Southern flying squirrel

Glaucomys volans

TAXONOMY

Glaucomys volans (Linnaeus, 1758), Virginia, United States. Ten subspecies are recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and tail length is 8-10 in (20-25 cm); weight 1.5-3.5 oz (45-100 g). Upperparts are gray and underparts are white.

DISTRIBUTION

Eastern Canada south through the eastern United States, fragmented populations stretching down to Honduras.

HABITAT

Predominantely deciduous forest. BEHAVIOR

Nocturnal, normally territorial when breeding but nests communally during the winter.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Nuts, seeds, and insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Serially monogamous. Breeds in spring and early summer, up to two litters of 2-7 young produced following a 40 day gestation period.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Generally common but some smaller fragmented populations threatened by habitat loss.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Sometimes encouraged to feeding tables and also kept as a pet. ♦

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