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.

Whiskered Flying Squirrel

Whiskered Flying Squirrel / Petinomys genibarbis
Petinomys genibarbis

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae, Pteromyini

Description: A small species, particularly for the Petinomys genus. The upper parts of its body are reddish-brown with grey under-fur, speckled with grey towards the front and with reddish-gold towards the back, giving an unusual chestnut brown or pinkish tinge. Its underparts are cream or dull orange-buff. Its gliding membrane has a white margin.

The species has a well-defined chestnut eye ring and a rusty coloured tail with darker brown streaking. It has a streak of whitish hairs at the base of each ear and a distinct tuft of long whiskers on the cheek behind the eye. A pronounced wart, about 5 millimetres in diameter and bearing a tuft of long black whiskers, is located on each cheek. No other flying squirrel has a pinkish rump or prominent tuft of whiskers behind the eyes.

Distribution: Occurs on the Malay Peninsula, adjacent Penang Island, and in Sarawak, Brunei, Sabah, as well as East Kalimantan on Borneo, Sumatra (including Bangka Island) and Java. It is found in tall and secondary forest. In Malaysia it has been recorded from forest up to 450 metres elevation.

Reproduction: The female has a gestation of 53 days and produces a single young, which is born, unlike those of the other flying squirrels, with its eyes open, fully furred and with claws. The young are also precocial in their behaviour.

Diet: Nothing is known.

Ecology: Very little is known.

Status: Vulnerable.

Whiskered Flying Squirrel / Petinomys genibarbis
Whiskered Flying Squirrel
Petinomys genibarbis
Distribution: Whiskered Flying Squirrel
HB142–195 mm
TL155–188 mm
HF27–32 mm
M52–110 g

Other species:


Basilan Flying Squirrel / Petinomys crinitus
Basilan Flying Squirrel

Petinomys crinitus

Travancore Flying Squirrel / Petinomys fuscocapillus
Travancore Flying Squirrel

Petinomys fuscocapillus

Siberut Flying Squirrel / Petinomys lugens
Siberut Flying Squirrel

Petinomys lugens

Random species

Mahogany Glider / Petaurus gracilis

Mahogany Glider
Petaurus gracilis

Whiskered Flying Squirrel / Petinomys genibarbis

Whiskered Flying Squirrel
Petinomys genibarbis


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.