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What Is a Sugar Glider?

Learn what a sugar glider is from veterinarian Anthony Pilny in this Howcast video about these funny animals.


Sugar gliders are amazing and unique pets. They have become increasingly popular in the last several years, owing to their unique nature, sociability, friendliness, and the desire for some people to just want to have an unusual pet. Sugar gliders are native to New Guinea and Australia. They are true marsupials, meaning that they have a pouch, or at least the females have a pouch, where the young migrate to and are raised.

The males also as you can see here, have a unique gland on the top of their head, that is part of just their scent marking, and looks like an area where there's hair missing. Sugar gliders are very friendly, can become very social with the right amount of socialization and the right amount of time. They are called sugar gliders mainly because they have these large skin folds under their arms that do enable them to glide. And you see in some of the animals, this large skin fold underneath the arms that would allow them to glide, should they be able to do that. That's not something that they typically or commonly do when kept as pets. Sugar gliders also have very unique nutritional requirements that we encourage people to learn about, and be able to mimic. They are nectivorous.

They do have unique calcium and protein requirements. And their feeding can be one of the more complicated parts of keeping them. But overall, sugar gliders are friendly, they're fun and interesting. They make great pets, although they do tend to have nocturnal behaviors, and somebody should be prepared for an animal that is most active at night. That being said, they can be played with and touched and held during the daytime hours, but for the most part, they are highly nocturnal. Overall, they make great pets.

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