(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The mahogany glider, scientific name Petaurus gracilis is an endangered gliding possum native to a small area of coastal Queensland in Australia.

Mahogany Glider Profile

First described in 1883, these animals have been thought of as subspecies of squirrel gliders for a few centuries till 1989 after they have been ‘rediscovered’ within the wild.

Then, in 1993, the examination of skins and skulls of old and newly found specimens elevated the level of this species. Mahogany gliders exhibit a skinny gliding membrane, lined with fur and increasing from their front feet to the ankle of their hind feet.

This gliding membrane seems to be like a wavy line, stretching alongside the animal’s body when not in use. Their feet resemble palms by their kind and form.

Meanwhile, the hind feet of those animals have enlarged, opposable huge toes. The tail is long and densely lined with fur. Mahogany gliders use their tail to steadiness when gliding.

Mahogany gliders reside in extremely fragmented open Eucalyptus woodlands in addition to the swampy coastal lowlands of Northern Australia. They are discovered at elevations between 20 and 120 m.

They are usually a solitary species, preferring to sleep within the hollows of timber both alone or with one particular person of the other sex.

Female mahogany gliders are the first caregiver to offspring, carrying them of their pouch till they’re weaned at Four to five months of age. Females have been noticed elevating younger in as much as 12 completely different nests per season.

Little is thought about the post-weaning habits of offspring. Although mahogany gliders look monogamous, there isn’t any proof supporting male funding in the care of offspring.

The range of Mahogany gliders is restricted to tiny coastal space between Ingham and Tully (Northern Queensland, Australia). They inhabit open forests, dominated by a wide range of flowering vegetation, which they devour all through the year.

These nectivorous and folivorous animals have a moderately numerous diet, consisting of bugs, fruits, grass, nectar, and pollen. Mahogany gliders are additionally recognized to favor tree sap, and significantly, the sap of some eucalypts.

Mahogany gliders are normally monogamous (one male mates with one feminine solely), though extra-pair mating has been noticed. Mahogany gliders breed from April to October. Females normally yield a single litter of 1 – 2 younger per year.

However, typically the second litter could also be produced, when the first litter is lost before popping out of the pouch. Mother gliders are very cautious to their younger, carrying them of their pouch for 4 – 5 months when younger are weaned. Sexual maturity is reached within 12 – 18 months.

Geographic Range

Mahogany gliders, Petaurus gracilis, are native to Northern Queensland, Australia. They are at present discovered between Toomulla and Tully and about 40 km inland.

Mahogany Glider Description

Mahogany gliders are the second largest species of gliders in Australia and are roughly 600 mm in size from head to the tip of their tail when absolutely grown. Adult males weigh from 337 to 500 g whereas females weigh from 310 to 450 g.

They are gray and brown in shade with a long black stripe alongside the back of their coat. Their underbelly is creamy mahogany in shade, which supplies them their name.

Mahogany gliders have a skinny fold of skin between their front and rear legs that stretches out like a parachute after they leap, permitting them to glide distances of 30 to 60 m. Their long tail is used to stabilize them as they glide.

Mahogany Glider

Mahogany Glider Appearance

A nocturnal arboreal marsupial, the mahogany glider carefully resembles the sugar glider, the squirrel glider, and the yellow-bellied glider, however, is noticeably bigger than any of its relations (26.5 cm long and 410 g) and has a long tail (34–40 cm).

The species will get its widespread name from its mahogany-brown stomach and the same color of its patagium, or gliding membrane. The tail is roofed in brief hair and is black on the underside.

These gliders are sexually dimorphic, with the males being bigger than the females, though the latter normally have an extended tail in proportion to their body.

In phrases of their body size, females are marginally smaller, measuring 23 to 27 centimeters (9.1 to 10.6 in) in contrast with the male body size of 23 to 28 centimeters (9.1 to 11.0 in), however, they have a barely longer tail, measuring 35 to 41 centimeters (14 to 16 in) in contrast with 34 to 41 centimeters (13 to 16 in) in males.

However, regardless of their comparable obvious size, the females, at 310 to 454 grams (10.9 to 16.Zero oz), are a lot more calmly constructed than the males, which weigh between 345 and 500 grams (12.2 and 17.6 oz).

