Have you ever seen a squirrel fly? If not, you’re not alone because squirrels can’t fly, but sugar gliders can! (sort of.)
The Petaurus breviceps, more commonly known as the “sugar glider” is a small omnivorous and nocturnal possum that belongs to the marsupial class. It obtained its name by having a strong liking for sweet food, while also having the ability to glide through the air.
There must be a lot of information out there about sugar gliders, and I’m here to give it to you, so let’s get started!
What Do Baby Sugar Gliders Look Like?
A baby sugar glider, or “joey” takes the form of any marsupial that you may encounter. They are ridiculously small animals, approximately the size of a rice grain when born and 2 to 4 inches in length at maturity, and they can fit into the palm of your hands comfortably.
They have a pointed pink snout with a small mouth and two beady, dark eyes to make up their face. Their fur is even more attractive. Their fur is super soft and typically comes in a grayish-white color that can turn into a dirty tan color as they grow into maturity.
A staple physical feature of baby sugar gliders is their stripped back. Sugar gliders tend to have one to two dark colored stripes that reach from the tip of their head to the tip of their tail. In addition, let’s not forget their glider!
Baby sugar gliders have a thin layer of skin attached from their arm to their leg that gives them the ability to glide through the air as if they’re flying!
Baby Sugar Glider Colors
Baby sugar gliders can come in multiple different colors that stray away from the typical gray and white.
If you see a baby sugar glider, it’s most likely going to be the Classic Gray color, which is the color of most natural baby sugar gliders.
You may also encounter some colors that you probably weren’t expecting such Albino: an all-white fur coat with red eyes; Creamino: a dark white color with tan streaks and markings; Leucistic: all white fur with black eyes; and Black Beauty: a darker shade of the Classic Gray with darker bands extending from their head to their claws.
Other shades of baby sugar gliders also include:
- Cedar red
- Mahogany red
Many of these special colored sugar gliders are from different regions of the U.S. as well as Central and South America. Their color variation is based simply on their genetics and any mixing of different breeds that may have occurred.
Cost of Owning A Baby Sugar Glider
The cost of owning a baby sugar glider can be between 200 and 500 dollars because of the type of environment, supplies, and food that the sugar gliders need to have a successful and healthy life.
First, the baby sugar glider itself may cost anywhere between 200 and 350 dollars depending on the breed of sugar glider, as well as the size and gender of it.
Now, since you’ll have the animal, it will need a strong habitat filled with high trees and grass, which could cost between 50 and 75 dollars.
Food is also a necessity for these flying cuties, but thankfully it’s one of the more affordable items on the list, pricing around 35 dollars.
If they are in an enclosure, then you will have to dress it up to make it look like the real thing, which is why accessories for them to play with is important too, and that can cost an easy 20 to 40 dollars.
How Long Does It Take for A Baby Sugar Glider to Grow?
For most baby sugar gliders, it can take them approximately 1 ½ years for the females and up to 12 months for males to grow up and become sexually mature. Although they are small animals, they grow moderately right before your eyes.
Within a few weeks, they can grow to be as large as your finger. As time goes on, they can mature into the cutest 4 ounces of fur that you’ve ever seen.
The growth of a baby sugar glider is typical across the different morphs of sugar gliders, but some factors play a major part in their growth.
For example, the amount of food that they eat can help them grow, along with the type of food that they indulge in. Another factor that plays a part in their growth is the amount of activity that they do.
If they receive a daily amount of adequate activity, then they will grow normally with little-to-no side effects.
Can Baby Sugar Gliders Live Together?
Baby sugar gliders can live together; in fact, they prefer it that way because in nature, sugar gliders are colony animals.
Colony animals means that sugar gliders live in a massive group with one another. They are highly sociable animals that love to enjoy the engagement and familiar face of other sugar gliders.
Of course a sugar glider can live on its own, but it wouldn’t be for too long considering that they do best with other gliders, and if they aren’t being social, then it can take a real decline on their longevity of life.
Now while in captivity, their colony does not have to be a huge one, 2 or 3 sugar gliders would be just fine to keep their spirits lifted and their lives long; anything less will probably cause problems for the gliders’ successful and strong social skills.
However, with several sugar gliders in the enclosure, or simply around yours makes all the difference between a happy and not so happy baby sugar glider.
What Do Baby Sugar Gliders Eat?
While in nature, baby sugar gliders have a diet of various types of fruits, tree saps, small reptiles, and mammals.
When it comes to plants, you can find a baby sugar glider feeding on eucalyptus plants, aloe water, and even the nectar from some flowers because they taste sweet!
