Logo: Gliding mammals of the world

The world’s gliding mammals are an extraordinary group of animals that have the ability to glide from tree to tree with seemingly effortless grace. There are more than 60 species of gliding mammals including the flying squirrels from Europe and North America, the scaly-tailed flying squirrels from central Africa and the gliding possums of Australia and New Guinea.

Black Flying Squirrel

Black Flying Squirrel / Aeromys tephromelas
Aeromys tephromelas

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae, Pteromyini

Description: A large species with upper parts, tail and cheeks dark grey-brown to almost black, with fine, pale flecking on the back. The underparts are slightly paler with sparse fluffy fur.

Distribution: Occurs in southern-most Thailand(?), Malay Peninsula, Penang Island (= Pinang Island), Siberut Island and north-western Sumatra. A second subspecies occurs in northern Borneo. It is found in primary forest and partially cut primary forest. In the lowlands and foothills it inhabits mature forest or clearings with tall trees.

Reproduction: The female produces a single young.

Diet: Feeds on fruits, nuts and other vegetable matter.

Ecology: Little is known of its ecology except that it spends the daylight hours in a hole in a large tree.

Status: Data Deficient.

Black Flying Squirrel / Aeromys tephromelas
Black Flying Squirrel
Aeromys tephromelas
Distribution: Black Flying Squirrel
HB355–426 mm
TL370–527 mm
HF67–78 mm
M1128–1250 g
Subspecies:

Aeromys tephromelas tephromelas — Southern-most Thailand(?), Malay Peninsula, Penang Island (= Pinang Island), Siberut Island and north-western Sumatra. In Malaysia it is found in mainland forest in the lowlands and foothills of Pahang, Selangor, Malacca and Johore.

Aeromys tephromelas phaeomelas — Known from several scattered localities in the northern part of Borneo, including the foothills of Gunung Kinabalu, Tenom, and Tawau in Sabah; northern Sarawak and Kuching; from Sombong near Samarinda in East Kalimantan. Other specimens have been collected from G. Dulit, and at Claudetown (= Marudi), Baram and various places in the lowlands of Sarawak, including the neighbourhood of Kuching.

Other species:


Malayan Colugo / Galeopterus variegatus
Malayan Colugo

Galeopterus variegatus

North Chinese Flying Squirrel / Aeretes melanopterus
North Chinese Flying Squirrel

Aeretes melanopterus

Random species

Greater Glider / Petauroides volans

Greater Glider
Petauroides volans

Sumatran Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes winstoni

Sumatran Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes winstoni


Gliding Mammals of the World provides, for the first time, a synthesis of all that is known about the biology of these intriguing mammals. It includes a brief description of each species, together with a distribution map and a beautiful full-color painting.

An introduction outlines the origins and biogeography of each group of gliding mammals and examines the incredible adaptations that allow them to launch themselves and glide from tree to tree.