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Sugar Glider Information Package


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Bowmanville Veterinary Clinic

General Information

The standard colour for sugar gliders is platinum grey with a cream coloured underside, although they are being bred in a variety of colours.  The fur is a velvety texture and they have a black longitudinal dorsal stripe extending from between the eyes to the tail.  This stripe is noted as being slightly thinner in females.

Lifespan: 4-7 years in the wild and 12-15 years in captivity

Body Length: 13-19cm or 5-7.5 inches

Weight   Males: 113-170g        Females: 85-142g

Temperature: 32-36C

Heart Rate: 200-300 beats/min

Respiratory Rate: 16-40 breaths/min

Males will reach sexual maturity at 12-15 months while females will reach it at 8-12 months.  Average litter size is 1-2 Joeys with the majority of females giving birth to 2 offspring, sugar gliders can reproduce for up to ten years.  

Gestation: 15-17 days    In Pouch: 50-75 days    Wean: 35-60 days

The gliding membrane extends from the ankles to the 5th membrane of the forepaws.  Sugar gliders are capable of gliding for up to 200 feet, given the proper altitudes.  Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals and therefore have excellent night vision; also the make-up of their eye allows them to see in shades of grey and the colour red.  Sugar gliders will become inactive if their nails are clipped because they can no longer grab onto things and they have a natural fear of falling. Thus it is recommended that you file the nails to a length that is not irritating to the owner yet still allows the gliders to grasp onto objects

Housing Your Sugar Glider

Sugar gliders are highly social animals and ideally should be housed in groups of 2 or more. If this isn’t possible the owner should be prepared to spend 2 or more hours per day with their glider to effectively socialize it.

Sugar Glider Nutrition

Improper diet can be directly related to many common disease conditions in sugar gliders.  Sugar gliders are omnivores meaning they eat an array of foods including insects. It is common to hear sugar gliders referred to as insectivores/omnivores as insects are a large portion of their diet.  Insects are significantly high in protein, this being said breeding gliders require a significant amount of protein in their captive diet when breeding is taking place.

Insect availability decreases in the winter so sugar gliders rely on other sources of food. Acacia gum, eucalyptus sap, and other nectars are plant products that make up a majority of their winter diet.

Sugar gliders eat manna, a crusty sugar left from where sap flowed in a tree trunk or branch in the wild. Gliders also eat honeydew which is an excess sugar produced by sap suckling insects. Honey and fresh fruits are good substitutes for the sap. 

Nutritional enrichment is very important in creating stimulation for your pet.  Stimulation prevents boredom, as well as a variety of foods enriches the overall well being of your pet (nutrition, vitamins, and minerals).  Carrots are rich in vitamin A which is good for your sugar glider when offered in the right form and amount; however, corn has a high phosphorus ratio which can elevate disease opportunity in your pet if given too much.

Safe and Toxic Foods for Your Sugar Glider

Safe Foods:




Lemon Balm





Belgian Endive





Toxic Foods:

Cherry Pits



Nectarine Pits

Frech Tarragon


Peach Pits

Garden Sorrel Sweet Flag

Scurvy Grass Water Hemlock

Plum Pits


Sea Parsley Mandrake




American Mandrake Mistletoe

Indian Paint Blue Flag

Shave grass



Snakeweed Wahoo

Autumn Crocus

Japanese Star anise



Jimson weed

St. Bartholomew’s tea

Black Cohosh

Lily of the Valley

Sweet Woodruff


Liver lily and water flag Broom

Tobacco: Indian or wild tobacco



Tonka Bean

Caper Spurge


Virginia Shakeroot

Castor Bean

May Apple

Waldmeister Tansy

Cherry Laurel

Morning Glory



Mountain Laurel

White Snakeroot


Nightshade family

Wild Senna

Dandelion Roots

Onion family incl – chives, garlic chives, shallots, leeks


Death Camas





Yerba mate

Dumb Cane


Zigandus aka Soap Plant

Estragon Tomato



Ficus – any species

Poison Hemlock

Flag Root

Poison Sego