Petaurus breviceps
Sugar Glider Image: Dick Whitford
Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    breviceps
    Genus
    Petaurus
    Family
    Petauridae
    Order
    Diprotodontia
    Subclass
    Marsupialia
    Class
    Mammalia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    16 cm - 21 cm

Introduction

The Sugar Glider has a membrane extending from its fifth finger to its ankle enabling it to glide up to 50 m between trees.

Identification

In flight, the Sugar Glider it uses its long bushy tail for stability and steering.

Habitat

The Sugar Glider lives in forests and woodlands.

Distribution

The Sugar Glider is found in northern and eastern Australia, including northern Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and south-eastern South Australia.



Other behaviours and adaptations

The Sugar Glider is most active at night, sleeping by day in nests made of leaves in tree hollows. Groups of up to seven adults and their young may form a 'clan' and share a nest. Among their own clan they are playful and social but will defend their territory aggressively and noisily if threatened by other animals or approached by Sugar Gliders from a different clan. Dominant males mark other clan members and the territory around the nest with secretions from scent glands on their chest.

Life history cycle

The Sugar Glider commonly gives birth to twins, which remain in the pouch for just over two months. They then leave the nest to forage for food, usually with their mother.