ovaries and two uteri; they are polyestrous, meaning they can go into heat several times a year.[21] The female has a marsupium (pouch) in the middle of her abdomen to carry offspring.[23] The pouch opens anteriorly, and two lateral pockets extend posteriorly when young are present. Four nipples are usually present in the pouch, although reports of individuals with two nipples have been recorded.[18] Male sugar gliders have a bifurcated penis to correspond with the two uteri of females.[46] The age of sexual maturity in sugar gliders varies slightly between the males and females. Males reach maturity at 4 to 12 months of age, while females require from 8 to 12 months. In the wild, sugar gliders breed once or twice a year depending on the climate and habitat conditions, while they can breed multiple times a year in captivity as a result of consistent living conditions and proper diet.[23] A sugar glider female gives birth to one (19%) or two (81%) babies (joeys) per litter.[21] The gestation period is 15 to 17 days, after which the tiny joey 0.2 g (0.0071 oz) will crawl into a mother’s pouch for further development. They are born largely undeveloped and furless, with only the sense of smell being developed. The mother has a scent gland in the external marsupium to attract the sightless joeys from the uterus.[47] Joeys have a continuous arch of cartilage in their shoulder girdle which disappears soon after birth; this supports the forelimbs, assisting the climb into the pouch.[48] Young are completely contained in the pouch for 60 days after birth, wherein mammae provide nourishment during the remainder of development.[47] Eyes first open around 80 days after birth, and young will leave the nest around 110 days after birth.[18] By the time young are weaned, the thermoregulatory system is developed, and in conjunction with a large body size and thicker fur, they are able to regulate their own body temperature.[49] Breeding is seasonal in southeast Australia, with young only born in winter and spring (June to November).[21] Unlike animals that move along the ground, the sugar glider and other gliding species produce fewer, but heavier, offspring per litter. This allows female sugar gliders to retain the ability to glide when pregnant.[50] Socialisation Sugar gliders are highly social animals. They live in family groups or colonies consisting of up to seven adults, plus the current season’s young. Up to four age classes may exist within each group, although some sugar gliders are solitary, not belonging to a group.[21] They engage in social grooming, which in addition to improving hygiene and health, helps bond the colony and establish group identity. Within social communities, there are two codominant males who suppress subordinate males, but show no aggression towards each other. These co-dominant pairs are more related to each other than to subordinates within the group; and share food, nests, mates, and responsibility for scent marking of community members and territories.[51] Territory and members of the group are marked with saliva and a scent produced by separate glands on the forehead and chest of male gliders. Intruders who lack the appropriate scent marking are expelled violently.[9] Rank is established through scent marking; and fighting does not occur within groups, but does occur when communities come into contact with each other.[18] Within the colony, no fighting typically takes place beyond threatening behaviour.[52] Each colony defends a territory of about 1 hectare (2.5 acres) where eucalyptus trees provide a staple food source.[citation needed] Sugar gliders are one of the few species of mammals that exhibit male parental care.[53] The oldest codominant male in a social community shows a high level of parental care, as he is the probable father of any offspring due to his social status. This paternal care evolved in sugar gliders as young are more likely to survive when parental investment is provided by both parents.[53] In the sugar glider, biparental care allows one adult to huddle with the young and prevent hypothermia while the other parent is out foraging, as young sugar gliders aren’t able to thermoregulate until they are 100 days old (3.5 months).[53] Communication in sugar gliders is achieved through vocalisations, visual signals and complex chemical odours.[18] Chemical odours account for a large part of communication in sugar gliders, similar to many other nocturnal animals. Odours may be used to mark territory, convey health status of an individual, and mark rank of community members. Gliders produce a number of vocalisations including barking and hissing.[citation needed] Human relations Conservation Under the prior taxonomy, the sugar glider was not considered endangered, and its conservation rank was “Least Concern (LC)” on the IUCN Red List.[54] However, with newer taxonomic studies indicating that it has a small and restricted range, it is now thought to be far more sensitive to potential threats. For example, the species’ native range was hit hard by the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, which occurred just a few months prior to the publishing of the study indicating the true extent of its range. Sugar gliders use tree hollows, making them especially sensitive to intense fires.[55] However, despite the loss of natural habitat in Australia over the last 200 years, it is adaptable and capable of living in small patches of remnant bush, particularly if it does not have to cross large expanses of cleared land to reach them. Sugar gliders may persist in areas that have undergone mild-moderate selective logging, as long as three to five hollow bearing trees are retained per hectare.[56] Although not currently threatened by habitat loss, the ability of sugar gliders to forage and avoid predators successfully may be decreased in areas of high light pollution.[57] Conservation in Australia is enacted at the federal, state and local levels, where sugar gliders are protected as a native species. The central conservation law in Australia is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).[58] The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 is an example of conservation law in the state of South Australia, where it is legal to keep (only) one sugar glider without a permit, provided it was acquired legally from a source with a permit. A permit is required to obtain or possess more than one glider, or if one wants to sell or give away any glider in their possession. It is illegal to capture or sell wild sugar gliders without a permit.[59] In captivity In captivity, the sugar glider can suffer from calcium deficiencies if not fed an adequate diet. A lack of calcium in the diet causes the body to leach calcium from the bones, with the hind legs first to show noticeable dysfunction.[60] Calcium to phosphorus ratios should be 2:1 to prevent hypocalcemia, sometimes known as hind leg paralysis (HLP).[61] Their diet should be 50% insects (gut-loaded) or other sources of protein, 25% fruit and 25% vegetables.[62] Some of the more recognised diets are Bourbon’s Modified Leadbeaters (BML),[63] High Protein Wombaroo (HPW)[64] and various calcium rich diets with Leadbeaters Mixture (LBM).[65] Iron storage disease (hemochromatosis) is another dietary problem that has been reported in captive gliders and can lead to fatal complications if not diagnosed and treated early.[66] A large amount of attention and environmental enrichment may be required for the highly social species, especially for those kept as individuals. Inadequate social interaction can lead to depression and behavioural disorders such as loss of appetite, irritability and self-mutilation.[67] As a pet In several countries, the sugar glider (or what was formerly considered to be the sugar glider) is popular as an exotic pet, and is sometimes referred to as a pocket pet. In Australia, there is opposition to keeping native animals as pets from Australia’s largest wildlife rehabilitation organisation (WIRES),[68] and concerns from Australian wildlife conservation organisations regarding animal welfare risks including neglect, cruelty and abandonment.[69] In Australia, sugar gliders can be kept in Victoria, South Australia, and the Northern Territory. However, they are not allowed to be kept as pets in Western Australia, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland or Tasmania.[70][71] DNA analysis indicates that “the USA (sugar) glider population originates from West Papua, Indonesia with no illegal harvesting from other native areas such as Papua New Guinea or Australia”.