Mealworm Care and Feeding
Eastern Bluebird Info
Sugar Glider Info
Sugar Glider Facts and Information
Sugar gliders are small furry animals native to Australia, New Guinea and some surrounding islands. Their name also serves as a short description of them, they like to eat practically anything sweet, and they have a membrane that stretches from their hands to their feet which allows them to glide. Sugar gliders are kept as pets by a large number of people, but because of their habits, needs, and legality in some states, they are fairly uncommon.
Sugar gliders are weigh around 3.5-4.5 ounces and are approximately 11 inches in length, 6-7 inches of that being taken up by a semi-prehensile tail. They have large black eyes, a pointed nose, and pointed ears that are large in comparison to their head. Like the North American flying squirrel sugar gliders have a membrane that stretches from their hands to their feet. The gliders fur is short, very soft, and usually brown or gray with a white to off-white belly. A black stripe starts at their head and and goes to the base of their tail. The tail is generally gray or brown with a black tip. Several breeders have bred sugar gliders to other colors. Albinos are all white with pink eyes and Leucistic are all white with black eyes. Female gliders have a small pouch and males have a small furry sack which descends from their lower abdomen called a pom which holds their testicles.
In the wild sugar gliders eat a variety of plants and insects. During the summer when insects are abundant, insects make up the majority of diets. In the winter when insects are less abundant they rely more on plants such as acacia gum, eucalyptus sap and various nectars. Sugar gliders will also eat manna, a sugar left behind from sap flow, and honeydew, a sugar left behind by insects. When kept as pets sugar gliders are commonly fed fruits and vegetables, pellets, vitamins, calcium supplements, mealworms and crickets by their owners. Diet is one of the biggest challenges to a sugar glider owner as it is hard to simulate the exact diet that sugar gliders get in the wild. It is one of the reasons that sugar gliders are somewhat rare as pets is many people would rather not store live mealworms and other insects in their homes.
Sugar gliders generally live in groups of 20-40 primarily in forested areas. They have been also been known to survive in brush as well when trees are not available. They use their webbing between their hands and feet to glide from tree to tree. Using its hind legs to launch from a tree top a sugar glider can glide almost 150 feet. Sugar gliders generally make nests by lining a hole in a tree with leaves, 7-12 gliders will live in these nests at the same time for warmth. In addition to proving sugar gliders with shelter, the trees also provide most of the food that sugar gliders need to live. To simulate a natural environment sugar glider owners will put branches and vines in their gliders habitats.
Sugar gliders breed year round, generally more during the warmer parts of the year. Because of this they have managed to keep their numbers high despite massive loss of habitat. Sugar gliders generally have 2-3 joeys(baby gliders) at a time. Like all marsupials the mothers have a pouch in which the babies reside. After birth the sugar gliders latch on to the mothers nipple with their mouths, the nipple swells up making it almost impossible for the baby to dislodge itself before it is mature enough to leave the pouch. The babies once born stay in their mothers pouch for around 70 days and then come out into the gliders nest. The baby gliders cautiously begin to gather food for themselves. After the babies reach an age of 8 or 9 months they are kicked out of their parents territory and forced to find their own.
Sugar gliders as pets
Sugar gliders make fun pets, they are lively and form a very strong bond with their owner. They are hard to maintain though as they require attention, a special diet, and a large cage. Moreover they are nocturnal so its is difficult for owners to be able to play with them. Most glider experts will recommend strongly that glider owners get at least 2. The sugar gliders are very social animals and do a lot better when they have a companion. Sadly most owners do not properly care for their gliders and as a result they die from poor nutrition or depression. Many others end up in rescue shelters because their owners were not prepared to handle the large amount of responsibility that comes with owning a sugar glider.
Sugar gliders are illegal in several states, and other states require a permit. Some states where sugar gliders are illegal are Alaska, California, Georgia. Some states which require a permit are Massachusetts, Maine, North Dakota, New Mexico, Utah. This is NOT a definitive list, the legal status of sugar gliders may have recently changed in any of the states on or off of this list. If your state is not listed here that does NOT mean that sugar gliders are necessarily legal in your jurisdiction, check with your local government to make sure that sugar gliders are legal. I got the legal information for sugar gliders Here
Copyright Mealwormstore.com 2007