How Big Do Sugar Gliders Get? (From Baby to Adult)

How big do sugar gliders get? That’s an excellent question. After all, when you get any pet, knowing how large they will grow is essential knowledge. Today I’m going to give you a detailed answer to that exact question.

At birth, sugar gliders are only the size of a grain of rice. However, they grow rapidly. Their fully grown size is 9.5 inches to 12 inches, with males growing larger than females. Male gliders reach their maximum size within 4 to 12 months and females reach their maximum size within 6 to 18 months. Fully grown males weigh an average of 140 grams, while females weigh 115 grams.

This is important information before getting one of these remarkable creatures as a pet. If you’re expecting a small pet you don’t want to end up with a huge creature and vice versa.

In the rest of this guide, I’m going to go over everything you need to know about how big sugar gliders get. I will cover their growth process from when they’re a baby (joey) all the way to when they reach maturity. That way you can get a better understanding and have an accurate idea of how big sugar gliders get.


Baby sugar glider size

A baby sugar glider is called a “Joey” (yes, the same term is used for baby kangaroos, and you’ll soon see why). When they are born they’re incredibly small. On average, Joeys are around the size of a grain of rice when they are born and weigh only 0.2 grams! Sugar Gliders can give birth to either 1 or 2 babies at a time, but they most commonly give birth to 2 Joeys.

After they are born they spend the first couple of weeks in their mother’s pouch just like kangaroos (and now you know why both kangaroo and sugar glider babies are called a “Joey”!). When they emerge from their mother’s pouch they’re incredibly cute. Just take a look at this picture:

9 week old sugar gliders
This is what they look like at 9 weeks old. Isn’t it the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

The mother has four nipples in her pouch which she uses to feed milk to her newly born babies. They grow quite rapidly in those few weeks thanks to their mother’s milk and will reach maturity in around 4-12 months with males maturing slightly faster than females.

How big do sugar gliders get?

Once sugar gliders have reached maturity they’re an average length of 24-30 centimeters from the tip of their tail to their nose with males being larger than females. Males weigh an average of 5 ounces while females weigh an average of 4 ounces.

So, if you’re worried about them turning into some huge uncontrollable biting beast, don’t be. They stay a relatively small size their entire life. Take a look at this picture to get an idea of how big they get when they’re fully grown:

adult sugar glider
A fully grown sugar glider – bigger, but still cute!

Wild vs captive size

You might be curious if sugar gliders get bigger in captivity or in the wild. I was wondering the same thing, but unfortunately, there’s not a lot of data to be found on the differences between captive and wild size.

Nevertheless, most small pets like sugar gliders get bigger in captivity than in the wild because of better access to food.

In the wild, they have to hunt and forage for their own food which is a very energy-consuming task. But when they’re your pet they get it served to them on a silver platter. Because of this, they burn much fewer calories in captivity than in the wild and these calories will be stored as fat and put towards growth.

People also tend to overfeed their pets. This is usually not out of malice but simply because they love them so much. Since they have access to easy food and a lot of it, it’s safe to assume that your sugar glider will grow bigger (at least heavier) in captivity than he would in the wild.

To get a good estimate of how big your sugar glider will get I would take the upper end of the average range mentioned above (10 to 12 inches).

How long do sugar gliders live?

For such a small pet, sugar gliders have an impressively long lifespan. They can live for up to 12 years in captivity! In the wild they live slightly shorter, 3 to 9 years on average.

However, they do not grow all their lives. Gliders stop growing once they’ve reached sexual maturity. For males, this occurs at 4 to 12 months of age, while females reach maturity at 6 to 18 months of age.

Help! My sugar glider is too big

It happens all the time that people love their gliders a little too much and spoil them with treats. Now, this will not make them grow any taller, but it will definitely make them more rotund.

If you’re worried that your glider is getting a bit too big, it’s time to put them on a diet. Being fat is not healthy for gliders because it can lead to a host of issues.

To keep them at a healthy size, make sure that you do not overfeed them and that you feed them a proper diet.


Final words

Sugar gliders start their life being about the size of a grain of rice. As they get older, they will grow rapidly until they reach maturity at about 4 to 18 months of age. Fully grown, they’re typically between 9.5 and 12 inches in length, with a weight between 4 and 5 ounces.

Males are typically larger than females, but not by all that much.

Basically, these animals stay small and cute for their entire life, which is part of the reason why they’ve become so popular as pets.

Jesse A.