[13] Given that the West Papuan gliders have been tentatively classified as Krefft’s gliders (albeit to be changed in the future),[72] this indicates that at least the captive gliders kept in the United States are Krefft’s gliders, not sugar gliders. Notes Species notes ^ Range in red now thought to largely represent a separate species, Krefft’s glider (P. notatus); if this is true, P. breviceps (sensu stricto) occupies only a small coastal region of this range, containing parts of southern Queensland and eastern New South Wales. Range in blue now thought to possibly represent multiple non-P. breviceps species, including Krefft’s glider (P. notatus), the mahogany glider (P. gracilis), and/or a species complex associated with P. gracilis.[4][5] ^ It has been recently suggested that P. b. ariel be treated as a separate species, the savanna glider (P. ariel)[5] ^ P. b. flavidus (Tate and Archbold, 1935) considered a synonym of P. b. papuanus (Thomas 1888) ^ Tate & Archbold, 1935; subspecies P. b. tafa considered a synonym of species P. breviceps[6] ^ Jump up to: a b Subspecies (former) P. b. biacensis provisionally considered species: P. biacensis (Biak glider). “Helgen (2007) states that Petaurus biacensis is likely to be conspecific with P. breviceps. P. biacensis appears to differ from the latter mainly by having a higher incidence of melanism (Helgen 2007). We provisionally retain P. biacensis as a separate species pending further taxonomic work, thus following what has become standard treatment (e.g., Flannery 1994, 1995; Groves 2005).”[7] Explanatory footnotes ^ Domestic in-breeding of recessive genetic phenotype defects can produce other colour variations not found in nature, such as an all-white leucistic heterozygote ^ When dried, an exudate (such as sap) becomes crystallized and is referred to as manna,[38][39] which is consumed by sugar gliders.[40] References ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494. ^ Salas, L.; Dickman, C.; Helgen, K.; Winter, J.; Ellis, M.; Denny, M.; Woinarski, J.; Lunney, D.; Oakwood, M.; Menkhorst, P.; Strahan, R. (2016). “Petaurus breviceps”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T16731A21959798. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T16731A21959798.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021. ^ Waterhouse, G. R. (1838). “Observations on certain modifications observed in the dentition of the Flying Opossums (the genus Petaurus of authors)”. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 4: 149–153. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.1838.tb01419.x. ^ Jump up to: a b c d “Explore the Database”. Retrieved 20 June 2021. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Cremona, Teigan; Baker, Andrew M; Cooper, Steven J B; Montague-Drake, Rebecca; Stobo-Wilson, Alyson M; Carthew, Susan M (13 July 2020). “Integrative taxonomic investigation of Petaurus breviceps (Marsupialia: Petauridae) reveals three distinct species”. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 191 (2): 503–527. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa060. ISSN 0024-4082. ^ Subspecies Sheet | Mammals’Planet Archived 18 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2014-04-19. ^ “The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 25 October 2018. ^ Troughton, Ellis (1945). “Diagnoses of New rare mammals from the South-West Pacific”. Records of the Australian Museum. 21 (6): 373–374. doi:10.3853/j.0067-1975.21.1945.551. ^ Jump up to: a b c “DPIW – Sugar Glider”. 28 August 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2012. ^ “Analogy: Squirrels and Sugar Gliders”. Understanding Evolution. The University of California Museum of Paleontology. Retrieved 1 October 2012. ^ Jump up to: a b “Sugar Glider, Petaurus breviceps”. Parks & Wildlife Service, Tasmania Online. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2012. ^ Jump up to: a b Endo, H; Yokokawa, K; Kurohmaru, M; Hiyashi, Y (1998). “Functional anatomy of gliding membrane muscles in the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)”. Annals of Anatomy. 180 (1): 93–96. doi:10.1016/S0940-9602(98)80149-0. PMID 9488912. ^ Jump up to: a b Campbell, Catriona D.; Pecon-Slattery, Jill; Pollak, Rebecca; Joseph, Leo; Holleley, Clare E. (8 January 2019). “The origin of exotic pet sugar gliders ( Petaurus breviceps ) kept in the United States of America”. PeerJ. 7: e6180. doi:10.7717/peerj.6180. ISSN 2167-8359. PMC 6329365. PMID 30643698. ^ “Explore the Database”. Retrieved 20 June 2021. ^ Jump up to: a b Malekian, M; Cooper, S; Norman, J; Christidis, L; Carthew, S (2010). “Molecular systematics and evolutionary origins of the genus “Petaurus” (Marsupialia: Petauridae) in Australia and New Guinea”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 54 (1): 122–135. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.07.026. PMID 19647084. ^ Jump up to: a b c Malekian, Mansoureh; Cooper, Steven J. B.; Carthew, Susan M. (2010). “Phylogeography of the Australian sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps): evidence for a new divergent lineage in eastern Australia”. Australian Journal of Zoology. 58 (3): 165. doi:10.1071/ZO10016. ^ Stobo-Wilson, Alyson; Baker, Andrew; Cooper, Steve; Carthew, Sue; Cremona, Teigan (16 July 2020). “A rare discovery: we found the sugar glider is actually three species, but one is disappearing fast”. The Conversation. Retrieved 17 July 2020. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k Smith, Meredith J. (13 June 1973). “Petaurus breviceps”. Mammalian Species (30): 1–5. doi:10.2307/3503785. JSTOR 3503785. S2CID 254011903. ^ Jump up to: a b Jackson, Stephen M. (2000). “Habitat relationships of the mahogany glider, Petaurus gracilis, and the sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps”. Wildlife Research. 27 (1): 39. doi:10.1071/WR98045. ^ Wormington, K; Lamb, D; McCallum, H; Moolooney, d (2002). “Habitat requirements for the conservation of arboreal marsupials in dry sclerophyll forests of southeast Queensland, Australia”. Forest Science. 48 (2): 217–227. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Suckling, G.C (1984). “Population ecology of the sugar glider “Petaurus breviceps”, in a system of fragmented habitats”. Australian Wildlife Research. 11: 49–75. doi:10.1071/WR9840049. ^ Jump up to: a b “Wildlife – Sugar Glider”. Wildlife Queensland. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2014. ^ Jump up to: a b c d Pye, Geoffrey W. “A guide to medicine and surgery in sugar gliders”. Hilltop Animal Hospital. Archived from the original on 21 March 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2012. ^ “Wildlife Queensland – Sugar Glider”. Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland. Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2012. ^ “Basic Health Care Information / General Wellness Exam”. Sugar Glider Vet. Retrieved 27 October 2012. ^ Quin, DG; Smith, AP; Norton, TW (1996). “Eco-graphic variation in size and sexual dimorphism in sugar gliders and squirrel gliders (Marsupialia: Petauridae)”. Australian Journal of Zoology. 44: 19–45. doi:10.1071/ZO9960019. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Jackson, S. M. (1999). “Glide angle in the genus “Petaurus” and a review of gliding in mammals”. Mammal Review. 30: 9–30. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2907.2000.00056.x. ^ de Magalhaes, J. P.; Budovsky, A.; Lehmann, G.; Costa, J.; Li, Y.; Fraifeld, V.; Church, G. M. (2009). “The Human Ageing Genomic Resources: online databases and tools for biogerontologists”. Aging Cell. 8 (1): 65–72. doi:10.1111/j.1474-9726.2008.00442.x. PMC 2635494. PMID 18986374. “AnAge entry for Petaurus breviceps”. ^ Strahan, the Australian Museum (1983). Ronald (ed.). Complete book of Australian mammals : the national photographic index of Australian wildlife (1. publ. ed.). [Sidney]: Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0207144540. ^ Jump up to: a b c Nagy, K. A.; Suckling, G. C. (1985). “Field energetics and water balance of sugar gliders, “Petaurus breviceps” (Marsupialia: Petauridae)”. Australian Journal of Zoology. 33 (5): 683–691. doi:10.1071/ZO9850683. ^ Byrnes, G; Spence, A (2011). “Ecological and biomechanical insights into the evolution of gliding in mammals”. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 51 (6): 991–1001. doi:10.1093/icb/icr069. PMID 21719434. ^ Jump up to: a b c d e Kortner, G; Geiser, F (2000). “Torpor and activity patterns in free-ranging sugar gliders “Petaurus breviceps” (Marsupialia)”. Oecologia. 