Petaurus australis Shaw, 1791, Sydney, Australia.Two subspecies.
■ Petaurus australis H Petaurus breviceps
I Dactylopsila trivirgata I Gymnobelideus leadbeateri
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Fluffy glider; French: Grand phalanger volant; German: Riesenbeutelflughurnchen.
Length 2.2-2.5 ft (690-780 mm); weight 15.8-25 oz (450-710 g). Gray-brown silky fur with light underside and black feet. Dark stripe on thigh. Unique compartmental pouch.
A continuous range exists along the Australian east coast and several isolated populations in three areas in Victoria. Additionally, there is P. a. reginae in tropical Queensland.
Tall, mature eucalypt forests in temperate to tropical Australia. BEHAVIOR
Nocturnal, arboreal glider with gliding leaps up to 328-393 ft (100-120 m); living in family groups of one pair, or up to one male, three females, plus dependant offspring. Extensive marking behavior with scent glands, including loud, long-ranging calls. Probably territorial.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Sap-feeder and omnivore; feeds also on nectar, pollen, insects, and even small vertebrates.
One young per year, pouch life lasts up to 100 days, another 60 days spent in nest; juveniles disperse not before 18-24 months old. May be monogamous or polygynous.
Considered Lower Risk/Near Threatened due to its reliance on tall, mature eucalypt trees for feeding and nesting, which are threatened by logging, even when done selectively.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦
Was this article helpful?