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.
Description: A very small glider resembling a silky-furred, tawny-coloured, snub-nosed mouse, with a membrane like those of the larger anomalures. Its very long tail (longer than head—body) is fringed on the underside by two rows of short stiff hairs.
It also has sparse, very long hairs on the upperside of the tail. It utters a shrill, mouse-like squeak and is a very efficient, fast and agile glider.
Distribution: Occurs in equatorial rainforests in Cameroon, south-western Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo to Democratic Republic of the Congo (= Zaire). Also occurs between the River Aruwimi and north-east to east Democratic Republic of the Congo to the foothills of Ruwenzori and Kivu to Lake Kivu and west Uganda. In Cameroon it has never been seen at higher elevations than the foothills.
Reproduction: Nothing is known.
Diet: Includes oil-palm fruits, nuts, occasionally insects and possibly exudates or nectar. Although nothing is known of its feeding behaviour, it has been suggested that it may travel many kilometres in a night to feed. The notched upper incisors project out of the mouth, which may indicate that its food requires sharp chiselling.
Ecology: Sleeps in large hollow trees in high deciduous forest. There are reports that it may share them with Pel’s Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel and the Cyclops Roundleaf Bat (Hipposideros cyclops). It has also been found living with the slightly larger Long-eared Scaly-tailed Flying Squirrel, with one tree containing as many as 100 individuals. Colonies have been found in trees of the genera Klainedoxa, Pseudoprosopis, Paramacrolobium, Gilbertiodendron and Pentaclethra.
Status: Least Concern. Clear felling and other logging operations in the centre of its range must be eliminating it from some areas.