123 (3): 350–357. Bibcode:2000Oecol.123..350K. doi:10.1007/s004420051021. PMID 28308589. S2CID 10103980. ^ Geiser, Fritz (2004). “Metabolic Rate and Body Temperature Reduction During Hibernation and Daily Torpor”. Annual Review of Physiology. 66 (1): 239–274. doi:10.1146/annurev.physiol.66.032102.115105. PMID 14977403. S2CID 22397415. ^ Jump up to: a b Christian, Nereda; Fritz Geiser (2007). “To use or not to use torpor? Activity and body temperature as predictors”. Naturwissenschaften. 94 (6): 483–487. Bibcode:2007NW…..94..483C. doi:10.1007/s00114-007-0215-5. PMID 17252241. S2CID 24061894. ^ Jump up to: a b Geiser, Fritz; Joanne C. Holloway; Gerhard Körtner (2007). “Thermal biology, torpor and behaviour in sugar gliders: a laboratory-field comparison”. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 177 (5): 495–501. doi:10.1007/s00360-007-0147-6. PMID 17549496. S2CID 24469410. ^ Holloway, JC; Geiser, F (November 2001). “Seasonal changes in the thermoenergetics of the marsupial sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps”. J. Comp. Physiol. B. 171 (8): 643–50. doi:10.1007/s003600100215. PMID 11765973. S2CID 1008750. ^ Jump up to: a b c Smith, AP (1982). “Diet and feeding strategies of the marsupial glider in temperate Australia”. Journal of Animal Ecology. 51 (1): 149–166. doi:10.2307/4316. JSTOR 4316. ^ “manna”. WordNet Search – 3.1. WordNet. Princeton University. Retrieved 19 December 2012. (n) manna (hardened sugary exudation of various trees) : Synset (semantic) relations, direct hypernym (n) sap (a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant) ^ Pickert, Executive: Joseph P., ed. (1992). The American heritage dictionary of the English language (4th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 1065. ISBN 0395825172. manna n. 4. The dried exudate of certain plants ^ Janine M., DVM. Cianciolo (ed.). “Sugar Glider Nutrition”. Past Newsletters. SunCoast Sugar Gliders. Sugar gliders eat manna in the wild. Manna is a crusty sugar left from where sap flowed from a wound in a tree trunk or branch. ^ “The Sugar Glider Diet”. Sugar Glider Diet Archives. Sugar Glider Cage. Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. ^ Dierenfeld, Ellen (2009). “Feeding behavior and nutrition of the Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps)”. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice. 12 (2): 209–215. doi:10.1016/j.cvex.2009.01.014. PMID 19341949. ^ McLeod, DVM, Lianne. “Feeding Sugar Gliders / Nutritional Needs and Sample Diets”. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012. ^ “Natural Diet”. Gliderpedia. Retrieved 2 November 2012. ^ van Tets, Ian G.; Whelan, Robert J. (1997). “Banksia pollen in the diet of Australian mammals”. Ecography. 20 (5): 499–505. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0587.1997.tb00418.x. ^ Morges, Michelle A.; Grant, Krystan R.; MacPhail, Catriona M.; Johnston, Matthew S. (March 2009). “A Novel Technique for Orchiectomy and Scrotal Ablation in the Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps)”. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 40 (1): 204–206. doi:10.1638/2007-0169.1. PMID 19368264. S2CID 24253225. ^ Jump up to: a b Tynes, Valarie V., ed. (2010). “Sugar gliders”. Behavior of exotic pets (1st ed.). Chichester, West Sussex: Blackwell Pub. ISBN 9780813800783. ^ Antinoff, Natalie (August 2009). “Practical anatomy and physical examination: Ferrets, rabbits, rodents, and other selected species (Proceedings)”. CVC in Kansas City Proceedings. Archived from the original on 24 July 2013. Retrieved 11 November 2012. ^ Holloway, Joanne C.; Geiser, Fritz (November 2000). “Development of thermoregulation in the sugar glider Petaurus breviceps (Marsupialia: Petauridae)”. Journal of Zoology. 252 (3): 389–397. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2000.tb00634.x. ^ Fokidis, H; Risch, T (2008). “The burden of motherhood: gliding locomotion in mammals influences maternal reproductive investment”. Journal of Mammalogy. 89 (3): 617–625. doi:10.1644/07-MAMM-A-116R1.1. ^ Klettenheimer, B; Temple-Smith, P; Sofrondis, G (1997). “Father and son sugar gliders: more than a genetic coalition?”. Journal of Zoology. 242 (4): 741–750. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1997.tb05823.x. ^ Pasatta, J. (1999). “Petaurus breviceps” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed 10 November 2012 ^ Jump up to: a b c Goldingay, R. L. (2010). “Direct male parental care observed in wild sugar gliders”. Australian Mammalogy. 32 (2): 177–178. doi:10.1071/AM10009. ^ “The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 25 October 2018. ^ Stobo-Wilson, Alyson; Baker, Andrew; Cooper, Steve; Carthew, Sue; Cremona, Teigan (16 July 2020). “A rare discovery: we found the sugar glider is actually three species, but one is disappearing fast”. The Conversation. Retrieved 20 June 2021. ^ Wormington, K.; Lamb, D.; McCallum, H.; Moolooney, d. (2002). “Habitat requirements for the conservation of arboreal marsupials in dry sclerophyll forests of southeast Queensland, Australia”. Forest Science. 48 (2): 217–227. ^ Barber-Myer, SM (2007). “Photopollution impacts on the nocturnal behaviour of the Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps)”. Pacific Conservation Biology. 13 (3): 171–176. doi:10.1071/PC070171. ^ Biodiversity Conservation. Retrieved 2014-04-19. ^ South Australian Legislation. Retrieved 2014-04-19. ^ “Hind Leg Paralysis”. Retrieved 1 November 2012. ^ Lennox, A. M. (2007). “Emergency and Critical Care Procedures in Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps), African Hedgehogs (Atelerix albiventris), and Prairie Dogs (Cynomys spp.)”. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice. 10 (2): 533–55. doi:10.1016/j.cvex.2007.01.001. PMID 17577562. ^ Conservation and natural resources, 1995 Mammals of Victoria, ed. by Menkhorst. P., Oxford University Press, South Melbourne ISBN 0-19-553733-5 ^ “Original BML Diet – Bourbon’s Modified Leadbeater’s Recipe for Sugar Gliders”. Retrieved 1 October 2012. ^ “Sugar Glider HPW Diet – High Protein Wombaroo Recipe”. Retrieved 1 October 2012. ^ “Original Leadbeaters Diet Recipe – Taronga Zoo Diet for Sugar Gliders”. Retrieved 2 November 2012. ^ Hess, Laurie. “Overview of Sugar Gliders – Exotic and Laboratory Animals”. Merck Veterinary Manual. Merck Sharp & Dohme. Retrieved 9 May 2018. ^ Jepson, Lance (2 November 2015). “7: Sugar gliders”. Exotic Animal Medicine: A Quick Reference Guide. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 234. ISBN 9780323394307. ^ “Native Animals are not pets”. NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service Blog January 2019. 25 January 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019. ^ “Sugar Gliders”. Wild4Life. Retrieved 10 March 2019. ^ “DixiGliders”. Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2010. ^ Wildlife – Queensland Gliders Archived 20 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF) . Retrieved 2014-04-19. ^ “Explore the Database”. Retrieved 20 June 2021. General bibliography Morcombe, Michael; Morcombe, Irene (1974). Mammals of Australia. Sydney: Australian Universities Press. ISBN 0-7249-0017-9. Ride, W. D. L. (1970). A guide to the native mammals of Australia. Ella Fry (drawings). Melbourne: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195502523. Russel, Rupert (1980). Spotlight on possums. Kay Russel (illustrations). Queensland, St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press. ISBN 0-7022-1478-7. Serventy, Vincent (1977). Wildlife of Australia (Rev. ed.). West Melbourne, Vic.: Thomas Nelson (Australia). ISBN 0-17-005168-4. Troughton, Ellis (1973). Furred animals of Australia. Neville W. Cayley (colour plates) (Rev. and abridged ed.). Sydney: Angus & Robertson. ISBN 0-207-12256-3. Van den Beld, John (1992). of Australia: a portrait of the island continent (Revised ed.). Sydney: Collins Australia. ISBN 0-7333-0241-6. Westmacott, Leonard Cronin (1991). Key guide to Australian mammals. Illustrated by Marion. Balgowlah, NSW: Reed Books. ISBN 0-7301-0355-2. External links Sugar glider—Atlas of Living Australia Sugar glider—Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland Gliders in the Spotlight—Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland ITIS report: Petaurus breviceps—Taxon classification verified by ITIS Petaurus breviceps—Animal Diversity Web VIDEOS: sugar gliders in the wild on—BBC Natural History Unit Enlargement of Petaurus breviceps skull—Museum Victoria, Bioinformatics (photo showing sugar gliders’ unusual dentition) vteExtant Diprotodontia species Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Infraclass Marsupialia Suborder VombatiformesPhascolarctidaePhascolarctos Koala (P. cinereus) Vombatidae(wombats)Vombatus Common wombat (V. ursinus) Lasiorhinus Southern hairy-nosed wombat (L. latifrons) Northern hairy-nosed wombat (L. krefftii) Suborder Phalangeriformes (possums)Phalangeridae(including cuscuses)Ailurops(bear cuscuses) Talaud bear cuscus (A. melanotis) Sulawesi bear cuscus (A. ursinus) Phalanger Gebe cuscus (P. alexandrae) Mountain cuscus (P. carmelitae) Ground cuscus (P. gymnotis) Eastern common cuscus (P. intercastellanus) Woodlark cuscus (P. lullulae) Blue-eyed cuscus (P. matabiru) Telefomin cuscus (P. matanim) Southern common cuscus (P. mimicus) Northern common cuscus (P. orientalis) Ornate cuscus (P. ornatus) Rothschild’s cuscus (P. rothschildi) Silky cuscus (P. sericeus) Stein’s cuscus (P. vestitus) Spilocuscus Admiralty Island cuscus (S. kraemeri) Common spotted cuscus (S. maculatus) Waigeou cuscus (S. papuensis) Black-spotted cuscus (S. rufoniger) Blue-eyed spotted cuscus (S. wilsoni) Strigocuscus Sulawesi dwarf cuscus (S. celebensis) Banggai cuscus (S. pelegensis) Trichosurus(brushtail possums) Northern brushtail possum (T. arnhemensis) Short-eared possum (T. caninus) Mountain brushtail possum (T. cunninghami) Coppery brushtail possum (T. johnstonii) Common brushtail possum (T. vulpecula) Wyulda Scaly-tailed possum (W. squamicaudata) Burramyidae(pygmy possums)Burramys Mountain pygmy possum (B. parvus) Cercartetus Long-tailed pygmy possum (C. caudatus) Western pygmy possum (C. concinnus) Tasmanian pygmy possum (C. lepidus) Eastern pygmy possum (C. nanus) TarsipedidaeTarsipes Honey possum (T. rostratus) PetauridaeDactylopsila Great-tailed triok (D. megalura) Long-fingered triok (D. palpator) Tate’s triok (D. tatei) Striped possum (D. trivirgata) Gymnobelideus Leadbeater’s possum (G. leadbeateri) Petaurus Northern glider (P. abidi) Yellow-bellied glider (P. australis) Biak glider (P. biacensis) Sugar glider (P. breviceps) Mahogany glider (P. gracilis) Squirrel glider (P. norfolcensis) PseudocheiridaeHemibelideus Lemur-like ringtail possum (H. lemuroides) Petauroides(greater gliders) Central greater glider (P. armillatus) Northern greater glider (P. minor) Southern greater glider (P. volans) Petropseudes Rock-haunting ringtail possum (P. dahli) Pseudocheirus Common ringtail possum (P. peregrinus) Pseudochirulus Lowland ringtail possum (P. canescens) Weyland ringtail possum (P. caroli) Cinereus ringtail possum (P. cinereus) Painted ringtail possum (P. forbesi) Herbert River ringtail possum (P. herbertensis) Masked ringtail possum (P. larvatus) Pygmy ringtail possum (P. mayeri) Vogelkop ringtail possum (P. schlegeli) Pseudochirops D’Albertis’s ringtail possum (P. albertisii) Green ringtail possum (P. archeri) Plush-coated ringtail possum (P. corinnae) Reclusive ringtail possum (P. coronatus) Coppery ringtail possum (P. cupreus) AcrobatidaeAcrobates Feathertail glider (A. pygmaeus) Distoechurus Feather-tailed possum (D. pennatus) Suborder MacropodiformesMacropodidae(includes wallabies)Lagostrophus Banded hare-wallaby (L. fasciatus) Dendrolagus(tree-kangaroos) Bennett’s tree-kangaroo (D. bennettianus) Doria’s tree-kangaroo (D. dorianus) Goodfellow’s tree-kangaroo (D. goodfellowi) Grizzled tree-kangaroo (D. inustus) Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (D. lumholtzi) Matschie’s tree-kangaroo (D. matschiei) Dingiso (D. mbaiso) Ifola (D. notatus) Golden-mantled tree-kangaroo (D. pulcherrimus) Lowlands tree-kangaroo (D. spadix) Tenkile (D. scottae) Seri’s tree-kangaroo (D. stellarum) Ursine tree-kangaroo (D. ursinus) Dorcopsis Black dorcopsis (D. atrata) White-striped dorcopsis (D. hageni) Gray dorcopsis (D. luctuosa) Brown dorcopsis (D. muelleri) Dorcopsulus Macleay’s dorcopsis (D. macleayi) Small dorcopsis (D. vanheurni) Lagorchestes(hare-wallabies) Spectacled hare-wallaby (L. conspicillatus) Rufous hare-wallaby (L. hirsutus) Macropus Western grey kangaroo (M. fuliginosus) Eastern grey kangaroo (M. giganteus) Notamacropus Agile wallaby (N. agilis) Black-striped wallaby (N. dorsalis) Tammar wallaby (N. eugenii) Western brush wallaby (N. irma) Parma wallaby (N. parma) Whiptail wallaby (N. parryi) Red-necked wallaby (N. rufogriseus) Onychogalea(nail-tail wallabies) Bridled nail-tail wallaby (O. fraenata) Northern nail-tail wallaby (O. unguifera) Osphranter Antilopine kangaroo (O. antilopinus) Black wallaroo (O. bernardus) Common wallaroo (O. robustus) Red kangaroo (O. rufus) Petrogale(rock-wallabies) P. brachyotis species group: Short-eared rock-wallaby (P. brachyotis) Monjon (P. burbidgei) Nabarlek (P. concinna) Eastern short-eared rock-wallaby (P. wilkinsi) P. xanthopus species group: Proserpine rock-wallaby (P. persephone) Rothschild’s rock-wallaby (P. rothschildi) Yellow-footed rock-wallaby (P. xanthopus) P. lateralis/penicillata species group: Allied rock-wallaby (P. assimilis) Cape York rock-wallaby (P. coenensis) Godman’s rock-wallaby (P. godmani) Herbert’s rock-wallaby (P. herberti) Unadorned rock-wallaby (P. inornata) Black-flanked rock-wallaby (P. lateralis) Mareeba rock-wallaby (P. mareeba) Brush-tailed rock-wallaby (P. penicillata) Purple-necked rock-wallaby (P. purpureicollis) Mount Claro rock-wallaby (P. sharmani) Setonix Quokka (S. brachyurus) Thylogale(pademelons) Tasmanian pademelon (T. billardierii) Brown’s pademelon (T. browni) Dusky pademelon (T. brunii) Calaby’s pademelon (T. calabyi) Mountain pademelon (T. lanatus) Red-legged pademelon (T. stigmatica) Red-necked pademelon (T. thetis) Wallabia Swamp wallaby (W. bicolor) PotoroidaeAepyprymnus Rufous rat-kangaroo (A. rufescens) Bettongia(bettongs) Eastern bettong (B. gaimardi) Boodie (B. lesueur) Woylie (B. penicillata) Northern bettong (B. tropica) Potorous(potoroos) Long-footed potoroo (P. longipes) Long-nosed potoroo (P. tridactylus) Gilbert’s potoroo (P. gilbertii) HypsiprymnodontidaeHypsiprymnodon Musky rat-kangaroo (H. moschatus) Taxon identifiers Wikidata: Q723435 Wikispecies: Petaurus breviceps AFD: Petaurus_breviceps ARKive: petaurus-breviceps BOLD: 83099 CoL: 4FD5J EoL: 323825 EPPO: PTAUBR Fossilworks: 234627 GBIF: 2440043 iNaturalist: 42723 IRMNG: 11255148 ITIS: 609841 IUCN: 16731 MSW: 11000157 NCBI: 34899 Retrieved from “” Categories: IUCN Red List least concern speciesGliding possumsLeast concern biota of OceaniaMammals described in 1839Mammals of New South WalesMammals of QueenslandSpecies endangered by the pet tradeHidden categories: Webarchive template wayback linksArticles with short descriptionShort description matches WikidataWikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pagesUse Australian English from June 2014All Wikipedia articles written in Australian EnglishUse dmy dates from October 2020Articles with ‘species’ microformatsAll articles with unsourced statementsArticles with unsourced statements from January 2020 This page was last edited on 26 October 2023, at 00:12 (UTC). 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Privacy policy About Wikipedia Disclaimers Contact Wikipedia Code of Conduct Developers Statistics Cookie statement Mobile view Toggle limited content width Facts About Pet Sugar Gliders Skip to content button button Visit The Spruce Pets’ homepage Newsletters Close search form Open search form Enter your search term Search Dogs Getting Started Dog Breeds Dog Health Dog Nutrition & Diet Dog Behavior & Training See all Cats Getting Started Cat Breeds Cat Health Cat Nutrition & Diet Cat Behavior & Training See all Birds Getting Started Pet Bird Species Pet Bird Health Pet Bird Nutrition & Diet Pet Bird Behavior & Training Pet Bird Supplies See all Small Pets Exotic Pets Rabbits Hamsters Guinea Pigs Hedgehogs Pet Rats See all Aquariums Aquarium Care & Maintenance Freshwater Fish & Aquariums Saltwater Fish & Aquariums See all Reptiles Pet Snakes Geckos Aquatic Turtles Frogs & Toads Tortoises Bearded Dragons See all Horses Getting Started Horse Breeds Horse Health Horse Nutrition & Diet Horse Behavior & Training Horse Stables & Equipment See all Best Pet Products Cat Products Dog Products Pet Cleaning Products Books & Gifts Fish and Aquarium Small Pet and Reptile See all About Us Editorial Policy Product Testing Diversity & Inclusion Veterinary Review Board See all Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. Subscribe About Us Newsletter Contact Us Editorial Guidelines Small Pets Exotic Pets Exotic Pet Species Facts About Sugar Gliders Lifespan, size, temperament, origins, and more By Lianne McLeod, DVM Lianne McLeod, DVM Lianne McLeod, DVM, is a small animal and exotic pet expert with