Scientific Name: Petaurus breviceps
Size: 420 mm TL, including tail 210 mm
What does it look like?
Brownish-grey to blue-grey above, with a blackish stripe running from between eyes to centre of back, and cream to greyish below. Tail blackish and bushy, occasionally tipped with white, snout short and rounded, ears broad and large gliding membrane (edged with blackish and white) attached at wrists and ankles (able to glide up to 90m). Large prominent protruding black beady eyes.
Where is it found?
This species complex has recently been split into three distinct species. P. ariel occurs through northern Australia, from the Kimberley region Western Australia, through northern Northern Territory to north-western Queensland; P. breviceps in south-eastern Queensland and far eastern New South Wales; P. notatus occupies the remaining distribution, from northern Queensland, through New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania to far south-eastern South Australia.
What are its habitats & habits?
Inhabits rainforests, wet and dry sclerophyll forests and woodland. Nocturnal, sheltering by day in a hollow tree lined with leaves, and feeds arboreally on nectar, pollen, honeydew and arthropods. Individuals will chew the bark from trees to feed on sap when other food sources are rare.
This species features in my book A Naturalist’s Guide to the Mammals of Australia