The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a small arboreal marsupial that is found in the forests of Australia, as well as in Tasmania, New Guinea, and the neighboring islands of Indonesia. This little creature is a member of the same order that includes kangaroos, opossums, wombats and Tasmanian devils!
The sugar glider's head and body measures five to six inches with a bushy tail of equal length. The males are slightly larger. Like most marsupials, the female has a pouch in which the baby glider(s) are carried. One to two joeys is the norm.
In the wilds of their native habitat, the sugar gliders are tree dwelling creatures, often living in groups of 15 to 30. They are active by night when they hunt for insects and small vertebrates and feed on the sweet sap of certain species of eucalyptus, acacia and gum trees. Sugar gliders are so named for their preference for sweet foods and their ability to glide through the air like a flying squirrel.
To identify each other they rely more heavily on scent. Each glider has its own specific scent signature that other members of the group recognize. Males have a scent gland on their head which looks like a little diamond shaped bald spot in the middle of their forehead. There is another gland between their front legs on their chest. Females have scent glands near the genital area and pouch.
The sugar glider makes a fascinating and unique pet which becomes extremely friendly when provided daily interaction with humans. They bond rather quickly and learn to trust their human family.
The charming and loveable little sugar glider is fast becoming a popular household pet in North America. Indeed, they have many of the characteristics of the perfect pet in that they are clean, personable, attractive and relatively quiet. Their housing and dietary requirements are rather easy to cater to. They are hardy and don't have a lot of health problems and can live 10 to 15 years with the proper care and love.