over a decade of experience writing about veterinary care. After caring for animals in her veterinarian practice, Lianne went on to study biology and research water quality and chronic disease at the University of Saskatchewan. Learn more about The Spruce Pets’ Editorial Process Updated on 08/23/23 Reviewed by Natasha Diehl Reviewed by Natasha Diehl Dr. Diehl is a passionate veterinarian pursuing specialty medicine with over 6 years’ experience with exotic pets. She now works with a team of other experienced vets to provide the best advice and care for their clients’ pets. Learn more about The Spruce Pets’ Veterinary Review Board Kristina Parchomchuk / Getty Images Sugar gliders have grown in popularity over the years and therefore we know more than ever about these adorable little marsupials. Petaurus breviceps is the Latin name for a sugar glider which means “short-headed rope-dancer.” Lifespan Sugar gliders live about 12 to 15 years in captivity so they are long-term pets. Size The sugar glider’s body is about five to six inches long and the tail adds another six inches (which acts as a rudder while they glide). They weigh only four to five and a half ounces (80 to 160 grams). Origins Sugar gliders are native to Australia (the Eastern part), Papua New Guinea, Tasmania, multiple surrounding islands, and parts of Indonesia. They are found in the rainforests gliding from tree to tree and make their homes in tree hollows. They rarely ever touch the ground. The Spruce / Kaley McKean Anatomy Sugar gliders are marsupials which means the young are born very immature and grow in a pouch for 60 to 70 days on the mother’s abdomen (like a kangaroo or opossum). Sugar gliders have furry, thin, stretchy, membranes that extend from their wrists to their ankles (the membrane is called a patagium) that allows them to glide up to 150 feet through the air. In the wild, they move from tree to tree by gliding, not flying. Their hind feet have a large, opposable big toe that helps them grip branches and the second and third toes form a grooming comb. Other toes help them grab insects and connect the patagium. Large eyes are characteristic of these small marsupials which help them see while they glide and triangulate their launch and landing locations. It also helps them search for food since they are nocturnal and hunt at night. Both sexes also possess various scent glands, sharp teeth, and extremely soft fur. 1:02 Watch Now: How are Sugar Gliders as Pets? Temperament and Behavior Sugar gliders are very social and need companionship. This makes them bond well to their owners (especially if you use a bonding pouch) but even if you can provide a lot of attention and spend the necessary time with your glider, keeping a single glider is not ideal. Sugar gliders have a language all their own and live in colonies of up to 30 gliders in the wild. Housing a glider by themselves can lead to behavioral, mental, and emotional, and even physical problems for your pet. Strongly consider keeping more than one glider, if not several of them, in a flight cage. Humans cannot offer the same type of companionship and socialization that other sugar gliders can provide to each other. The vocalizations, grooming, and bonding that they provide for each other are irreplaceable by a human. Diet In the wild, sugar gliders eat a variety of different foods depending on the season. They are omnivores and as pets, they are often fed specific diets that are recommended by experts and zoos. These are diets utilizing multiple foods but the base shold be an insectivore pellet, for rounded nutrition and it is great to help prevent dental disease. You can supplement this pellet with baby food, honey, fruits, vitamins, fresh items such as fruit, vegetables, and insects. Formulated, pre-packaged insectivore diets for sugar gliders do exist at pet stores and online and are utilized at zoos to provide nutrition for colonies of sugar gliders. The needs of sugar gliders have changed as more is learned about them. Health Sugar gliders, like other exotic pets, have a multitude of ailments that can affect them. Metabolic bone disease due to inappropriate nutrition, injuries from getting stuck and gliding, diarrhea from eating too much fruit, dental disease, and parasites are all commonly seen in pet sugar gliders. Related Topics Small Pets More from The Spruce Pets Should You Keep Sugar Glider as a Pet? BML Diet for Sugar Gliders 100 Names for Pet Sugar Gliders Should You Keep a Southern Flying Squirrel as a Pet? Sugar Glider Self-Mutilation Should You Keep a Northern Flying Squirrel as a Pet? 7 Interesting Facts About Quaker Parrots How to Care for Pet Hedgehogs – Basic Hedgehog Care Guide What to Consider Before Keeping a Pet Snail 7 Amazing Facts About Polydactyl Cats Should You Keep a Capuchin Monkey as a Pet? Should You Keep a Kinkajou as a Pet? Should You Keep a Sloth as a Pet? Should You Keep a Capybara as a Pet? Eclectus Parrot: Bird Species Profile Should You Keep a Degu as a Pet? Visit The Spruce Pets’ homepage Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. 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Subscribe About Us Newsletter Contact Us Editorial Guidelines Small Pets Exotic Pets Should You Keep Sugar Glider as a Pet? Characteristics, Housing, Diet, and Other Information By Lianne McLeod, DVM Lianne McLeod, DVM Lianne McLeod, DVM, is a small animal and exotic pet expert with over a decade of experience writing about veterinary care. After caring for animals in her veterinarian practice, Lianne went on to study biology and research water quality and chronic disease at the University of Saskatchewan. Learn more about The Spruce Pets’ Editorial Process Updated on 02/16/22 Fact checked by Sarah Scott Fact checked by Sarah Scott Sarah Scott is a fact checker with more than 16 years of experience in researching, writing, and editing digital and print media. She has verified and edited articles on a variety of subjects for The Spruce Pets, including pet behavior, health, and care as well as the latest trends in products for animals in the home. Learn more about The Spruce Pets’ Editorial Process Sylvain Cordier / Getty Images In This Article Expand Is it OK to Own a Sugar Glider? Behavior and Temperament Housing Diet Vet Care Purchasing Similar Pets & Breeds Frequently Asked Questions Back to Top Sugar gliders are popular exotic pets, as they’re small, cute, and unique little marsupials that are native to Australia and parts of Indonesia. Their bodies are similar to squirrels with gray fur and black markings. They also have a gliding membrane—a thin, skin-like structure that extends from the front to back limbs on each side, almost like wings—that helps them travel among trees. Sugar gliders make for playful, curious, and social pets. But they do require frequent handling to keep them tame, along with ample space for exercise. Plus, they have a very particular diet. These animals are not for beginner pet owners, and you should put considerable effort into educating yourself about the species before acquiring a sugar glider. Then, expect to spend multiple hours per day tending to them. Species Overview COMMON NAME: Sugar gliderSCIENTIFIC NAME: Petaurus brevicepsADULT SIZE: 5 to 8 inches long (tail adds another 6-8 inches); weighs between 2 and 5 ouncesLIFESPAN: 10 to 15 years in captivity Can You Own a Pet Sugar Glider? Legality Sugar gliders are illegal in several states, including Alaska, Hawaii, and California. But even if your state allows them, make sure they are legal at the local level. And in some locations, they require permits to keep. The best way to determine whether it’s legal for you to own a sugar glider is to go to the UDSA’s APHIS website and look up the laws in your locality. Ethics Many experts believe that sugar gliders, being highly social animals that need lots of activities, a large living space, and plenty of socializing, are not smart pets to have because they feel the animals will suffer—and possibly experience depression—if their needs are not well met. Things to Consider Can you provide the right environment, do you have the space to provide a large enough enclosure? Do you have the finances and time available to commit to adopting two sugar gliders so yours is never alone? Are you near enough to a veterinarian with expertise in these exotic marsupials, so you can find yours the right medical care? These are all things to think about before you purchase your pet. Sugar Glider Behavior and Temperament Many people find pet sugar gliders to be endearing and entertaining. They are quick, love to climb, and will glide from place to place if their space allows it. Plus, as nocturnal animals (meaning they’re most active at night), they like to cuddle up in a cozy nest during the day to sleep. Because they are social animals, it’s usually ideal to have more than one sugar glider, one male and at least one female. However, they need to be kept away from pets of other species in the household—like cats and dogs—as they might injure one another. Regular human interaction is very important if you want your glider to bond with you. Allowing a sugar glider to ride in your shirt pocket or in a pouch that hangs around your neck is an easy way to interact with it throughout the day. If your glider isn’t used to being handled, it can take some time for it to become cuddly with you. Sugar gliders generally are not aggressive pets, but they will bite if they feel threatened or frightened. It’s key to be very patient and gentle when handling them. Furthermore, sugar gliders are rather vocal pets and have various noises to tell you when they’re upset, frightened, hungry, and more. They typically will give an audible warning when they are angry before attempting to bite. You might hear this sound if you wake a sleeping glider. 