Speaking of sweet, there is also the sap from trees that baby sugar gliders like to indulge in for their high sugar content. Some fruits that a baby sugar glider will eat are honeydew, cantaloupe, grapes, various berries, mangos and even apples and oranges!
However, everything in their world isn’t so sweet; baby sugar gliders can also eat bird eggs for their protein, as well as reptile eggs for the same reason.
Lizards, small snakes, and other small reptiles are also on the baby sugar gliders’ menu, as well as small mammals like birds and other small prey. It’s easy for this animal to get their food in nature, however while in captivity, their meal plan can be challenging to replicate.
How Often Should A Baby Sugar Glider Be Fed?
Baby sugar gliders have a vast array of things to eat, and they eat as often as necessary in nature.
However, while in possession of a caretaker, a baby sugar glider tends to eat only when they are fed by them. So, with respect to ownership, when you have a baby sugar glider, it can be fed 2 to 3 times per day.
As often as it seems, they eat way more when in the wild, but tend to have less of an appetite due to their owner. While in captivity, baby sugar gliders can be fed about ¼ to ½ of a cube per sugar glider per day.
Their diet is about 30% omnivore, which is why they are capable of eating so much in nature. In addition, as they reach social maturity, you can increase their feeding to about 1 tablespoon of their meal, and they can eat 2 to 4 times per day once they hit maturity.
What Temperature Do Baby Sugar Gliders Need?
When providing a home, a baby sugar glider, the temperature that they are surrounded in is imperative to their longevity of their livelihood.
Sugar gliders can tolerate a wide scope tropical and subtropical temperatures, ranging from 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 32 degrees Celsius.
This is because these marsupials are notable for loving the warmth of the sun; and for that reason, although they can tolerate such a range, they prefer to be in weather that has the more narrow range of 80 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 31 degrees Celsius).
Natural temperature is always better than synthetic; so when it comes to a baby sugar glider, it should be kept in a warm room, away from air conditioning that blows out chemicals, like freon, and heating vents that push out air that may be too hot for a baby sugar glider, and direct sunlight.
How Long Can A Baby Sugar Glider Go Without Food?
A baby sugar glider can go approximately 24 hours to 3 ½ days without food.
If the baby glider is a newborn, without food, it won’t last more than 24 hours; and if it has some adequate growth, one day can be the minimum. Another factor that determines how long they can go without food is the amount of water that they have.
If they have water, then the baby sugar glider could go 2 days without food; 3 to 3 ½ days depending on the size and how much water they have had. Baby sugar gliders don’t live exceptionally long if they aren’t fed; and because of their digestive system, they must be fed on a daily basis.
Baby Sugar Glider Facts
As cute as these marsupials are, there are way more interesting facts about them that surpasses their physical looks, such as:
- At their heaviest weight, a sugar glider can weigh up to 4 ounces.
- While in the wild, baby sugar gliders can live up to 9 years.
- Their gliders are strong enough to hold their weight and allow them to glide over 150 feet!
- Baby sugar gliders can live in their mothers’ pouch for up to 9 weeks.
- Sugar gliders only have 4 fingers on each hand with sharp hooked nails that allow them to glide and hold on to their landing pad.
- What makes the gliders capable of gliding is their skin, which have furry membranes that stretch from their wrists to their ankle.
- Like some other marsupials, baby sugar gliders are most active at night, making them a nocturnal breed.
- When baby sugar gliders grow up and come close to death, they will become very depressed until their time is expired.
Baby Sugar Glider Size
Sexual maturity for baby sugar gliders is reached between 6 months and 18 months for females and 8 months to 14 months in males.
When they are born, baby sugar gliders are no bigger than 5mm long… that is about the length of the top portion of your pinky! They come out pink in color with solid black eyes. After about 4 weeks in their mother’s pouch, they grow up to the size of a pea, while still being hairless.
After about 9 weeks, the baby sugar glider isn’t much of a baby enough more and is big enough to survive outside of their mothers’ protection. At this point, they weigh between 12 to 18 grams and have started to grow fur.
Around 1 month out of the pouch, the sugar glider is now between 23 and 33 grams with all the physical fixings and reaches a weight of 45 to 60 grams around 2 months out of the pouch.
When Can You Hold A Baby Sugar Glider?
A baby sugar glider is extremely sensitive once it’s born, so being careful with them while they’re young is a must.
On the flipside, you can hold a baby sugar glider 4 weeks after it is out of the pouch. This amount of time allows them to surpass their sensitive skin and grow fur on their body.
It’s possible to hold the baby sugar glider for up to 30 minutes once they are grown enough since they would be used to you by then.