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Phalangers volants

Fact Sheets - Nutrition for sugar gliders

Sugar gliders are nocturnal arboreal marsupials. They are omnivorous. In the wild, they eat sap and gum from eucalyptus and acacia trees, nectar and pollen, and a large variety of insects and arachnids. It would be difficult to reproduce this diet in captivity, and it would not, in any case, be recommended. Wild sugar gliders eat up to 17% of their weight daily, and use up this calorie intake through their daily activities. In captivity, a less caloric diet is recommended to cater to the inferior activity level of our domestic companions. No one commercial sugar glider diets seems to be adequate, so we recommend preparing diets according to these recipes:

Leadbeater’s diet:

  • 50% insectivore diet
  • 50% Leadbeater’s mix =
    - 150 ml d’eau tiède
    - 150 ml de miel
    - 1 œuf bien cuit avec la coquille,
    - 25 g de céréales pour bébé à haute teneur en protéines
    - 1 cuillère à soupe de compléments vitaminés

Alternative diet (per individual)

  • 12g of a variety of fresh fruits (all fruits can be used but lemons should not represent more than 10% of the total amount)
  • 2.5g of cooked vegetables (steamed cooked or microwaved, with 50% starchy food)
  • 10g of peach or apricot nectar
  • 5.5g of a bird diet low in iron (Ie. Zeigler®, Lo-Iron Bird of Paradise)

Taronga Zoo Diet (for 2 individuals)

  • 3g of apple
  • 1.5g of dog kibble
  • 3g of grapes or kiwi
  • 3g of sweet potato
  • 2g of pear
  • 3g of banana or corn
  • 1 teaspoon of dried insects
  • 10g of well-cooked egg, with its shell
  • 4g of orange

This diet must be given with insects and the Leadbeater’s diet, as well as fruits such as cantaloupe or papaya.

These diets should be refrigerated, with any unused portion discarded after 2 days. They can be prepared in advance and frozen, as long as they are used within 4 months. You can also alternate between these diets if you wish to do so.

 

Julie Hébert, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (avian practice)
Édouard Maccolini, DVM, IPSAV, Dipl. ABVP (avian practice)
Sarah Alberton, DVM, IPSAV (zoological medicine)
Kim Langlois, DVM