1:02 Watch Now: How are Sugar Gliders as Pets? Housing An enclosure that’s 36 inches wide by 24 inches deep by 36 inches high is a good minimum size for a pair of sugar gliders. Bigger is always better, and the height is more valuable than the floor space due to the climbing and gliding activities of these little marsupials. The cage wire spacing should be no more than a half-inch wide, and the bars should be horizontal to facilitate climbing. The interior of the cage should contain lots of toys and a closed exercise wheel (so the glider’s tail doesn’t get caught). Branches, ropes, and ladders will also provide opportunities for climbing, play, and exercise. Place a nest box near the top of the enclosure as a spot where your glider can go to feel safe and sleep. The latch on the cage door should be very secure, as gliders are clever and have been known to learn how to open simple latches. Keep the cage away from direct sunlight and drafts, and maintain a room temperature between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Specific Substrate Needs Line the bottom of the sugar glider’s cage with newspaper or other recycled paper product that is non-toxic if ingested. Avoid cedar shavings, which have a strong scent that can cause respiratory irritation in small animals. Replace the paper and clean surfaces and toys in the cage with soap and water at least once a week. Most illnesses that affect sugar gliders are due to unsanitary living conditions. Jason Meredith / Flickr / CC by 2.0 Should You Keep Sugar Glider as a Pet? What Do Sugar Gliders Eat & Drink? Sugar gliders have fairly strict dietary requirements. In the wild, a sugar glider’s diet includes nectar and sap from trees. But sugar gliders are omnivorous, meaning they eat plants and animals. In addition to the nectar and sap, they also consume fruit, insects, and even small birds or rodents. For pet sugar gliders, variations of the homemade Bourbon’s Modified Leadbeater (BML) diet are very popular. Honey, calcium powder, and baby cereal are often used in these recipes to provide proper nutrition to your glider. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be offered in moderation, less than 10 percent of the total diet, because many lack essential vitamins, minerals, and protein and contain mostly water.1 Many owners put out meals in small food bowls in the morning and at night. But some sugar gliders tend to graze, rather than eat a full meal at once. So don’t be concerned if you see some food leftover, but do discard leftovers prior to the next meal to prevent them from spoiling. Consult your veterinarian on the best quantity to feed your glider, as this can vary based on age, size, and activity level. And always keep a water dish or bottle in the cage, which should be refreshed at least daily. Common Health Problems Sugar gliders are very susceptible to stress if awakened and taken out of their cages in daytime hours. They have even been known to self-mutilate (bite and scratch themselves) under stressful conditions. Housing sugar gliders that don’t get along or providing too small of an enclosure are two major stressors for these small, sensitive creatures. If you notice any signs of self-mutilation, such as missing patches of fur, consult your vet immediately. They can help to determine the issue and suggest lifestyle modifications. Sugar gliders also are prone to some bacterial and parasitic infections.2 For instance, giardia, which is a protozoan parasite, can cause dehydration, lethargy, and weight loss.3 Most bacterial and parasitic infections occur due to under-washed fruits and vegetables, so thoroughly clean any foods you feed to your sugar glider. Moreover, many issues arise in sugar gliders due to malnutrition. A malnourished glider might be thin, lethargic, and have pale gums. Low calcium and blood sugar are commonly the culprits. This often results in anemia and can turn into more serious health issues, such as kidney, liver, and metabolic bone disease (which can cause bone fractures).1 Furthermore, dental disease is quite common in sugar gliders because of their sugary diet.2 If your glider is having tooth problems, you might notice it is eating less or has a bad smell coming from its mouth. A teeth cleaning with your veterinarian will likely be in order, and your vet can advise you on oral hygiene tips. Exercise Sugar gliders are very active animals, that’s one of the reasons they need such a large enclosure. They need branches and ropes and anything else safe for them to climb, including exercise wheels and balls. Shedding Sugar gliders shed minimally, if at all. Their fur is nothing you need to worry about unless it starts to look unkempt, at which point a visit to the vet would be in order. Bathing/Grooming Sugar gliders are excellent groomers, and you will not need to bathe yours. They literally bathe themselves by spitting into their hands. Size Information Fully grown sugar gliders are 5 to 8 inches long, not including their tails, and they weigh between 2 and 5 ounces. Training Your Sugar Glider Sugar gliders generally can’t be potty trained, but they are otherwise fairly clean pets. Once you have their enclosure set up, it’s pretty easy to maintain. Their greatest care needs are maintaining a balanced diet and socialization. The Spruce / Catherine Song Pros & Cons of Keeping a Sugar Glider as a Pet Sugar gliders are adorable, but are they the right pet for you? On the pro side, they’re fun and active and live longer than other “pocket” type pets. They’re also clean and rarely bite. For cons, though, you need more than one sugar glider for it to meet its social needs; they’re nocturnal, so not as much fun during the day; and they really don’t interact well with other pets you may have. Purchasing Your Sugar Glider Look for a reputable breeder or rescue organization to acquire a glider. A breeder should have a U.S. Department of Agriculture license. Avoid purchasing over the internet where you can’t interact with the animal before you commit. And try to speak with other people who also have gotten an animal from that seller. A breeder should also be able to give you the lineage of your new pet, as well as its history, so you can be sure it’s been ethically bred and healthy. The seller should be able to provide thorough information on the animal’s origin, health history, and temperament. Ask to visit with the animal before you take it home and look for any red flags, such as lethargy, trouble moving around, or abnormal feces. Expect to pay between $100 and $500 on average; young gliders are more expensive. Reproduction/Breeding The right breeder can teach you how to set up the cage for your glider, and share with you its dietary and veterinary needs. They will also teach you how to handle your glider to be sure neither you nor anybody in your family gets bitten. Similar Pets to the Sugar Glider If you’re interested in similar pets, check out: Southern flying squirrel African dormouse Rabbit Otherwise, check out other exotic animals that can be your new pet. FAQ Can you domesticate a sugar glider? No, you cannot. Sugar gliders are wild animals, and while they look like an adorable furry friend, they cannot be domesticated. How long do sugar gliders live as pets? In captivity, sugar gliders live for 10 to 15 years. Are sugar gliders hard to take care