Sexual dimorphism in Sugar Gliders

sugar glider inside a coconut-shaped hiding place
09 March 2021 Pets4Company

Can you distinguish a male sugar glider from a female sugar glider? We tell you the difference!

Sugar gliders are small nocturnal mammals from the rainforests of Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea. They are marsupials and, like kangaroos, have a pouch in which the female raises her young. They are social animals that generally live in groups of 6 to 10 individuals so they should not be kept alone.

In this species the male is larger than the female, weighing between 100 and 160 grams. An adult female in turn weighs between 80 to 130 grams. Weights obviously vary between individuals and different subspecies.

a pair of sugar gliders on top of a glass container containing food
Image by Wikipedia, resized

Males have a scent gland located on the top of the head that manifests itself in the form of a bald spot shaped as a diamond. This gland produces a substance used to mark territory and recognize other members of the group and has a characteristic smell. The male also has a long pendulum scrotum and a forked penis.

Females in turn have two wombs and a pouch where the offspring remain after a “premature” birth when compared to other species.

male and female sugar glider anatomy
Image by Lovely Cute Pets, resized

Sugar gliders reach sexual maturity at about one year, and this period may vary according to the individual.

The gestation period is about 15-17 days. Sugar gliders usually have one to two offspring at a time. After birth, the joeys migrate to the pouch, where they remain for 70-74 days.

sugar glider with a few days of life

Unlike other mammals, sugar glands also have a cloaca - a common opening to the rectum, urinary bladder and reproductive system.

In love with Petauros? Learn more about this species in this article!