Sugar Gliders were recently spilt into 3 species (in 2021) so what used to be a widespread species, the Sugar Glider, Petaurus breviceps is now known to occur only in eastern Australia on the coastal side of the Great Dividing Range. The Savanna Glider Petaurus ariel is found across Northern Australia and Krefft’s Glider, Petaurus notatus occurs in Eastern and Northern Australia. All three species have a membrane extending from its fifth finger to its ankle enabling them to glide up to 50 m between trees.
In flight, the Sugar Glider uses its long bushy tail for stability and steering.
Sugar Gliders live in forests and woodlands.
The Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps) is now known to occur only in eastern Australia on the coastal side of the Great Dividing Range. The Savanna Glider (Petaurus ariel) is found across Northern Australia and Krefft’s Glider (Petaurus notatus) occurs in Eastern and Northern 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.
- Teigan Cremona, Andrew M Baker, Steven J B Cooper, Rebecca Montague-Drake, Alyson M Stobo-Wilson, Susan M Carthew, Integrative taxonomic investigation of Petaurus breviceps (Marsupialia: Petauridae) reveals three distinct species, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Volume 191, Issue 2, February 2021, Pages 503–527, https://doi.org/10.1093/zoolinnean/zlaa060.
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