of? Yes, they are a good deal of work for such a little creature. Sugar gliders need a good deal of care: large, wide-open enclosures, a special diet, and toys to keep them occupied especially at night because they’re nocturnal. Article Sources The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Sugar Gliders. Merck Veterinary Manual. Diseases and Syndromes of Sugar Gliders. Merck Veterinary Manual. Overview of Giardiasis. MSD Veterinary Manual. More from The Spruce Pets Facts About Sugar Gliders Should You Keep a Degu as a Pet? How to Care for a Pet Dwarf Hamster Sugar Glider Self-Mutilation How to Care for a Pet Winter White Dwarf Hamster How to Care for a Pet African Pygmy Hedgehog Hamsters as Pets Should You Keep a Panther Chameleon as a Pet? Should You Keep a Capybara as a Pet? BML Diet for Sugar Gliders How to Care for a Pet White’s Tree Frog Cockatiel: Bird Species Profile Should You Keep a Kunekune Pig as a Pet? Should You Keep a Southern Flying Squirrel as a Pet? How to Care for a Chinese Water Dragon Should You Keep a Genet as a Pet? Visit The Spruce Pets’ homepage Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. Subscribe Follow us: Dogs Cats Birds Small Pets Aquariums Reptiles Horses What to Buy About Us Terms Of Service Editorial Guidelines Advertise Careers Privacy Policy Contact Your Privacy Choices The Spruce Pets is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family. Please review our updated Terms of Service. By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. Cookies Settings Accept All Cookies Sugar Glider | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants Skip to main content San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants Main menu Home AnimalsAmphibiansArthropodsBirdsFishMammalsReptiles Plants Habitats Regions Stories Live Cams Videos Search form Search Threatened Sugar Glider Petaurus breviceps Class: Mammalia Order: Diprotodontia Family: Petauridae Genus: Petaurus Species: breviceps ABOUT Sugar gliders are squirrel-sized arboreal marsupials that inhabit the forests of Australia and New Guinea. They are highly social, living in small colonies or family groups numbering up to seven adults and their offspring. Sugar gliders are largely nocturnal and rarely come to the ground, finding both shelter and food in the trees. The sugar glider’s main distinguishing feature is a soft membrane between its wrists and ankles called a patagium, which allows it to glide from tree to tree as though using a parachute. These “wrist-winged gliders” can float on air up to a distance nearly the width of a football field! They are excellent “aviators,” thanks to their wide field of vision—and they can triangulate distances and glide ratios by bobbing their head before launch. Once airborne, they steer toward their target by tilting their hands and arms, adjusting the tension in their “wings,” and using their long, flat, bushy tail as a rudder. While named for their penchant for eating forest sweets like acacia gum, eucalyptus sap, and flower nectar, sugar gliders are actually omnivorous opportunistic feeders, consuming both plant and animal matter. The little sugar glider’s menu choice has a dark side, though. Their appetite for the endangered swift parrot’s nestlings in Tasmania is a grave threat to the bird’s survival there. Being pocket-sized with big eyes and having the unusual “superpower” of gliding makes this marsupial popular in the pet world. But wildlife—even adorable ones—typically do not make good household pets. They are long lived and require plenty of space and others of their own kind to thrive. It is illegal to own a pet sugar glider in the state of California. Light as a feather. A sugar glider weighs 3 to 5 ounces (85 to 141 grams), about as much as a baseball, and sports short, gray fur, not unlike that of a koala. The belly fur is creamy white. It has dark rings around its big, black eyes, and a charcoal stripe running down the center of its face to its pink nose. Its rudder-like tail is nearly as long as its 6-inch body and is somewhat prehensile, and is used to carry leaves to its cozy nest. The tail cannot support the sugar glider’s body weight. In a healthy sugar glider, the tail is often 1.5 times as long as its body. The sugar glider has five digits on each foot, including a handy opposable toe on its hind feet that allows it a firm grip on branches or a tree trunk. They use their limbs, tail, and torso to control their “flight,” and gracefully land with all four feet splayed to grab the tree. HABITAT AND DIET Nice nest. Sugar gliders inhabit wooded areas with open forest. They are arboreal, finding safety, shelter, and food above the ground. They shelter by day in cozy leaf nests constructed in tree hollows. They mark and protect their territory, which can include over two acres of forested land. Urine and secretions from various glands make effective “fences.” Nighty-night. Sugar gliders are nocturnal, snoozing through the day until night falls, then they begin using their leap-glide-grab means of getting food. During periods of frigid cold or unavailable food, sugar gliders may lapse into torpor for up to 16 hours per day to conserve energy. Sweet and sour. Sugar gliders are opportunistic omnivores, with a diet that changes with the seasons. While they do have a “sweet tooth” for nectar, sap, and tree gums, they also consume lizards and small birds. In Tasmania, their penchant for swift parrot nestlings has landed this mammal on the endangered species list! Superpowers against predators. This pint-sized nocturnal mammal can be preyed upon by owls and snakes, so it makes full use of its gliding capabilities, leaping from tree to tree for safety. According to Behavior of Small Mammals by Teresa Bradley Bays, DVM, when frightened, “they will produce a white, oily secretion from their paracloacal glands, which has the odor of soured fruit. Sugar gliders will assume a defensive posture by standing on their hind legs with head extended, often with the mouth open. If really frightened, they may lie on their backs with their feet up in the air while vocalizing.” That should discourage even the hungriest predator! FAMILY LIFE Whaaaaat? This highly social, nocturnal creature has a complex chemical communication system based on scents produced by frontal, sternal, and urogenital glands of males and by pouch and urogenital glands of females. Each has his and her own signature scent, which enables others to recognize it. However, the dominant male also actively marks his group members with his saliva, and by using scent glands on his chest and forehead. That’s a sure way to tell if an individual belongs in the colony or not. Sugar gliders also communicate using a wide variety of yapping, barking, buzzing, droning, hissing, and screaming sounds. One is called “crabbing,” which they make when frightened, threatened, or woken from a nap. They make a barking noise when communicating with other gliders (or you). A sugar glider may hiss, and the duration and context of the call mean different things, like acknowledging another glider or telling it to get out of the way. When contented, the glider may make a purring sound, which is softer than a cat’s purr. Fuzzy family life. Sugar gliders nest in groups of up to seven adult males and females and their young, probably all related and descended from an original colonizing pair. Female sugar gliders have a pouch containing four teats, which a mother uses to raise one or two joeys. Youngsters often leave their natal group by 10 to 12 months of age. These highly social creatures live in trees, rarely touching the ground, and they groom each other—which not only keeps their fur clean, but also helps solidify relationships. CONSERVATION While sugar gliders are currently listed as being of “lower risk” to extinction, habitat loss is a chronic threat to many kinds of wildlife. By supporting San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, you are our ally in saving and protecting wildlife worldwide. Life Span 4 to 5 years in the wilderness; up to 15 years in expert care Young Gestation: 16 days; develop another 60 to 70 days in the mother’s pouch Number of young at birth: 1 or 2; age of maturity: 6 to 8 months Size Length: 4.7 to 12 inches (120 to 320 millimeters); tail 6 to 18 inches long (150 to 480 millimeters) Weight: 3 to 5 ounces (79 to 160 grams) Weight at birth: 2 to 3 grams Fun Facts Sugar gliders are one of five “lesser gliding possum” species. Females can suckle joeys of different ages at the same time! Marsupial milk changes in composition as the little