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.

Palawan Flying Squirrel

Palawan Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes nigripes
Hylopetes nigripes

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae, Pteromyini

Description: This medium-sized glider is one of the largest in the genus. Its fur is long, thick and rather woolly, the general colour being grizzled greyish-brown above with the woolly under-fur being pale slate-grey. Its ears are large with sparse black-tipped hairs, but with longer yellowish hairs at their base. Its patagium above is rather thinly haired, similar in colour to its back. Its throat, chest, and centre of its belly are whitish, the hairs yellowish-white to their roots.

The rest of its underparts are greyish-white, the bases of the hairs slate-grey. The upper surface of its feet is uniformly black, while under surface of its heel and the fringe of its hind feet is brownish-black. Its tail is long and thickly haired, indistinctly distichous, and varying in colour from yellowish or whitish to wholly dark brown at the end. A considerable proportion of individuals on Palawan show a varying degree of albinism, from small irregular spots to almost completely white.

Distribution: Occurs on Palawan Island and Bancalan Island (south of Palawan) in the Philippines. It inhabits primary and secondary lowland forest, where it nests in cavities in large trees.

Reproduction: Nothing is known.

Diet: Nothing is known.

Ecology: Nothing is known.

Status: Near Threatened.

Note: Despite its very isolated geographical position this species seems very similar to the Particolored Flying Squirrel, and it is doubtful if its separation can be justified.

Palawan Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes nigripes
Palawan Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes nigripes
Distribution: Palawan Flying Squirrel
HB250–330 mm
TL250–310 mm
HF45–55 mm
Mc. 534 g
Subspecies:

Hylopetes nigripes nigripes — Palawan Island, Philippines.

Hylopetes nigripes elassodontus — Bancalan Island (south of Palawan), Philippines.

Other species:


Particolored Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes alboniger
Particolored Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes alboniger

Bartel’s Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes bartelsi
Bartel’s Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes bartelsi

Grey-cheeked Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes platyurus
Grey-cheeked Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes platyurus

Random species

Sugar Glider / Petaurus breviceps

Sugar Glider
Petaurus breviceps

Bartel’s Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes bartelsi

Bartel’s Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes bartelsi

Indian Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista philippensis

Indian Giant Flying Squirrel
Petaurista philippensis


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.