The Sugar Glider is a relatively small marsupial; its head
and body are approximately 120-320mm long and the tail has
a length of 150-480mm. Sugar Gliders are generally blue-greyish
dorsally while their ventral surfaces are somewhat paler.
A dark stripe runs down the back from the posterior end to
the nose, while similar stripes are located on each side of
the face running from the eye to the ear. Much like Flying
Squirrels, Sugar Gliders have a gliding membrane which extends
from the outer side of the fore foot to the ankle of the rear
foot and may be opened by spreading out the limbs. The prehensile
tails are furred all around and in this species are used to
transport leaves for nest material. Sugar Gliders can glide
up to 45 meters and has been observed catching moths in flight.
Gliders can live in forests of all types, given that there
is an adequate food supply. They build their nests in the
branches of eucalyptus trees inside their territory. They
are omnivorous, favoring sap, nectar small insects and larvae,
arachnids, and small vertebrates.
is done in groups of up to seven males and females and their
young, most likely all from the same original colonizing pair.
Nesting groups seem to be mutually exclusive and territorial.
Two of the most dominant males protect against intruders and
father the group's young. The young usually leave the group
at 10 -12 months of age. A highly developed communication
system relies on individual scents produced by frontal, sternal
and urogenital glands of males and pouch and urogenital glands
of females. Scents mark the territory inhabited by the group
and in addition, the dominant male scent marks the other members
of the group.
female Sugar Glider also has a well developed pouch. Females
are polyestrous, with estrous cycles lasting 29 days. There
seems to be no specific breeding season in most of the range
and females can produce an additional litter if the first
is lost or weaned. In southeastern Australia, it appears that
young are only born from June to November. Gestation is about
16 days, remain attached to the nipple for 40 days and leave
the pouch at 70 days. The young leave the nest at 111 days
and soon are independent. Sexual maturity for both females
occurs late in the first year and early in the second year
breviceps is found in SE South Australia to Cape York
Peninsula (Queensland), Tasmania (introduction), N Northern
Territory, NE Western Australia; New Guinea and adjacent small
islands, including Bismarck Arch.; Aru Isls and N Moluccas