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.

Hose’s Pygmy Flying Squirrel

Hose’s Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus hosei
Petaurillus hosei

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae, Pteromyini

Description: A very small gliding species with upper parts a very dark grey with pale buff streaks, especially in the midline, and underparts which are off-white on grey under-fur. Its tail is pale buffish at the base, becoming blacker near the end, with a white tip. Its cheeks are pale buffish with a strong grey tinge beneath the eye.

There is a whitish spot behind the eye. A dark line runs across its cheeks, through the eye, to the ear. The Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel is similar but is even smaller and has totally pale cheeks. Immature forms of other species do not have a white tail tip.

Distribution: Western and northern Borneo at a few lowland sites (including the type locality at S. Toyut, Baram district), Sepilok in Sabah, Tasek Merimbun in Brunei, and the Baram district and Niah in Sarawak.

Ecology: Little is known. Four individuals were found in a nest hole about 6 metres above the ground in a dead tree at the edge of tall dipterocarp forest in Borneo.

Status: Data Deficient.

Note: There is some debate as to whether this is the same species as the Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel.

Hose’s Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus hosei
Hose’s Pygmy Flying Squirrel
Petaurillus hosei
Distribution: Hose’s Pygmy Flying Squirrel
HB75–90 mm
TL80–98 mm
HF19–20 mm
Mc. 21 g

Other species:


Flying Squirrel / Iomys sipora Mentawai
Flying Squirrel

Iomys sipora Mentawai

Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus emiliae
Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel

Petaurillus emiliae

Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus kinlochii
Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel

Petaurillus kinlochii

Random species

Mahogany Glider / Petaurus gracilis

Mahogany Glider
Petaurus gracilis

Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus emiliae

Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel
Petaurillus emiliae


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.