Sugar Gliders are native to eastern and northern mainland Australia, who are small, omnivorous, arboreul gliding possums belonging to the marsupial infraclass. The have the ability to glide through the air through flaps or membranes of loose skin which extend between the fifth finger of each hand to the first toe of each foot. It launches itself from a tree, spreading its limbs to expose the gliding membranes and creates an aerofoil enabling them to glide 50 meters or more. By evading predators and locating food, they glide from tree to tree.

Sugar Gliders are nocturnal and sleep in their nests during the day and are active at night. At night they will hunt insects and small vertebrates and feed on the sweet sap of certain
species of eucalyptus, acasia and gum trees. Its large eyes help it to see at night, and its ears swivel to help locate prey in the dark. Sugar Gliders are VERY social animals and live in colonies of up to seven adults.

It has a long tail with a squirrel-like body with five digits on each foot, each having a claw, except for a toe on the hind feet. Also on the hind feet, the second and third digits are partially syndactylous (fused together), forming a grooming comb.

Sugar Glider males are larger than the females and have bald patches on their head and chest (scent glands). There are four scent glands in total, located on their forehead, chest and two paracloacal. They use the scent glands for marking purposes, mainly by the males. A dominant adult male will mark his territory and members of the group with saliva and a scent produced by separate glands on the forehead and chest. The frontal gland is easily seen on an adult male as a bald spot. The male also has a bifurcated penis whereas the female has a pouch (marsupium) in the middle of her abdomen to carry offspring. The sugar glider has a distinctive alarm call, said to resemble the yapping of a dog. Other calls include a high-pitched cry, and buzzing, screaming and hissing sounds.

Sugar Gliders have thick and very soft fur coats which is blue-grey, some have been known to be yellow, tan, or leucistic. A black stripe is seen from its nose to midway on its back. Its belly, throat, and chest are cream in colour.

In the wild Sugar Gliders are seasonally adapted omnivores with a wide variety of foods in their diet. In summer they are primarily insectivorous, and in the winter when insects are scarce, they are mostly exudativorous, feeding on acacia gum, eucalyptus sap, manna, honeydew or lerp. They eat a variety of foods, eg. lizards, small birds, worms, nectar, acacia seeds, bird eggs, pollen, fungi and native fruits.

Male Sugar Gliders will be sexual mature between 4 and 12 months, whereas the females will be between 8 and 12 months. Sugar Gliders breed once or twice a year in the wild, while they may breed more in captivity. The female's gestation period is approximately 15 to 17 days, after which the tiny joey, which weighs 0.2 g, will crawl into her mother's pouch for further development. They are born with a continuous arc of cartilage in their shoulder girdle to provide support for climbing into the pouch. This structure breaks down immediately after birth. The joey(s) will attach itself to its mother's nipple, where it will stay for about 60 to 70 days. The mother can get pregnant while her joeys are still in the pouch and hold the pregnancy until the pouch is available. The joey gradually spills out of the pouch until it falls out completely. It emerges virtually without fur, and the eyes will remain closed for another 12–14 days. During this time, the joey will begin to mature by growing fur and increasing gradually in size. It takes about two months for the offspring to be completely weaned, and at four months, the young glider is on its own.


Every joey has an extension from the cloaca when they come out of pouch. This extension is commonly mistaken for a penis. To determine the sex of a joey, you need to look for a pouch on a female, and the scrotum on the male. Both the pouch and scrotom are located on the belly where you typically would expect to see a "belly-button".


  •  HEAD-BODY LENGTH : 170 mm (160 mm - 210 mm) 
  •  TAIL LENGTH : 190 mm (165 mm - 210 mm) 
  •  WEIGHT : Males - 140 grams (115 grams – 160 grams) Females - 115 grams (95 grams – 135 grams) 
  •  HEART RATE : 200-300 beats per minute 
  •  LIFESPAN : Wild – Up to 9 years Captivity – Up to 12 years 
  •  SEXUAL MATURITY : Males : 4 months to 12 months Females : 8 months to 12 months

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