ones develop, and each nipple can produce nutrition for each stage of growth. Their scientific name Petaurus breviceps most accurately translates to “short-headed springboard.” Sugar gliders use their semi-prehensile tail to hold leaf matter while they scamper back to their nest. That ankle-to-wrist membrane that enables them to glide is called a patagium. A sugar glider’s glide can reach about 150 feet (over 45 meters). Sugar gliders can leap out to catch flying insects midair. DISCOVER WILDLIFE More Animals & Plants from San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park African Pygmy Goose Cycad Japanese Wisteria Tawny Frogmouth Fischer’s Lovebird Butterfly, Moth, and Skipper Vulture Honey Badger (Ratel) © 2023 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use State Disclosures Accessibility Statement Feeding a Sugar Glider: What Sugar Gliders Eat and How Often Skip to main content Home Conditions Back Conditions View All ADD/ADHDAllergiesArthritisAtrial fibrillationBreast CancerCancerCrohn’s DiseaseDepressionDiabetesDVTEczemaEye HealthHeart DiseaseHIV & AIDSLung DiseaseLupusMental HealthMultiple SclerosisMigrainePain ManagementPsoriasisPsoriatic ArthritisRheumatoid ArthritisSexual ConditionsSkin ProblemsSleep DisordersUlcerative Colitis View All Drugs & Supplements Back Drugs & SupplementsDrugsSupplementsPill IdentifierInteraction CheckerWell-Being Back Well-Being View All Aging WellBabyBirth ControlChildren’s HealthDiet & Weight ManagementFitness & ExerciseFood & RecipesHealthy BeautyMen’s HealthParentingPet HealthPregnancySex & RelationshipsTeen HealthWomen’s Health View All Symptom CheckerFind a DoctorMore Back MoreNewsBlogsPodcastsWebinarsNewslettersWebMD MagazineBest HospitalsSupport GroupsOrthopedics Privacy & More Subscribe Log In Search Subscribe Healthy Pets/Reference/Feeding a Sugar GliderMedically Reviewed by Kathleen Claussen, DVM on July 15, 2023 Written by WebMD Editorial ContributorsSugar Glider DietWhat Foods to Avoid Giving Your Sugar GliderHow to Feed Your Sugar GliderWhat to Do If Your Sugar Glider Is Not Eating3 min read Sugar gliders are small nocturnal animals originally from the treetops of Australia and New Guinea. Their diet in the wild includes a combination of sweets from the forest, small animals, and insects. Their typical eating patterns in the wild can be hard to mirror when kept as pets, so as a new sugar glider owner you’ll need to know what to feed your glider, how often to feed it, what foods to avoid, and what to do if you notice your sugar glider has stopped eating.Sugar Glider DietA pet sugar glider’s diet should mirror their diet in the wild as much as possible.What sugar gliders eat. Nutrition is very important for the overall health of a pet sugar glider and with nutritional recommendations always evolving, new owners should consult with an exotic veterinarian about the latest recommendations prior to adopting a sugar glider. The Association of Sugar Glider Veterinarians says a healthy diet should consist of 75% pellet food and 25% fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts. It’s important to note that foods with high levels of calcium and oxalates may lead to urinary stones in small animals, like sugar gliders, so make sure you speak with a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals. How much to feed a sugar glider. Sugar gliders need to eat about 15-20% of their weight every day, which isn’t much since they only weigh between 3-5 ounces. This comes down to about 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 of an ice cube of Leadbeater’s, about a teaspoon of nutritional pellets, and 2-3 teaspoons of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. You can also give your sugar glider some mealworms or corn as a treat.How much water do sugar gliders need? Constant access to fresh, filtered water is important for keeping your sugar glider healthy. Provide your sugar glider water in a bottle that they can drink out of whenever they are thirsty.What Foods to Avoid Giving Your Sugar GliderAs with many pets, there are several foods humans enjoy that can harm sugar gliders. In addition to foods high in oxalates (including spinach, kale, chard, and collard greens), which can be harmful over a long period of time, some foods can cause more immediate health problems. If you let your sugar glider roam free, make sure these foods are put away and out of reach so your glider doesn’t accidentally get into them. If your glider does get into these foods, consult a veterinarian. These include:ChocolateDairyFoods treated with pesticidesBerries such as raspberries, strawberries, and blackberriesFruits such as pears and figsVegetables such as carrots and beetsHow to Feed Your Sugar GliderSince they are nocturnal, experts recommend feeding your sugar glider in the evenings. This helps your sugar glider maintain its natural rhythms and feel more at home.Sugar gliders can also be messy eaters. Because of this, some sugar glider owners place food in a shoebox or tray. This helps contain the mess and makes cleanup easier.What to Do If Your Sugar Glider Is Not EatingA decreased appetite in a sugar glider is often a sign of illness. They can easily get low blood sugar, and become slow-moving or weak. So, if your sugar glider stops eating, or is eating less than normal, it’s important to see a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals to figure out that issue. Sources Article History ShareSOURCES:San Diego Zoo: “Sugar Glider.”NC State Veterinary Hospital: “Caring for Your Pet Sugar Glider.”VCA Hospitals: “Sugar Gliders – Feeding.”How we keep our content up to date:Our medical and editorial staff closely follow the health news cycle, new research, drug approvals, clinical practice guidelines and other developments to ensure our content receives appropriate and timely updates. 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Just a moment…a-z-animals.comChecking if the site connection is needs to review the security of your connection before proceeding.Connection is secureProceeding…Enable JavaScript and cookies to continue Ray ID: 83ce78d96f8d7d03Performance & security by Cloudflare Sugar Glider Facts Skip to contentNewslettersSubscribeMenuAnimalsReferenceSugar Glider1:04Sugar GliderAustralia’s sugar gliders can “fly” about 165 feet.ShareTweetEmailCommon Name: Sugar GliderScientific Name: Petaurus brevicepsType: MammalsDiet: OmnivoreGroup Name: ColonyAverage Life Span In The Wild: 3 to 9 yearsSize: 6.3 to 8.3 inches longWeight: 4.1 to 5.6 ouncesIUCN Red List Status: ? Least concern LCNTVUENCREWEX Least Concern Extinct Current Population Trend: StableSugar gliders are palm-size possums that can glide half the length of a soccer pitch in one trip. These common, tree-dwelling marsupials are native to tropical and cool-temperate forests in Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. Their “wings” are made from a thin skin stretched between the fifth forefinger and back ankle, and they use their bushy tails as rudders as they soar through the air.Often compared with flying squirrels—rodents with similar bodies that can also glide—sugar gliders are more closely related to other marsupials like kangaroos. As nocturnal animals, they see well in the dark with their big black eyes. They have mostly grey fur but their underbellies are white, and their heads have black stripes.ReproductionSugar gliders nest in tree hollows with up to 10 other adults. In addition to forests, they’ve also been found in plantations and rural gardens. Females have one or two young, called joeys, at least once a year. The young stay with their mothers until they’re seven to 10 months old.In parts of their range, winter temperatures can fall below freezing. To keep warm, sugar gliders sleep huddled together. That, along with short periods of reduced body temperature called torpor, helps them save energy on colder days.DietSugar gliders have a flexible diet that can vary according to location and season. They feed on nectar, pollen, acacia, and eucalyptus tree sap. They’ve also been observed systematically searching tree cones for spiders and beetles.Though threatened by feral animals, bushfires, and land clearance for agriculture, sugar gliders are considered to have stable populations in the wild. Sugar gliders are bred and kept as pets.A sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps, at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure Zoo.Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo ArkPlease be respectful of copyright. 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