Native to the forests of Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia, sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) are small marsupials.
In the wild, they are very social creatures that live in groups and make their home in trees, snuggling together during the day and foraging for food by night. A thin membrane known as the patagium extends from their back to their front legs and allows them to "glide" through the air. Their nocturnal flights can be as long as 150 feet, and they use their tails like rudders to control their direction. Sugar Gliders were named for this gliding ability as well as their preference for the sweet sap of the Eucalyptus tree.
Their diet also consists of insects, small invertebrates, and nectar.
Adult sugar gliders are approximately 5-6 inches with a thick tail of about equal length and weigh between 4 and 6 ounces. Their fur is soft and usually gray with a black stripe that runs down their back. Gliders have opposable fingers and toes which they use for gripping branches and grooming.
"Suggies" can make loving pets, but they require lots of time and attention and are not for everyone. They will bond with their owners, often content to sleep inside a bonding pouch or pocket during the day. They become much more active at night, however, so their nocturnal nature should be taken into consideration before aquiring one.
Their food is not a mix that can be purchased, but must be prepared daily.
Though it is possible to keep a single sugar glider, it is not recommended because of their extreme social nature. They are much happier and less likely to suffer illness or depression in same sex pairs or even small groups. If gliders receive the companionship they need and crave, they can live up to a dozen years in captivity.