Sugar Gliders are small arboreal marsupials, silvery blue-gray in color with a darker stripe on the back. The last couple of inches of the tail is also black. They are members of the same family as kangaroos, wombats, opossums, and Tasmanian devils. Native to Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea and the neighboring islands of Indonesia. Sugar gliders can be found in wooded forests where there is plenty of rainfall and where Acacia Gum and Eucalyptus trees are found, as, in the wild, these are their main food source.
In the wild, they form colonies with up to seven gliders in one colony. In the colonies, they have an order; a leader on down to the bottom of the rank.
Sugar Gliders "glide" by leaping off of something. They spread their membrane of skin called a patagium that extends between their front and back legs. They use their long tails to steer as they glide to over one hundred meters, adjusting the curvature of their skin according to which direction they wish to go.
The sugar glider is a nocturnal animal, meaning they sleep during the day and are up at night. In the wild, sugar gliders are playful with their colony but wary and protective of intruders. When an intruder is spotted, they will sound off a shrill yapping followed by a sharp shriek if a fight arises. It is not easy to tame an already mature sugar glider. However, it is easy to tame baby sugar gliders by holding them for several hours a day while they are still very young.
Sugar Gliders as Pets
If you wish to have a cuddly glider, be sure to adopt one that has been extensively handled and well socialized. They tend to bond strongly to one person, usually the person who has held them the most and spent the most time with them.
They are extremely active and very social animals and do not like to live alone.
If you would like to own a sugar glider, plan on having more than one. A lonely sugar glider that is deprived of social interaction will not thrive.
Sexing a Sugar Glider
It is quite easy to tell the difference between a male and female sugar glider, especially once they have reached maturity. Females have a pouch on their bellies (which appears as about a one-half inch slit), while males have a furry pendulous scrotum in front of the cloaca (the common opening of the reproductive, urinary, and intestinal tract). In young sugar gliders, the scrotum will not be as easy to see. Mature males also have a distinctive diamond-shaped bald spot on top of their heads.