The Nocturnal Sugar Glider

The Nocturnal Sugar GliderThe joint family system has broken down even in most third world countries where it has lasted longer than in western countries, but one animal that is still safeguarding the system fiercely is the sugar glider whose nests may contain even up to eight adults and a brood of young ones. They are highly possessive of their territory which they mark by an odorous glandular secretion, and if outsiders who smell differently enter the nest, they are expelled by the males of the group.

Sugar gliders are so called because they are sugar lovers and gliders. They enjoy feeding on nectar, honeydew, and the sweet sap of eucalyptus, and they glide from tree to tree in a way that looks almost like short flights. They can glide even to a length of 100 meters, and in the wild they restrict their activities to climbing on or gliding across trees and rarely come down to the ground to explore.

These squirrel-like creatures are native to parts of Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. But since they make cute pets, they are kept as popular pets all over the world. They are bred in USA and in most states of USA it is legal to keep them as pets though in some states including California it is not allowed.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal. In the wild, they sleep during the day and search for their food, which consists of small insects besides sugary syrups, during the night. So if you are an insomniac or opt to sit in front of the TV late into the night, your pet sugar glider will happily keep company for you. However, potential pet owners need not worry. Sugar gliders are seen to change their sleeping patterns without much difficulty to adjust to their new surroundings.

During winter or other adverse climatic conditions, a sugar glider conserves energy by reducing its body activities and going into temporary hibernation. It may slip into 2 or 3 hours of inactivity called torpor, every day. This habit too normally changes when they are domesticated since they are unlikely to face climate problems and food shortages while in captivity.

It is important to give your sugar glider the right diet. The nutritional balance with sufficient protein and calcium, to which it is used in the wild has to be maintained even after it is domesticated. A pet sugar glider’s diet should be 50% fruits and vegetables and 50% insects. Calcium deficiency can cause limb damage and can even be fatal sometimes.

There are many readymade diet formulae to make it easy for owners of sugar gliders. There is HPW or High Protein Wombaroo Diet, which is considered a good nutritional supplement for sugar gliders. A mixture of honey, eggs, bee pollen, and High Protein Wombaroo powder, prepared according to directions, can be kept in the freezer and added to its daily diet of fruits, vegetables, and collection of worms.