The sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps) is a small, omnivorous, arboreal gliding possum belonging to the marsupialinfraclass. The common name refers to its preference for sugary nectarous foods and ability to glide through the air, much like a flying squirrel. Due to convergent evolution, they have very similar appearance and habits to the flying squirrel, but are not closely related.
The scientific name, Petaurus breviceps, translates from Latin as “short-headed rope-dancer”, a reference to their canopy acrobatics.
The sugar glider is native to eastern and northern mainland Australia, and was introduced to Tasmania. It is also native to various islands in the region.