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18 Sugar Glider Colors and Patterns (with Pictures)
Sugar gliders are little marsupials that have become more common to breed and own as pets over the last decade. They are native to Australia and are primarily wild animals. In captivity, breeders can cross sugar gliders to reproduce stunning and visually unique patterns and color combinations.
Below are the standard colors and rare genetic crosses that you might get when crossing specific sugar gliders.
Colors and Patterns
Typically, a sugar glider starts with a type of predominant coloration, and variances from there form the various patterns that they can have. Standard grays are good examples of this because they have four variations from one set color.
Standard Gray and the Variations
Standard gray sugar gliders are the most common kinds of sugar gliders. These are what you will typically picture when you think of the animals. A grey sugar glider has shades of gray and a dark black or brown stripe that runs from the point of their nose to the beginning of their tail.
The standard gray color and pattern is a dominant gene that will display over the other colors when crossed with other varieties of gliders. They might carry that gene and have a chance of reproducing a different color pattern, but they do not express that color themselves.
1. Black Beauty
The Black Beauty variation of the Standard Gray has typical coloration and patterns but is overall several tones darker than the usual standard grey. It is difficult to breed for this variation and primarily seems to be random.
These sugar gliders have dark rings around their eyes, sometimes referred to as their “eyeliner.” The line running down their body is black, and even their stomach is a darker tone. They will have black knuckles and a black chin strap that runs from their ears to their eyes and downward.
Cinnamon-colored sugar gliders are a lighter cinnamon-brown tone with a standard gray color pattern. They have a brown-reddish tint all over their body.
Although this can be a cute color pattern, it is often the result of a bad diet that manifests as a fur discoloration over their entire body. Even the fur on their stomach will become red or yellow-tinted.
Lion sugar gliders are similar to the standard gray but with a honey-colored tint to their fur. They are also anatomically different most of the time. These gliders often have a shorter nose on a more rounded face, part of which gives them the name “Lion.”
You can also find a white face variety of a lion sugar glider. They might not have the same rounded face and shorter nose that the typical lions do.
4. White Tip
White tip sugar gliders are not always thought of to be a variation of the standard gray, but they are primarily gray and have the same pattern across their heads and bodies. The difference is the white tips on the ends of their tails. It can be an inch up to half of their tail length. It is a recessive gene and can be challenging to breed.
Mosaic and the Variations
Gliders with mosaic patterns have a wide variety of designs and colors that assemble at random on the sugar glider.
There are quite a few variations of a mosaic that breeders try to selectively breed. However, there is not much evidence that it is possible to breed for a specific mosaic trait. Certain lines and markings have a higher rate of transferability than others.
Whatever the case for breeders, there are typical mosaic patterns that you will find on sugar gliders instead of entirely randomized patterns and color combinations.
Piebald sugar gliders have a mosaic pattern that can be totally random and asymmetrical but will always have varying spots that are completely unpigmented. They have these large white splotches all over their bodies, and these are often contrasted by dark black spots or stripes. The skin underneath these various color patterns will be pigmented according to the fur pattern on top.
6. True Platinum Mosaic
There are sugar gliders with particular “true platinum” genetics and an overall mosaic pattern. They can have various other colors and patterns, but they will have those pure platinum genes and colorations on their body. They almost always have the typical mosaic characteristics, including the white collar around their neck and a ringed tail.
7. Silver Mosaic
These sugar gliders can have a patchwork of light silver-colored fur. They are often called platinum mosaic gliders, even though they do not have any platinum genetics.
8. White Mosaic
The white mosaic sugar glider has predominantly white fur with color variations that are all quite light. They might have minimal dark spots, primarily on their ears or their heads. They often look like a leucistic sugar glider, but they will not always have leucistic genetics. The difference between leucistic and white mosaic sugar gliders is that they have to be born almost entirely white.
9. Ring Tail
A ring tail mosaic glider can have a wide variety of patterns on the body, whereas the tail has rings of colors from beginning to end. The colors are often a variety of grays, blacks, whites, and silvers.
10. Mahogany Red
Mahogany reds have a similar pattern and markings to that of the standard gray, but with tinted red and brown colors throughout their body.
These gliders can have albino, white face, and mosaic variations. They can also have a cedar red color pattern that is a bit darker than a mahogany red glider.
Leucistic sugar gliders have interesting genetics that can be used to reproduce another leucistic glider with the same recessive genes and be integrated with other recessive characteristics and encourage those traits.
Their fur is solid white without any stripes, facial bars, or head triangles. They will have black eyes and pink noses and toes.
Creamino sugar gliders are an all-over creamy color. The stripe on the center of their body is tawny brown. They have garnet-colored eyes.
To breed a Creamino sugar glider, you have to cross two gliders expressing the same colorations, since it is a recessive gene.
On true Platinum sugar gliders, the fur is light silver. Their stripe can be a light gray to taupe color. It is often narrower than on other sugar gliders, focusing on the platinum color of the body.
The other features on platinum sugar gliders often include white paws. This color is also a recessive gene and needs to be bred with another sugar glider expressing the same gene. Interestingly, a sugar glider with a leucistic gene can reproduce with a platinum to reproduce another platinum.
14. White Face and White Face Blonde
White face sugar gliders have similar color patterns to that of the standard gray. The significant difference is the absence of the facial markings, primarily the chin bar from their ear toward their chin.
The white face can be a characteristic that can be bred in with almost any other coloration or pattern. It is a dominant gene, and only one sugar glider in a pair needs to have the trait for it to reproduce in their offspring. If the sugar glider joeys do not have the white face expressed, they have not inherited the gene and will never reproduce other white face sugar gliders.
White face blonde is a slight variation in the overall characteristic. The fur on their stomach and their face will have a golden hue. This gene is dominant.
Melanistic sugar gliders are the opposite of albino gliders. Their skin and fur are all tinted a dark pigment. The condition results in an abnormally high concentration of melanin in every part of the animal. Not all breeders agree that melanistic gliders even exist, however, saying instead that they are a variety of black beauty gliders.
As in any other animal, albino sugar gliders have no pigment in their skin or fur. They have stunning red eyes. Sometimes, they can be born with a faint pigmentation forming as a triangle on their head or making up some of a stripe along their back. It is often a faint yellow color.
To reproduce an albino glider, you must pair two albino gliders together because it is a highly recessive gene.
17. Ruby Leu or Double Recessive
Ruby leu gliders have a combination of two color patterns that are recessive within one glider. They have a solid white color with red eyes that make them look similar to albino gliders.
Many combinations can be used to reproduce a Ruby Leu color, even though it is challenging to breed. These could be creamino and albino, an albino and leucistic, creamino and leucistic, creamino and platinum, and albino and platinum.
Caramel sugar gliders are thought to be a subspecies of sugar gliders, with a body that is about 20% larger than the traditional glider species. They also have larger ears than other gliders.
The caramel glider has a caramel-colored body with white hands and a cream-colored face. They can also have varying shades of gray.
Featured Image: KAMONRAT, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Colors and Patterns
- Standard Gray and the Variations
- Mosaic and the Variations