Male vs. Female Sugar Gliders

Learn about the differences between male and female sugar gliders from veterinarian Anthony Pilny in this Howcast video about these funny animals.

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Would a sugar glider be a good pet for you? Would it get along with your other pets? Find out from veterinarian Anthony Pilny in these videos, which tell you everything you need to know about what it's like to live with a sugar glider, both the good and the bad.

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There are some definite unique differences between male and female sugar gliders. The choice on which sex may be better as a pet depends on an individual's ownership choices and the type of community of sugar gliders they'd like to set up. The females are certainly true to their marsupial nature by the fact that they have a pouch. The pouch is a small area in the center of their belly where the young are able to migrate to and then they're raised in the pouch. They do continue to have the pouch throughout life even if they never breed or if they ever reproduce. Telling the difference between the male and female is often pretty easy as the males do have a unique testicular structure that makes it pretty obvious to know that they are boys. They have what almost appears as a pendulous small sack that is in the lower part of the belly that is the structure that houses the testicles. The housing of sugar gliders doesn't really matter, as both opposite sex and same sex pairs and groups does work well in captivity, although it is recommended that you have males neutered in order to prevent reproduction and prevent the development of a large colony of them. It's thought to help with hormonal levels and making them a bit more social, a little more laid back, makes them a bit less temperamental, less testosterone driven aggressive. I think it works better if animals are living in community and somebody chooses to have multiple sugar gliders that they have any of the males neutered to keep more of a peaceful environment for them. We definitely believe that two or three males that live together should all be neutered as well. There aren't many differences between males and females as far as whether they tend to be more social, whether they tend to be more friendly. If you talk to enough different people, they often have different experiences based on the sex of the sugar gliders they have owned, but we haven't found that owning a male versus a female or a pair of males or a pair of females really makes a difference in how social there are. Both males and females do require equal amounts of proper socialization, attention, and an appropriate diet. So whether you choose to own and have a specific preference for either of the sexes, males and females both equally make great pets. We do recommend never having only one sugar glider. They do well at least in pairs or in small groups. And remember, same sex pairs can live together peacefully and it's always important, to ensure that, that you have the males neutered.

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  • Dr. Anthony Pilny

    Anthony Pilny, DVM, ABVP (Avian) is a graduate of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed an internal medicine and surgery internship at Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa and a residency in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine and Surgery at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners certified in Avian Practice. Dr. Pilny has lectured nationally about exotic pet medicine and has published numerous articles and book chapters on birds and other exotic species.