Southern Flying Squirrel

Common Name:

Southern Flying Squirrel, Assapan

Scientific Name:

Glaucomys volans

Wild Status:

Least Concern

Habitat:

Eastern Deciduous Forests

Country:

Canada, USA, Mexcio

Shelter:

Tree Hollows, Old Wood Pecker Holes,

Life Span:

6 years

Size:

10 inches

Cool Facts:

  • The southern flying squirrel is arboreal. They use the skin connecting their limbs, patagium, to glide between trees at night.
  • They feed on nuts, seeds, acorns, and cherry pits so they rely on trees such as hickory, beech, maple, and poplar. On occasion, they will also eat fruit, insects, and fungi.
  • Southern flying squirrels are prey to owls, snakes, and raccoons.
  • Mothers are very defensive of their young and will often have many secondary nests.
  • They are social animals that often share a den with a large group during winter. They do not hibernate, but they rely on each other's body heat to conserve energy during the winter.

Details:

The southern flying squirrel is a gliding mammal that uses its patagium  to glide. The patagium extends from writs to ankles. Their backs are covered in dense gray-brown fur, and have dark brown coloring on the flanks. They have cream-colored fur on the underside of their body, tail and head. They have large black eyes with a dark brown ring, long black whiskers, and large ears that allow them to sense their surroundings at night. Their fingers and toes have small claws used for climbing and holding on to food.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Family: Sciuridae Genus: Glaucomys Species: G. volans

Conservation & Helping:

The southern flying squirrel is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List.

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