Mahogany Glider Communication

Mahogany gliders are solitary and monogamous, and the one vocal communication appears to be aimed toward a person of the other sex within the type of a nasal-sounding “na-when” cry.

This isn’t returned by the opposite glider. Even when defending their territory, mahogany gliders are just about silent. Most communication is carried out by means of scent marking.

Mahogany gliders have scent glands within the front part of their head, and in males on the front of their chest, which they rub on trees of their territory. They additionally urinate on tree branches to mark territory.

Distribution and habitat

The mahogany glider is restricted to a really small space, between Ollera Creek south of Ingham and Tully in North Queensland, Australia. The habitat consists primarily of open forests with much different flowering vegetation that present year-round meals.


Little is thought concerning the lifespan of mahogany gliders because the longest research specializing in this species has been no more than 2 years in length. However, it’s thought that the lifespan of mahogany gliders is just like that of the sugar glider of Australia, which is approximately 6 years.

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Mahogany Glider Behavior

Mahogany gliders are typically solitary, although they do look socially monogamous. Males and females don’t forage with each other, and so they usually sleep in separate dens.

This suggests effectivity in defending their home-range from different conspecifics in addition to elevated exploratory capabilities. They have upwards of 10 dens per season.

Dens are normally made in hollows in Eucalyptus and bloodwood bushes and are lined with a thick mat of leaves. Almost completely silent, this species hardly ever vocalizes more than as soon as a night, emitting a nasal-sounding “na-when” call.

This vocalization lasts no more than 10 minutes, and responses from both sexes are uncommon. Mahogany gliders can glide distances of 30 to 60 m.

Mahogany Glider Food Habits

Mahogany gliders are nectivorous and folivorous. They primarily feed on nectar and pollen from a wide range of timber and shrubs inside their home-range, together with many species from the family Myrtaceae similar to Corymbia (Corymbia intermedia), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cloeziana), and Melaleuca (Melaleuca dealbata).

At higher elevations, Bankasia timber similar to Bankasia aquilonia and Bankasia plagiocarpa are additionally doubtless sources of meals. When little else is flowering, mahogany gliders additionally devour Acacia timber, together with Acacia crassicarpa, A. flavescars and A. mangium. They additionally eat some bugs.

Most vegetation within the diet of mahogany gliders can be found throughout sure occasions of the year. Timing and availability of meals impact the time and energy invested in foraging, together with the gap traveled to acquire meals.

During occasions of a high flowering index, mahogany gliders are likely to travel additional and keep a bigger home-range. During occasions of a low flowering index, they seem to take care of a smaller residence range.

Mahogany Glider Lifestyle

Mahogany gliders are usually solitary and nocturnal animals. Each particular person has their own residence range, which could be as much as 23 hectares. Each glider makes use of more than 10 dens throughout a season.

Their dens are usually situated in hollows in Eucalyptus and bloodwood timber and paved with a thick underlay of leaves. During the daytime hours, the animals sleep in these dens.

They spend their nighttime hours on the lookout for meals inside their territory. Males and females forage individually and sleep in numerous dens. Mahogany gliders are tree-dwelling animals.

When transferring among the many treetops, they normally glide with their membrane outstretched. These animals are in a position to glide as much as 60 meters at a time.

Mahogany gliders are extraordinarily silent species, remaining just about silent even when defending their residence range from intruders. They normally vocalize solely as soon as throughout the night, giving out a nasal “na-when” sound for lower than 10 minutes before they fall silent once more.


Mahogany gliders are mutualists with many species of timber together with these within the households Myrtaceae and Xanthorrhoea. While feeding on pollen and nectar, pollen will get caught of their fur and is dispersed as they proceed to forage.

Mahogany Glider

Mahogany Glider Reproduction

The mahogany glider has a long breeding season with births beginning April and ending in October. Litters consist of 1 or two younger and are normally born as soon as a year, though a mom may give delivery to a second litter if the first is lost before leaving the pouch.

The younger are weaned at 4 to 5 months and attain sexual maturity at twelve to eighteen months. They have been recorded to reside to about 5 or 6 years of age.

