Merck Manual

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Breeding and Reproduction of Sugar Gliders

By

Rosemary J. Booth

, BVSc, Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services

Last full review/revision Jul 2020 | Content last modified Jul 2020

Female sugar gliders reach puberty at 8 to 12 months old; males reach puberty at 12 to 15 months old. They have an estrous cycle of about 29 days. As is common with marsupials, gestation (pregnancy) usually only lasts 15 to 17 days. After birth the babies, called joeys, crawl into their mother’s pouch, where they remain until they are 70 to 74 days old. Young sugar gliders usually wean themselves at about 4 months of age. Sugar gliders have an average litter size of 2; each joey weighs about 0.007 ounces (0.2 grams) at birth. In the wild, female young leave the colony before reaching puberty. In captivity they may be attacked if not removed soon after weaning.

In the United States, many states require a breeding license for sugar gliders. Check with the United States Department of Agriculture office in your region to determine whether you need a license if you plan to breed these animals.

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