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.

Indochinese Flying Squirrel

Indochinese Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes phayrei
Hylopetes phayrei

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae, Pteromyini

Description: A medium-sized flying squirrel. Its upper parts range in colour from grey to drab brown, depending on whether the hairs are tipped with whitish or brown. It has creamy white underparts and a whitish mark behind the ears.

Its tail is flattened underneath, but only slightly flattened above, dark grey or drab brown, or a mixture with the brownish colour at the base and along the sides. This species is larger than the Red-cheeked Flying Squirrel and smaller than the Particolored Flying Squirrel.

Distribution: Occurs in Burma, western Thailand south to Phetburi Province, northern Laos, north-west Vietnam, and Guizhou, Guangxi and Fujian Provinces in southern China.

A second subspecies occurs on Hainan Island, China. Its habitat has been reported from partly cleared forest near cultivation at an elevation of 1000 metres.

Reproduction: Nothing is known.

Diet: Known to forage on cultivated fruit at night.

Ecology: Little is known of the ecology except that it nests in hollow trees during the day.

Status: Least Concern.

Indochinese Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes phayrei
Indochinese Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes phayrei
Distribution: Indochinese Flying Squirrel
HB144–197 mm
TL128–174 mm
HF30–36 mm
M153–189 g
Subspecies:

Hylopetes phayrei phayrei — Burma, north-western Thailand south to Phetburi Province, Laos, Vietnam, and Guizhou, Guangxi and Fujian Provinces in southern China.

Hylopetes phayrei electilis — Hainan Island, China.

Other species:


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

Hylopetes bartelsi

Palawan Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes nigripes
Palawan Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes nigripes

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

Hylopetes platyurus

Random species

Northern Glider / Petaurus abidi

Northern Glider
Petaurus abidi

Palawan Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes nigripes

Palawan Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes nigripes


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.