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Home > Rodents > How Long Are Sugar Gliders Pregnant? Vet-Approved Gestation Period & Reproduction Information

How Long Are Sugar Gliders Pregnant? Vet-Approved Gestation Period & Reproduction Information

albino adult female sugar glider is eating papaya fruit with her two babies

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Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

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Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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The sugar glider is a nocturnal mammal and is often kept as a pocket pet. If you have ever seen a sugar glider you already know how magnificent and breathtaking these small animals are. Like kangaroos, sugar gliders have a pouch to hold and feed their young until they grow up enough to become independent. Before the young gliders are safely snuggled in the pouch, the female sugar glider must give birth first. The period between conception and birth is called the gestation period, and in sugar gliders, it lasts between 15 to 17 (average of 16) days.

Read on below to find some fascinating information about the reproductive life of the adorable sugar glider.


Sugar Glider General Information

Sugar gliders are nocturnal mammals that live in coastal regions or rainforests. They can mostly be found in coastal regions of eastern Australia and New Guinea. They are incredibly social animals that live in groups of up to 10. Like kangaroos, they are marsupials, meaning the females possess a pouch from where they raise the young.

Sugar gliders are small palm-sized animals between 9.5 and 12 inches long. Male gliders are slightly larger than females. The unique name of sugar gliders comes from their unique dietary choices, which include nectar and sweet sap, and their ability to glide through the air. Their exceptional skills include gliding an impressive length, covering hundreds of feet in one “flight.” The “wings” that allow them to glide through the air are actually skin, stretched over the back ankle and fifth forefinger. They use their cute bushy tails to steer while flying.

Sugar Gliders
Image Credit by: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay

How Long Do Sugar Gliders Live?

In the wilderness, sugar gliders can live around 9 years, a much shorter lifespan due to natural predation and other environmental factors. Their lifespan is much longer in captivity, where they don’t have to worry about being hunted down. In a proper setting and with regular veterinary care, a sugar glider can live from 12 to 15 years, and the oldest reported sugar glider reached an impressive age of 18.

Sugar Glider Reproduction

Please Note

If you are in the United States, take note that it is illegal to own sugar gliders in certain states. Check with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Care office in your state to find out whether the laws in your area permit ownership of sugar gliders. If you own 4 or more breeding female sugar gliders, you may be subject to the Animal Welfare Act, which may require you to obtain a license and register your pets. If you’re not in the US, check all relevant legislation before adopting or breeding sugar gliders.

Male and female sugar gliders reach sexual maturity at different ages. While a female can become sexually mature in the first year of life, males reach this only in the second year. The estrous cycle of sugar gliders lasts for 29 days. After a female sugar glider mates successfully, she will enter a gestation period, which is the time between conception and birth.

Female sugar gliders have only one to two litters per year, with up to two young per litter. The young sugar gliders spend 2 to 2.5 months inside the mother’s pouch and for several months after, remain dependent on their parents. After developing enough, the young sugar gliders finally become independent and go on to live their lives away from their parents.

sugar gliders mating
Image Credit by: Akarat Thongsatid, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

The miracle of birth is present in every species, but occasionally, an odd and unique story catches our attention. Sugar gliders have made quite a strong impression on us. After learning about these adorable, tiny creatures, they will undoubtedly seem much more fascinating and magical to you too.

Featured Image Credit: I Wayan Sumatika, Shutterstock

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