Though solitary, mahogany gliders look socially monogamous. Their breeding season extends from April by means of October, however little else is thought concerning the mating techniques of this species.

Mahogany gliders breed between April and October. They normally breed as soon as a year, producing litters of 1 to 2 offspring. Occasionally, females breed twice in a single season when the first litter is born early sufficient within the season to allow a second try at breeding.

They might also breed twice in a season if the first litter of offspring dies. Weaning happens between Four and 5 months of age. Once weaned, juveniles disperse from the nest to outlive on their very own; this usually happens inside their first year.

Mahogany gliders attain sexual maturity at 12 to 18 months of age. It has been recommended that the breeding fee of females doesn’t absolutely peak till their second year after they attain the full adult size and weight.

Each pair of adults shares a few of their dens with offspring from the earlier breeding season. These dens are marked and defended from different mahogany gliders. The pairs are normally monogamous, though extra-pair matings have been noticed.

Mahogany Glider Behavior and diet

The mahogany glider eats eucalypt sap and gum, acacia sap and seeds, grass tree sap, pollen, nectar, bugs, mistletoe, honeydew, wattle exudates, and no less than twenty completely different tree and shrub species.

It is nocturnal, with adults residing collectively in monogamous pairs. In preferrred circumstances, the mixed residence range of a pair of animals averages around 23 hectares (57 acres), though this can be smaller in areas of fragmented habitat.

Animals travel a substantial distance every night, with 1.5 kilometers (0.93 mi) being typical; they’re usually more mobile within the moist season than within the height of the dry season.

During the day, mahogany gliders den in high timber, with poplar gums and forest red gums being particularly favored. Although they’re socially monogamous, they don’t normally share dens, with every particular person having from three to 9 dens inside its residence range.

In January the time spent exterior of the den for traveling and feeding is around 40%, whereas in September the quantity was 77%. This exercise was spent principally at night ranging in a steady interval of 8–10 hours exterior.

Mahogany gliders have been reported to make deep, nasal grunting sounds when traveling at night, and the same, however a lot louder and more speedy, alarm call, which has been described as “reminiscent of a lawnmower”. Predators embrace scrub python, owls, and, in some situations, feral cats.

Mahogany Glider Threats

Becoming impartial, younger gliders disperse to seek out their very own territories and infrequently face a lack of favorable habitat. Furthermore, the first life situation for these animals is dense vegetation cover, which is affected by roads, railway strains, electrical energy strains in addition to land clearing.

Mahogany gliders are entangled in barbed wire fencing, hit on roads, and hunted by cats. However, probably the most notable risk to the general inhabitants of this species is degradation, destruction, and fragmentation of their natural habitat.


According to the IUCN Red List, no estimate of inhabitants size is obtainable for the Mahogany glider. Currently, this species is classed as Endangered (EN), and its numbers are lowering.

Consuming pollen and nectar of varied flowering vegetation, Mahogany gliders switch pollen on their fur and disperse it all through the realm of their range. These animals function as the important thing pollinators of eucalyptus and banksia.

Mahogany Glider


Mahogany gliders are thought of as a threatened species on account of lack of habitat, with over 80% having been cleared for raising sugar cane, pine timber, and bananas, or for rearing cattle. The mahogany glider’s existence has been additional endangered by the devastation to the area by Cyclone Yasi on 3 February 2011.

Mahogany Glider Facts

There are two the explanation why the Mahogany glider is known as so: firstly, it’s colored with wealthy brown mahogany shade; secondly, it lives within the space, dominated by the swamp mahogany tree.

The scientific name of this species is ‘Petaurus gracilis’, which means ‘slender rope dancer’.

Due to their skill to glide over timber, these arboreal animals simply transfer round in timber and shouldn’t have to descent to the ground, the place they’re extremely weak.

The most typical type of communication between these animals is scent marking. In the front part of their head, gliders possess scent glands (that are discovered on the front of the chest in males). In order to convey information, a glider rubs its scent glands on timber inside its residence range.

When transferring from one tree to a different, these agile animals are in a position to glide as much as 30 meters, utilizing their long and densely furred tails to steadiness when landing.

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