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 this question.
Sugar gliders are amazing creatures. They’re affectionate, funny, look like squirrels and they can even glide through the air. It’s not surprising that so many people want one as a pet. But before you get this amazing creature as a pet you’ll probably want to know how big sugar gliders get. After all, if you’re expecting a small pet you don’t want to end up with a huge creature and vice versa.
In 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.
The short answer to this question is this: 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.
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, sugar glider 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 the 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:
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 grow?
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 140 grams while females weigh an average of 115 grams.
So, if you’re worried about your sugar glider 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 sugar gliders get when they’re fully grown:
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 (24-30 cm).
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.