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Sugar glider

Sugar glider

Sugar glider

Common name: sugar glider

Scientific name: Petaurus breviceps

Family: Petauridae

Conservation status: The sugar glider is listed as Least Concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and is ranked as a low priority under the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Back on Track species prioritisation framework.

Description

The sugar glider is a small animal (weighing just 140 g) that uses membranes on either side of its body to glide through the air. With big ears and eyes, grey fur and a long bushy tail, it's one of our cutest night visitors. The glider's body grows to about 17 cm long, while its tail is longer at 19 cm. A dark stripe runs from between the eyes to the tail.

Habitat and distribution

Sugar gliders are common in the coastal lowlands and inland eucalyptus and rainforests of northern and eastern Australia.

Life history and behaviour

If you spot a sugar glider, there will most likely be more nearby, as they live in family groups of up to seven adults with their young.

Gliders spend their days in leafy nests in tree hollows. At night, they munch on nectar, sap and insects from eucalyptus trees, gliding for up to 50 m to find their favourite foods. The glider's name came from its alleged sweet-tooth.

Listen

Listen to an audio clip of the sugar glider (MP3 audio file, 120K)†

† Requires an appropriate media player

Last updated
24 November 2011